Appeals on Wheels: Convicted man urges suppression of pre-Miranda statements

The Indiana Court of Appeals will travel to northern Indiana next week to hear oral arguments in a case about the admission of a man’s statements made to police after being handcuffed but before he was read his Miranda rights.

A jury found Michael Scanland guilty of Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia after he admitted to police officers that he had been using methamphetamine all day. After Scanland admitted to using meth, a parole officer handcuffed him. Scanland then asked if the officer would go to his house and retrieve his meth pipes so his girlfriend would not find them.

The parole officer, together with other parole officers and a police officer, went to Scanland’s home and found the pipes. They then obtained a warrant and confiscated the pipes, and subsequent testing revealed the presence of meth.

Scanland filed a pretrial motion to suppress the statements he made to the police, claiming his statements were inadmissible because he had not been read his Miranda rights before the statements were made. The trial court denied the motion, and Scanland was convicted.

On appeal, Scanland argues the Marion Superior Court erred by admitting evidence of his statements to the police, claiming they were obtained in violation of his Miranda rights and therefore could not form a valid basis to search his home. Scanland also asserts the evidence found in his home should have been suppressed.

In contrast, the state argues Scanland was not subject to custodial interrogation and there was, therefore, no need to advise him of his Miranda rights. It also argues the search based upon Scanland’s statements was accordingly valid.

Indiana Court of Appeals Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik and Judges Paul Mathias and Elizabeth Tavitas will travel to Winamac Community High School in Pulaski County for arguments at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. Arguments in the case of Michael Scanland v. State of Indiana, 19A-CR-00790, will be held at 715 School Drive, Winamac, 46996.

Also, on Monday, the same panel will travel to Starke County for arguments in Jacob T. Kingman v. State of Indiana, 19A-CR-01661.

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