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No constitutional violations occurred when police entered home

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A man’s federal and state constitutional rights were not violated when police officers entered his home without a warrant based on concerns an injured animal or person may be inside.

Police and animal control officers were called to Jonathan Carpenter’s home based on a report of four dogs fighting. When they arrived, they saw the dogs running in and out of the home through an open door. An officer captured three of the dogs and decided to enter the home to search for the fourth dog to make sure there were no other injured animals or people inside. What appeared to be blood was on the walls. No one responded when the officers announced their presence. While searching for the animal, officers found marijuana plants.

Carpenter arrived home while the police were there and was taken into custody. A search warrant was obtained based on what the officers saw in the home, and Carpenter was charged with various drug offenses.

Carpenter filed a motion to suppress, saying the search violated his Fourth Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. The trial court denied his motion, which the appeals court affirmed. The judges found exigent circumstances allowed the officers to execute a warrantless search of the home.

“The trial court did not err when it denied Carpenter’s motion to suppress the evidence against him because the officers had reasonable suspicion to believe a violent crime might have occurred, properly executed a search of the premises for that purpose, and the search did not violate Carpenter’s Fourth Amendment rights,” Judge Melissa May wrote in Jonathan D. Carpenter v. State of Indiana, 02A05-1304-CR-207.

They also found no violation under the Indiana Constitution because the officers had reasonable suspicion there was an injured person inside the home.
 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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