ILNews

Court rules on police investigation methods

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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Admission of a handgun and related evidence has been tossed by an Indiana Court of Appeals panel on grounds that police who stopped the defendant and retrieved the weapon didn't have sufficient cause to do so.

The appellate court ruled today in Sarail Jamerson v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0608-CR-779, arising out of Marion Superior Court 19 and an investigatory stop in June 2006.

Three Indianapolis Police Department officers learned a county detective wanted them to locate the appellant-defendant Jamerson in connection with a carjacking at Lafayette Square Mall. Residents reported seeing him inside a parked car on the east side of Indianapolis, and the officers went there to find him.

Police found Jamerson and told him about the investigation. They allowed him to get back inside his car. Within a minute, officers observed a handgun being pulled from under the car seat and arrested Jamerson.

Later at trial, Jamerson argued that the officers did not have the necessary reasonable suspicion to detain him in an investigatory stop. The trial court denied his motion to suppress the evidence.

But the appellate panel of Judges Patrick Sullivan, Margret Robb, and Nancy Vaidik disagreed, finding that there's no adequate showing of reasonable suspicion needed for the stop that led up to the discovery of the handgun and subsequent conviction for possessing one without a license.

In making its decision, the court relied mostly on the notion that information obtained by one investigating officer may be relied on by other officials called in to assist, as long as the information-obtaining officer had reasonable suspicion in the first place. A tilting point came in the citation of State v. Murray, 837 N.E.2d 223,226 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005), that held police must relay reasonable suspicion to the investigating officer before the stop is made.

"We conclude the State has failed to demonstrate that Jamerson's reported link to the alleged illegal activity was anything more than an unparticularized hunch on the part of the unnamed reporting officer (detective)," the court wrote, reversing the lower decision and remanding with instruction to vacate the conviction.
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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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