ILNews

Reasonable suspicion needed to search home detention participant’s residence

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the suppression of evidence found at a Tippecanoe County home by community corrections officers, finding the roommate of the man on home detention had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Tippecanoe County Community Corrections officers conducted a search of Jordan Sullivan’s home and found drugs in the bedroom of his roommate Brishen Vanderkolk. Sullivan signed a form before participating in home detention that allowed searches and seizures by TCCC, law enforcement or the court of his person, his property and his vehicle at any time.

In December 2012, when Vanderkolk was not at home, TCCC officers went to Sullivan’s residence and searched it. After smelling drugs, they did a protective sweep of the home, leading to the discovery of contraband from several rooms in the house, including Vanderkolk’s bedroom.

He filed a motion to suppress, which was granted by the trial court. At the suppression hearing, a TCCC officer testified that Sullivan’s residence was searched to ensure his compliance with the program, not because of any suspicion of illegal or improper activity.

Vanderkolk had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the residence because he lived there, so he may challenge the search on Fourth Amendment grounds, the divided Court of Appeals ruled in State of Indiana v. Brishen R. Vanderkolk, 79A04-1308-CR-407.

It is clear based on caselaw that reasonable suspicion must support a warrantless search of a probationer, or as in the instant case, a community corrections participant.

“The evidence at Vanderkolk’s suppression hearing showed that the TCCC officers believed Sullivan’s waiver justified suspicionless searches merely to ensure compliance. But the special need of supervising community corrections participants, while dispensing with probable cause, still required reasonable suspicion that evidence of Sullivan’s noncompliance would be found.,” Senior Judge Betty Barteau wrote in the majority opinion.

Judge L. Mark Bailey concurred in result in a separate opinion, and Judge James Kirsch dissented without opinion.  

 

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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

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