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Judges find search wasn't valid under 4th Amendment

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has found that a woman’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures was violated and a trial judge erred in not suppressing evidence found during a home search.

In Pamela J. Hensley v. State of Indiana, No. 63A01-1105-CR-195, the Court of Appeals examined a Pike Circuit case involving a woman whose home was search by police following a tip that her husband, who was on probation, possessed marijuana. Police went to check the home and Pamela Hensley let them inside where they found marijuana and generic Xanax under a mattress. After finding those substances, police obtained a search warrant and discovered rolling papers, a pipe and prescription bottles.

The state charged Hensley with felony possession of illegal drugs, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of paraphernalia. Before trial, Hensley filed a motion to suppress the evidence and the trial court denied that request but certified the case for interlocutory appeal.

The appellate judges rejected the state’s argument that the search was a probation search – not an investigatory search – and was reasonable. The judges cited a 2001 ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States in United States v. Knights, 534 U.S. 112 (2001), that a search may be justified if it related to a probationer engaged in criminal activity.

But the Indiana judges found the police were “pursuing their own agenda” and conducted an investigatory search under the guise of a probationary search. To qualify as a constitutional search under Knights, the police would have needed to have reasonable suspicion that Robert Hensley engaged in criminal activity.

In a footnote, the judges wrote that because their holding is the search was illegal under the Fourth Amendment, they weren’t addressing the question about whether it was valid under the Indiana Constitution.

The appellate panel remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.

 

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  1. It is amazing how selectively courts can read cases and how two very similar factpatterns can result in quite different renderings. I cited this very same argument in Brown v. Bowman, lost. I guess it is panel, panel, panel when one is on appeal. Sad thing is, I had Sykes. Same argument, she went the opposite. Her Rooker-Feldman jurisprudence is now decidedly unintelligible.

  2. November, 2014, I was charged with OWI/Endangering a person. I was not given a Breathalyzer test and the arresting officer did not believe that alcohol was in any way involved. I was self-overmedicated with prescription medications. I was taken to local hospital for blood draw to be sent to State Tox Lab. My attorney gave me a cookie-cutter plea which amounts to an ALCOHOL-related charge. Totally unacceptable!! HOW can I get my TOX report from the state lab???

  3. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  4. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  5. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

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