ILNews

Court defines due process rights for drug court participants

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The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that his due process rights were denied when his participation in a drug court program was ended without giving him notice of a hearing, or allowing him to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.

Even the state conceded that Robert L. Gosha was denied his right to due process and believed he should have a new hearing.

In Robert L. Gosha v. State of Indiana, No. 48A02-0912-CR-1210, as part of his probation violation, Gosha was referred to drug court. Sanctions would be stayed if he successfully completed the program. After being admitted, he was allegedly found with drugs and paraphernalia in his home.

The drug court held a hearing without notice and without any evidence presented, and terminated Gosha’s participation in the program. The trial court also denied Gosha’s request for an evidentiary hearing on the ending of his participation and Gosha’s motion to correct error.

Finding Hopper v. State, 546 N.E.2d 106 (Ind. Ct. App. 1989), to be instructive, the Court of Appeals ruled that the due process rights afforded a defendant in probation revocation hearings are now required for defendants participating in a drug court program. Defendants should receive written notice of the claimed violations, disclosure of the evidence, a chance to be heard and present evidence and cross-examine witnesses, and have a neutral and detached hearing body.

The drug court is to conduct an evidentiary hearing to allow Gosha written notice of the violations, and the ability to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. The judges also noted that a defendant may waive his right to procedural due process, but Gosha didn’t knowingly waive that right.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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