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COA: Officer's observation didn't violate man's rights

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a defendant’s various drug convictions and sentence, finding the police officer didn’t violate the man’s Fourth Amendment rights by looking in the defendant’s car when trying to serve a warrant.

In Jeffrey D. Boggs v. State of Indiana, No. 40A01-0907-CR-346, Jeffrey Boggs argued the trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence obtained from a search warrant that was based on information discovered during a warrantless and unconstitutional search of his car on his property. Police went to Boggs’ home to see if he was home to pick up his minor daughter who was in the car of a woman who was arrested on an outstanding warrant. While on the way to Boggs’ home, police discovered he was wanted on a warrant in Ohio.

Boggs wasn’t home and as the officer was leaving Boggs’ property, he shined a flashlight into a car he knew belonged to Boggs. Inside he saw an altered propane tank sticking out of a duffle bag. Police then got a search warrant for the property and found various items and drugs used to make methamphetamine.

Boggs moved to suppress the evidence, which was denied. On appeal, he argued the evidence shouldn’t have been admitted because the officer’s observation of the tank in the car was an unconstitutional search of the car parked in his driveway.

Boggs’ Fourth Amendment rights weren’t violated, the appellate court ruled, because the officer had a legitimate reason for being on Boggs’ property, he didn’t move or manipulate anything in order to see the tank, and he never left the normal routes of ingress or egress. Caselaw also says that the use of a flashlight doesn’t transform an officer’s observations into a search.

The Court of Appeals also ruled the state proved the identity of certain substances admitted into evidence, including pseudoephedrine and anhydrous ammonia, and proved that Boggs’ is a habitual offender.

The appellate court affirmed his 40-year aggregate sentence, but did remand the case to the trial court to correct the sentencing order to reflect that Boggs was sentenced to 15 years for his Class B felony conviction of attempted dealing in methamphetamine, enhanced by 25 years for the habitual offender finding.
 

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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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