Justices: Arrest was valid

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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The Indiana Supreme Court has reversed a Marion County judge's ruling that officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department don't have arresting authority because they didn't take an official oath following a merger.

A unanimous ruling came today in State v. Cheryl Oddi-Smith, 49S00-0710-CR-396, which stems from Marion Superior Judge Rueben Hill's decision involving a three-car accident and subsequent drunk driving arrest a year ago. He ruled that Oddi-Smith's arrest was illegal because the arresting officer was not sworn in after the Jan. 1 merger between the Marion County Sheriff's Department and the Indianapolis Police Department. Only top officials and a few officers took the oath following the merger.

Judge Hill of Criminal Court 18 - himself a former Indiana State Police trooper - noted the main legal issue is whether this merger created an entirely new police agency, and if so then all officers would need to be sworn in again.

The state's high court granted an emergency transfer to bypass the Indiana Court of Appeals because of the public importance of the case, and heard arguments in November.

In its ruling today, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard wrote that all sworn officers of the IPD or MCSD at the time of consolidation satisfied the oath requirement.

"We think it sufficient grounds to say that the arresting officer was recruited, trained, and sworn as an IPD officer and that he took all that with him to the IMPD," the chief justice wrote in the six page ruling.

Chief Justice Shepard also noted that other grounds could exist for which Oddi-Smith's arrest was valid, such as the "de facto officer" doctrine. Rationale was that the internal order relied on by the defense applied to personnel new to law enforcement, and did not require a second oath for those already sworn in before consolidation.

This decision reverses the trial court's suppression and dismissal, and remands it for further proceedings on the merits of the charges against Oddi-Smith.

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  1. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.

  2. I had a hospital and dcs caseworker falsify reports that my child was born with drugs in her system. I filed a complaint with the Indiana department of health....and they found that the hospital falsified drug screens in their investigation. Then I filed a complaint with human health services in Washington DC...dcs drug Testing is unregulated and is indicating false positives...they are currently being investigated by human health services. Then I located an attorney and signed contracts one month ago to sue dcs and Anderson community hospital. Once the suit is filed I am taking out a loan against the suit and paying a law firm to file a writ of mandamus challenging the courts jurisdiction to invoke chins case against me. I also forwarded evidence to a u.s. senator who contacted hhs to push an investigation faster. Once the lawsuit is filed local news stations will be running coverage on the situation. Easy day....people will be losing their jobs soon...and judge pancol...who has attempted to cover up what has happened will also be in trouble. The drug testing is a kids for cash and federal funding situation.

  3. (A)ll (C)riminals (L)ove (U)s is up to their old, "If it's honorable and pro-American, we're against it," nonsense. I'm not a big Pence fan but at least he's showing his patriotism which is something the left won't do.

  4. While if true this auto dealer should be held liable, where was the BMV in all of this? How is it that the dealer was able to get "clean" titles to these vehicles in order to sell them to unsuspecting consumers?

  5. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless [ ] Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. GOD BLESS THE GOVERNORS RESISTING! Count on the gutless judiciary to tie our children down and facilitate the swords being drawn across their throats. Wake Up America ...