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A Problem With Warrants

Posted on Mon Aug 29th, 2011 @ 8:18pm by Captain Alexander Gunning & Lieutenant Commander Jonathon Bastin PhD

Mission: The Pak'Leth Problem
Location: Head of Diplomatic Corps' Office - Deck 24
Timeline: MD01 - 1140hrs


Lieutenant Commander Jonathon Bastin has spent the majority of the day reviewing the materials that had been left behind by the outgoing Diplomatic Officer. Most of it Jon either knew or had enough of a working knowledge of that he could skim over much of the "required reading", hitting the highlights and ignoring the rest. What he didn't know, he spent a moderate amount of time reviewing, mostly in an effort to pull out the pressing information. As it stood, he would be in the position for the foreseeable future and with that in mind, he wasn't in a huge rush to cover everything overly quickly.

Gunning couldn't quite explain what had brought him down this way but the need to discuss the Pak'Leth with someone and he supposed he might as well approach the diplomat rather than the engineers. He reached the Diplomatic Suites and stepped through into the reception area. The receptionist had gone and Bastin's office seemed to be the only one occupied.

He pressed the chime on the desk and waited.

Jon didn't bother to look up as he called out, "Come!" He was so used to having visitors to his office, mostly representatives in legal cases and the like, that it hardly registered that anyone coming to him would likely have some manner of business with him other than just asking for legal advise.

"Can I help you?" the man asked without actually looking to see who he was helping.

"I suppose so," the Commanding Officer said as he entered the room. For the amount of work Bastin had on, it was surprisingly tidy. Had it been him with so much to catch up on the office would look like a bomb had gone off in it. In fact, the more he thought about it, his did. "I just came to see how you're settling in, Commander."

"Can't complain," Jon shrugged, "I've had worse change overs in my career, the most bizarre of which came at the tail end of a murder... So I'd say all's well."

"Well, as long as no-one's dead so far I reckon you're doing pretty well." Gunning said, "I don't suppose you've got to the 'Pak'Leth' in your reading yet?"

"Nothing that stands out, no," the diplomat admitted, "My predecessor didn't leave a great deal of notes, mostly just articles marked as needing to be reviewed. Coming from the legal side of the house, I've gotten used to skimming things for key words, and I haven't run across many that normally beg further reading. Why, something I should look in to?"

"Hmm, I'm not too sure, in all honesty," Gunning said, "we have a ship impounded on medical advice. The crew are all suffering the effects of smoke inhalation but I'm not sure that we have a legal precedent for it. I've done it based on the fact that they seem have the potential to harm other ships if they were to try and fly that thing. However, I'd like to know if there were any more incidents where their vessels have been impounded."

"Legally speaking, if the craft is within Federation controlled space, and the operation of that vessel presents a credible threat to Federation assets or citizens, detaining the vessel for a period of time consistent with making repairs to the vessel would be well within your legal authority, yes. Whether there is a precedence set already or not, I can't say off the top of my head, but then again you don't need them if there is a competent medical authority backing up your impound order and you can prove through watch bills and other official records that work is being done on the craft. How long it takes is a bit of a variable thing as far as the legalities are concerned, but I wouldn't try to hold them forever if you want everything to stay above board," Jon responded rather easily.

"I don't plan to keep them too long. Just long enough to make a search of the ship. According to the report, they were pretty unhappy about having to dock with us. I find that suspicious. Even if there's nothing happening, we can make a few quiet repairs to the ship."

"Well, as long as you paint everything with 'health and welfare' titles, you should be covered, legally speaking. I wouldn't go taking anything off the ship without a warrant though. If you need one, I have acted as a magistrate a time or two, and I'm certain if you asked Starfleet nicely, they would give me that position back out here. It would save on personnel transfer times greatly. Just something to think about. Can't say I want to be a magistrate on top of being a diplomat, but I am willing to take one for the team now and again," Jon chuckled.

"Is there any way you can get a rush put on a search warrant for me? I'd only need it transmitted through from Cestus, no need to give you more work than you need at this point." He responded with a wry smile.

"If they aren't bogged down with work, it will take a week, there and back, as far as administrative paperwork is concerned. What I could do, if you like, is issue you a provisional warrant for now. It would cover your searching the vessel and crew, but if you find something, we'd have to upchannel it to the Cestus magistrate for a seizure warrant. That can be expedited a bit, but only if you have something that can't be allowed to remain in their hands... illegal goods and such. That's the best I can do without territorial magistrate authority, but its a lot better than a normal diplomat can do for you," the man explained.

"That would do nicely." Gunning said, almost finding himself marvelling at the man's knowledge. "Very nicely indeed."

"Works for me," Jon said, turning to the desk mounted access terminal adjacent to him. With a few moments and a few taps of a few command prompts, Jon drafted the provisional warrant and uploaded it onto a PADD. He then pushed himself away from the console and handed the PADD over to the station commander.

"For administrative reasons, this tablet is the only authorized device to transport and display this warrant. It has been logged with the main computer and a copy is already on the way to the Cestus magistrate office for filing. Make sure you establish a chain of custody for that document... thumb print verification is fine. Just ensure that anyone in possession of that warrant is a command level officer, no assistant department heads, no designees or anyone like that are authorized to present that warrant or operate under its authority other than those of Lieutenant Commander and above rank or designated as a Senior Officer under your direct command. That's the other limitation of my being a former magistrate, and not a currently serving one. But again, if you ever need me to do it actively to doped things along, let me know. I don't have to hold court here, but it does help to have a legal rubber stamp now and again as I think you are going to find out quickly with this little endeavor," the diplomat smirked.

Gunning turned to leave, "I'm much obliged to you, Jon. Much obliged!"


Commodore Alex Gunning
Commanding Officer

Lieutenant Commander Jonathon Bastin PhD
Head of Starfleet Diplomatic Corps - Archanis Sector


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