ILNews

Justices to hear cheek swab, blood draw cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court is set to hear three arguments Thursday, including a case that challenges whether reasonable suspicion alone is sufficient for law enforcement to obtain DNA from a cheek swab.

Justices will hold arguments in Arturo Garcia-Torres v. State of Indiana, No. 64S03-0912-CR-550, in which the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Arturo Garcia-Torres' convictions of rape and burglary and the denial of his motion to suppress DNA evidence from a cheek swab. The appellate court held taking the cheek swab required reasonable suspicion and isn't subject to the advice-of-counsel requirements in Pirtle v. State, 263 Ind. 323 N.E.2d 634 (1975).

Judge Terry Crone dissented because he believed that taking the swab from a custodial suspect requires probable cause under the Fourth Amendment and is subject to the advice-of-counsel requirements of Pirtle. Arguments begin at 9:45 a.m. in the Supreme Court courtroom.

At 10:30 a.m., the high court will hear Roger Brown v. State of Indiana, No. 12S02-0912-CR-560, in which the Court of Appeals ruled the results of Roger Brown's blood-alcohol test shouldn't have been admitted because it was performed by a certified lab technician. The appellate judges held certified lab techs aren't "certified phlebotomists" or otherwise someone trained in getting bodily substance samples under Indiana Code Section 9-30-6-6(j). Roger Brown challenged the admittance of two tests used to prove his intoxication and support his convictions of drunk driving. The appellate court upheld his convictions anyway because it believed the state was able to prove he was intoxicated and his driving caused the victims' injuries.

The justices will also hear Sheehan Construction Co. Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 49A02-0805-CV-420, at 9 a.m. That case involves a dispute over what, if any, coverage was provided by commercial general liability insurance policies after allegedly faulty workmanship was done by Sheehan's subcontractor. The Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the insurers and insurance broker.

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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