ILNews

Court reverses probation revocation

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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A mapping system showing a potential day-care center near a residence wasn't enough to convince to the Indiana Court of Appeals that a Marion County sex offender's probation should be revoked for staying at the residence one night.

The court unanimously ruled today in Clinton Carden v. State of Indiana, 49A02-0608-CR-700. Marion Superior Magistrate Nancy Broyles had revoked Carden's four-year probation that was a result of his 2001 guilty plea to one felony count of child molesting and part of his overall 10-year sentence.

He was not to live within 1,000 feet of a school or place frequented by children, had to have a single verifiable residence in Marion County, and was not to be within two blocks of any child-prone area. Carden wanted to live with his girlfriend, but his probation officer used an unidentified "mapping system" to find that wasn't allowed because the address was within the two-block vicinity of an unnamed day care.

Three visits to Carden's address in June 2006 showed that Carden wasn't there, but the presence of his girlfriend's children there concerned the probation officer. Carden told the probation officer he wasn't at his home during the visits because he'd spent one night with his girlfriend and another night with a friend. Within a week, the state filed a probation violation notice against him, and the trial court revoked his probation.

In the appellate decision, the court determined that the trial court committed a fundamental error and deprived Carden of his rights.

"Here, the only evidence used to revoke Carden's probation was [the parole officer's] testimony that some unidentified mapping system showed that the Barnett address was within two blocks of some unnamed daycare center," Judge Nancy Vaidik wrote. "And there was no information that the daycare was even in business when Carden spent the night at [his girlfriend's] address. The error in admitting [the parole officer's] testimony is so prejudicial to Carden's rights as to make a fair trial impossible. Without [the parole officer's] testimony, there is simply no evidence to show that Carden entered within two blocks of a daycare center."
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  1. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

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  3. This is happening so much. Even in 2016.2017. I hope the father sue for civil rights violation. I hope he sue as more are doing and even without a lawyer as pro-se, he got a good one here. God bless him.

  4. JLAP and other courtiers ... Those running court systems, have most substance abuse issues. Probably self medicating to cover conscience issues arising out of acts furthering govt corruption

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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