Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department v. Donald Prout - 4/10/14

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Thursday  April 10, 2014 
11:30 AM  EST

11:30 a.m. 49A04-1305-CR-236. Indiana University South Bend. In April 2012, Donald A. Prout was arrested and charged with four counts of class D felony theft based on evidence that he engaged in ghost employment with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department on four occasions.  The State alleged that Prout clocked in at the Sheriff’s Department and his part-time security job at the same time, and thus he received double pay for those hours reported to both entities.  Prout pleaded not guilty on all counts.  In September 2012, the State dismissed all charges against Prout, citing “Evidentiary Problems.”  In December 2012, Prout filed a verified petition for expungement of his arrest records pursuant to Indiana Code Section 35-38-5-1, asserting that expungement was appropriate because no offense had been committed and there was an absence of probable cause.  The trial court granted Prout’s petition.
On appeal, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (“IMPD”) argues that the trial court abused its discretion in granting Prout’s petition for expungement because probable cause existed both at the time of Prout’s arrest and at the time the charges were dismissed.  The parties argue about which time in the proceedings – at arrest or at dismissal – that probable cause is required under Indiana Code Section 35-38-5-1.  IMPD also asserts that Prout did not prove that he did not commit theft, which was his burden in the expungement proceedings.  Prout asserts that IMPD’s arguments are requests for this Court to reweigh the evidence and judge the credibility of witnesses.

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