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Transfer granted to traffic-stop cases

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted transfer to three cases dealing with traffic stops.

In Thomas A. Armfield v. State of Indiana, No. 29A02-0802-CR-101, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed Thomas Armfield's conviction of operating a vehicle after a lifetime suspension, ruling the trial court didn't err in admitting evidence from a traffic stop during Armfield's trial. The police officer made the stop of Armfield's car based on a random license plate check revealing Armfield was the owner. Previous caselaw has ruled that knowledge that a registered owner of a car who has a suspended license is enough to constitute reasonable suspicion for an officer to initiate a traffic stop.

In Damen Holly v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0711-CR-930, the Court of Appeals overturned Damen Holly's drug conviction because the traffic stop that led to his arrest was unconstitutional. The appellate court ruled the officer who stopped the car Holly was driving didn't have reasonable suspicion there was criminal activity going on in the car. Holly was originally pulled over after the officer ran a license plate check of the car to show it was registered to a woman.

In Kail Fortson v. State of Indiana, No. 82A04-0801-CR-16, the appellate court reversed Fortson's conviction of receiving stolen property because the judges believed the circumstances of the case didn't support a reasonable inference Fortson had knowledge the car he was driving was stolen. Fortson was charged with receiving stolen property after police pulled over the car he was driving that matched the description and license plate number of a car reported stolen. Judge Nancy Vaidik dissented based on the evidence that Fortson was found in possession of the truck about two miles away from where it was stolen just a few hours earlier. The jury that heard the case rejected his explanation that he borrowed the car, she wrote, and based on the totality of the circumstances, she would affirm his conviction.

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  1. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  2. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  4. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

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