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Appellate court rules traffic stop legal

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A police officer had reasonable suspicion to stop the car of a man who parked illegally in a handicapped spot after the car made it on to the street, ruled the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Dustin Haynes appealed the denial of his motion to suppress evidence. He was convicted of Class C felony operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life after Gas City Chief of Police Kirk McCollum saw Haynes’ car parked in a handicapped spot without a proper permit. McCollum was patrolling a parking lot and drove by the car, which didn’t have a handicap license plate. He also didn’t see a permit hanging from the rearview mirror.

When he drove by again to verify there wasn’t a permit lying on the dashboard or another visible area, Haynes backed out of the spot and left the parking lot. The officer followed and pulled him over on the street. Haynes admitted to not having the proper handicap placard and being a habitual traffic violator with his driving privileges currently suspended.

Haynes claimed McCollum had no reasonable suspicion to stop him because he didn’t commit any traffic violations. The officer had a chance to give him a parking ticket while Haynes was in the lot, but didn’t, so he had no reasonable grounds to stop him later.

“We find that Officer McCollum had sufficient basis to detain Haynes pursuant to I.C. § 34-28-5-3, which allows a law enforcement officer to detain an individual believed to have committed an infraction. I.C. § 34-28-5-3 further permits a law enforcement officer to ascertain the individual’s identity,” wrote Judge Patricia Riley in Dustin Haynes v. State of Indiana, No. 27A02-1003-CR-311. “Because Officer McCollum had probable cause to believe Haynes had committed an infraction, his detention of Haynes was reasonable and did not violate either the state or federal constitutions.”

Haynes cited State v. Medlar, 638 N.E.2d 1105, 1105-06 (Ohio Ct. App. 1994), and State v. Holmes, 569 N.W.2d 181 (Minn. 1997), to support his argument, but the judges ruled under the analysis in Holmes, McCullom had probable cause to stop Haynes’ car. McCullom personally saw Haynes commit the violation, and under Holmes, he was allowed to stop Haynes to enforce the violation because Haynes was driving off before he could issue the ticket.

Although the facts of Holmes are distinguishable, the analysis of law is applicable, wrote Judge Riley. As such, McCollum had reasonable suspicion to stop Haynes and therefore the stop was legal.
 

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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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