Traffic Stop

Judges affirm man’s handgun conviction

January 18, 2017
Jennifer Nelson
A Vanderburgh Circuit judge tendered a proper jury instruction on the charge of carrying a handgun without a license, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday in affirming a man’s conviction.
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COA reverses handgun conviction because officer didn’t follow protocol

December 5, 2016
Olivia Covington
A police officer did not follow the proper protocol for conducting an inventory search of a detainee’s car, thus making the search impermissible under state and federal constitutions and prohibiting the admittance of any evidence obtained through the search.
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Justices rule in favor of woman alleging 'warrantless intrusion' by officer

November 29, 2016
Olivia Covington
Although a police officer believed that a Hamilton County woman could have been injured after being stuck under her car, the facts surrounding the situation did not lend themselves to an emergency situation that could justify the “warrantless intrusion” of stopping the woman’s car after she drove away.
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Justices consider transfer of 2 cases related to traffic stops, strip searches

November 23, 2016
Olivia Covington
The justices of the Indiana Supreme Court are deciding whether to grant transfer in two cases related to the permissibility of certain police officer actions after hearing arguments on petitions to transfer Tuesday.
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Indiana congressional candidate sues over arrest

October 27, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana congressional candidate has sued a police officer who accused him of assault during a traffic stop last month.
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Charges dropped against congressional candidate from Indiana

October 25, 2016
 Associated Press
Charges have been dropped against a Libertarian congressional candidate from Indiana who was arrested in Louisville after an alleged struggle over his phone during a September traffic stop.
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Federal judge dismisses class-action lawsuit against Carmel

October 7, 2016
Lindsey Erdody, IBJ Staff
A U.S. district court judge has dismissed a federal class-action lawsuit filed against the city of Carmel for its enforcement of a local traffic ordinance.
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Innocent pleas entered for 4 Notre Dame players, Redfield

August 30, 2016
 Associated Press
Not guilty pleas have been entered for two Notre Dame football players and a third kicked off the team following his arrest on misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession.
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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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Indiana woman seeks to end suit against preaching ex-trooper

August 10, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana woman who sued a now former state trooper, claiming he violated her civil rights by preaching to her during a traffic stop, wants to end her lawsuit.
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Majority: Trooper’s questioning violated Seatbelt Enforcement Act

July 27, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A state trooper’s recollection of a woman’s name on a national drug registry does not provide an independent basis of reasonable suspicion justifying him to investigate more than a seat belt violation that initiated the traffic stop, the Indiana Court of Appeals held in a 2-1 decision. As such, the judges reversed the woman’s motion to suppress evidence that led to a drug charge.
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COA majority rules dog sniff did not prolong stop

June 30, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a woman’s motion to suppress evidence found at a traffic stop in a 2-1 decision after the court ruled the stop was not extended by an officer’s check of the car with his dog.
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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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Indiana State Police trooper sued again over proselytizing

April 6, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana State Police trooper faces a second lawsuit accusing him of preaching his faith to citizens while on duty.
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COA: Anonymous tipster’s information enough for conviction

March 8, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon after it found an anonymous tipster’s information constituted reasonable suspicion.
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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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Carmel faces federal class-action lawsuit over traffic law

January 12, 2016
Lindsey Erdody, IBJ Staff
The city of Carmel is facing a class-action lawsuit in federal court for its enforcement of a local traffic ordinance a state appeals court has already struck down.
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Justices take intoxicated motorist case that divided COA

December 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether any answer short of an “unqualified, unequivocal assent” to a chemical test constitutes a refusal resulting in a driver’s license suspension, as the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded in September.
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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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Temporary tag in rear window gets conviction tossed

November 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Hendricks County Sheriff’s deputy’s ignorance of where a temporary license plate can be displayed on a car led the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn a drunken-driving conviction.
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Boilerplate language can’t support warrant for blood draw

October 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a woman’s motion to suppress a blood sample taken after a police officer suspected her of drunken driving. The judges found the affidavit did not contain specific information alleging the woman drove a vehicle.
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Rehearing upholds drug conviction resulting from traffic stop

August 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indianapolis man who got a second bite at the apple could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals his traffic stop lasted too long.
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COA orders corrected notification sent to BMV, suggests form update

June 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial court to send a corrected notice to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that shows judgment was only entered on two of the four charges a man was convicted of related to his speeding in Brown County. The judges also suggested that the BMV update its form to avoid future confusion as shown in this case.
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  1. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  2. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  3. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  4. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

  5. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

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