Fourth Amendment

Warrantless inventory search of vehicle not unreasonable, COA holds

August 17, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Despite a police officer’s failure to strictly follow relevant procedures for completing a written inventory of items found in an impounded car, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the warrantless search of the car was not unreasonable.
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Man loses appeal over search that led to cocaine charges

July 26, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man on trial for Class A felony counts of dealing cocaine and conspiracy to deal cocaine lost his appeal Tuesday seeking to suppress evidence found in a search of his car.
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Justices: Houseguest couldn’t consent to home search

July 8, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday that a houseguest at a home in which police discovered drugs did not have the apparent authority to consent to a search of the house.
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Evidence found during arrest for public intox is admissible, COA rules

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s misdemeanor cocaine possession conviction after it held the search an officer conducted after finding the man asleep in his car did not violate his Fourth Amendment rights and thus the trial court did not abuse its discretion by admitting the cocaine found during the search.
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High court limits drunken-driving test laws

June 23, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday placed new limits on state laws that make it a crime for motorists suspected of drunken driving to refuse alcohol tests.
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SCOTUS rules for police in search case

June 20, 2016
 Associated Press
A divided U.S. Supreme Court bolstered police powers on Monday, ruling that evidence of a crime in some cases may be used against a defendant even if the police did something wrong or illegal in obtaining it.
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Federal judge weighs order to halt homeless camp sweeps

May 27, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal judge is weighing whether to issue an order barring Fort Wayne from conducting periodic sweeps of the city's homeless camps.
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COA: Man did not have expectation of privacy after he was tracked by GPS

May 26, 2016
Scott Roberts
Tracking of man by GPS did not violate his Fourth Amendment or Indiana constitutional rights, the Court of Appeals ruled, because he did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The appellate court upheld Joseph Sidener's Class C felony burglary conviction and the finding he is an habitual offender.
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COA: Gun evidence lawfully obtained

May 25, 2016
Scott Roberts
In its third Fourth Amendment case in two weeks, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled evidence obtained during a stop of a man who was loitering around an apartment complex and then left suspiciously was lawfully seized. The judges affirmed the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress on interlocutory appeal.
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COA: Stop violated 4th Amendment

May 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
A police officer was not within his community caretaker function when he pulled over a woman who left a gas station after she escaped from getting stuck under car, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled. The public safety issue did not outweigh her right to privacy.
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Man who was visiting friend not subject to illegal search

April 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
A man who was visiting a friend when police found him in possession of a handgun was not a victim of an illegal search, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
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COA: Minor lacks standing in suit against health department

April 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals found a minor was not in danger of sustaining injury from storage of her dried blood spot by the Indiana Department of Health and therefore lacked standing to bring a lawsuit, affirming the judgment of the Marion Superior Court.
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COA: Marijuana evidence obtained during illegal search

April 18, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s conviction of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver in an amount greater than 10 pounds after it found the trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence that violated his Fourth Amendment rights to unreasonable searches and seizures.
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7th Circuit: 4th, 6th Amendment rights not violated in gun case

April 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said a firearm discovered by police was not the product of an illegal seizure and affirmed the denial of a man’s motion to suppress it. The court also held the statement he gave to police did not violate his Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
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Lawsuit: Fort Wayne cleanups violate rights of the homeless

March 31, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana's second-largest city faces a federal lawsuit alleging that it is violating homeless residents' constitutional rights by destroying tents, coats, blankets and other property seized during sweeps of homeless camps.
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Suit alleges pattern of illegal detentions in Fort Wayne

February 10, 2016
Dave Stafford
Three Fort Wayne residents – and perhaps scores more – were illegally detained by police without warrants, probable cause or even the accusation that they had broken the law, a federal lawsuit alleges.
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Arrest, search of woman who walked from police unconstitutional

February 9, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indianapolis police who arrested and searched a woman after she walked away from them violated her Fourth Amendment rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Dog sniff during traffic stop did not violate Constitution

January 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The time it took for the police pup to arrive and sniff around a vehicle did not unreasonably prolong the traffic stop in violation a driver’s Constitutional rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Justices: Officer could open container found after pat-down search

January 22, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer did not commit an unreasonable search when he opened a pill container found following a pat-down search after a man was lawfully placed under arrest for driving without a valid license. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the search under the state constitution.
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Judges split over reversal of drug conviction after inventory search

January 19, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Each member of a panel on the Indiana Court of Appeals authored an opinion regarding a man's marijuana conviction stemming from the discovery of the drug during an inventory search after he was arrested for allegedly driving on a suspended license. Two of the three judges voted to reverse his felony conviction.
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COA affirms weapon charge after suspicious person call

December 31, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of Level 5 felony carrying a handgun without a license failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the weapon was seized from him as he walked down a country road.
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COA upholds vehicle search despite noncompliance with protocol

December 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Even though two Indianapolis police officers did not follow the department’s general order on towing and impounding vehicles after a traffic stop, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s drug convictions.
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Double jeopardy voids two cocaine convictions

September 16, 2015
Dave Stafford
A trial court violated the prohibition against double jeopardy by convicting a man in a bench trial of three felony cocaine possession counts, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in tossing out two of the convictions.
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Teenager loses privacy argument with mom

September 11, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A common argument from teenagers that mom has no right to search their rooms created a case of first impression for the Indiana Court of Appeals. And the appellate court affirmed with the common response that in mom’s house, mom has access.
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7th Circuit: Marion County judge elections unconstitutional

September 9, 2015
Dave Stafford
The way Marion County judges are elected is unconstitutional, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, throwing out a system that assured an even split of Democratic and Republican judges and facilitated a pay-to-play party slating system.
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  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

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