ILNews

Court grants 1 transfer, denies 36

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether counsel can inspect police reports that are already used by the state to refresh the recollection of a witness at trial.

Last week, the high court granted one transfer out of more than three dozen cases considered for review by the state's high court. The case Thabit Gault v. State of Indiana , 27A02-0603-CR-224, involves a Grant County man's appeal of his 2004 arrest relating to felony possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

At trial, defense attorney Shane Beal cross-examined an officer who'd arrested Gault and, after the officer expressed uncertainty, the prosecutor gave him a copy of the police report to read before testifying. Beal asked for time to read the report, but the prosecutor invoked the work product privilege and the trial court determined it was not discoverable evidence and denied the request.

On appeal, Gault contended that he and his attorney should have been permitted to review the report pursuant to Indiana Evidence Rule 612. The Court of Appeals affirmed that in a 2-1 decision Feb. 13, holding that the trial court should have allowed Gault to see the report but that the denial did not constitute reversible error. Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented.

Arguments have not been set for this case. Along with this transfer, the justices denied transfer of 36 cases - including John Doe v. Town of Plainfield (http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/02060701jts.pdf), which the Court of Appeals decided in February that a resident can sue the city anonymously in opposition of an ordinance banning sex offenders from parks and recreational areas.
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  1. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  2. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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