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Reasonable suspicion needed to search home detention participant’s residence

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the suppression of evidence found at a Tippecanoe County home by community corrections officers, finding the roommate of the man on home detention had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Tippecanoe County Community Corrections officers conducted a search of Jordan Sullivan’s home and found drugs in the bedroom of his roommate Brishen Vanderkolk. Sullivan signed a form before participating in home detention that allowed searches and seizures by TCCC, law enforcement or the court of his person, his property and his vehicle at any time.

In December 2012, when Vanderkolk was not at home, TCCC officers went to Sullivan’s residence and searched it. After smelling drugs, they did a protective sweep of the home, leading to the discovery of contraband from several rooms in the house, including Vanderkolk’s bedroom.

He filed a motion to suppress, which was granted by the trial court. At the suppression hearing, a TCCC officer testified that Sullivan’s residence was searched to ensure his compliance with the program, not because of any suspicion of illegal or improper activity.

Vanderkolk had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the residence because he lived there, so he may challenge the search on Fourth Amendment grounds, the divided Court of Appeals ruled in State of Indiana v. Brishen R. Vanderkolk, 79A04-1308-CR-407.

It is clear based on caselaw that reasonable suspicion must support a warrantless search of a probationer, or as in the instant case, a community corrections participant.

“The evidence at Vanderkolk’s suppression hearing showed that the TCCC officers believed Sullivan’s waiver justified suspicionless searches merely to ensure compliance. But the special need of supervising community corrections participants, while dispensing with probable cause, still required reasonable suspicion that evidence of Sullivan’s noncompliance would be found.,” Senior Judge Betty Barteau wrote in the majority opinion.

Judge L. Mark Bailey concurred in result in a separate opinion, and Judge James Kirsch dissented without opinion.  

 

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  1. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  2. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  3. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  4. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  5. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

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