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. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

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  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.