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Judges order trial in drunk driving case

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The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the partial denial of a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence, finding that the trial court properly determined that the evidence seized by the uniform on-duty police officers shouldn’t be suppressed pursuant to the exclusionary rule.

Carmel Police Officer Jeff Sedberry was driving home with his wife and daughter when he saw Clifton Ervin’s car weaving and crossing the center line. Sedberry believed Ervin might be drunk, so he called the Fishers Police Department to report Ervin’s location. He continued to follow Ervin’s car until Ervin abruptly pulled into a neighborhood, stopped his car and got out, walking toward Sedberry’s car. Sedberry was not in a police vehicle or police uniform and was off duty at the time.

Sedberry drew his gun, told Ervin he was a police officer and ordered him back to his car. Sedberry said he felt his family could be in danger based on Ervin’s behavior. Police arrived to the scene shortly and Ervin was ultimately arrested for driving while intoxicated and other related offenses.

He filed a motion to suppress, claiming he was illegally seized by Sedberry since he wasn’t in uniform or driving a marked police car. The trial court only granted the motion relating to the time Sedberry ordered Ervin back to his car until uniform officers arrived. The trial court denied suppressing the evidence relating to the uniformed officers, finding application of the exclusionary rule would be inappropriate.

In Clifton Ervin v. State of Indiana, 29A05-1109-CR-454, the appellate court analyzed Indiana Code 9-30-2-2, which outlines when an officer may arrest someone, with the goal of preventing police impersonators. It found that the statute wasn’t implicated to the extent that the evidence should be suppressed. The statute says an officer may not arrest a person for “violation of an Indiana law regulating the use and operation of a motor vehicle on an Indiana highway” unless the officer is in uniform or a marked police vehicle. However, Sedberry didn’t arrested Ervin.

The Court of Appeals remanded the cause for trial.

 

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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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