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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit issues two Indiana decisions today

In USA v. Harris, Antone C. (SD Ind., Sarah Evans Barker, Judge), a 13-page opinion, Circuit Judge Williams writes:

When a criminal defendant makes a substantial preliminary showing that the warrant to search his property was procured by intentional or reckless misrepresentations in the warrant affidavit, and such statements were necessary to the finding of probable cause, the Fourth Amendment entitles the defendant to a hearing to challenge the constitutionality of the search. Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 155-56 (1978). Antone Harris is serving a twenty-year prison sentence for possessing with intent to distribute more than fifty grams of cocaine base. In this appeal, Harris claims that the district court erred when it denied his request for a Franks hearing. Because Harris has made a substantial preliminary showing that the search of his home was unlawful pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision in Franks, we conclude that the Fourth Amendment entitles him to a hearing to challenge the veracity of the affidavit that police used to procure the search warrant. Therefore, we reverse the judgment of the district court.

In Stinnett, David A. v LaPlante, R. S (SD Ind., Richard L. Young, Judge), a 12-page opinion, Circuit Judge Stykes writes:

In 1995 David Stinnett was diagnosed as suffering from depression and as a result has been collecting substantial monthly benefits from two different policies of long-term disability insurance. In 1996, and again in 1997, the Internal Revenue Service made assessments against Stinnett for unpaid federal income taxes. In May 2000 Stinnett filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, and a dispute soon erupted between Stinnett, the Bankruptcy Trustee, and the IRS as to entitlement to the disability insurance payments. In several appeals taken from rulings by the bankruptcy court, the district court concluded that the disability payments are property of the bankruptcy estate, that the government’s tax lien attached to these payments, and that Stinnett is entitled to an exemption of $6000 per month under Indiana law. Stinnett has filed two separate appeals from the orders of the district court, which we have consolidated for decision. We agree with the district court’s conclusion that the disability payments are property of the bankruptcy estate and also that Stinnett is entitled to exempt only $6000—not 100%—of the disability payments. Because the disability payments are property of the bankruptcy estate, Stinnett lacks standing to raise the tax lien issue on appeal.

Accordingly, in appeal No. 05-1335, the order of the district court is AFFIRMED. Appeal No. 05-1733 is DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 27, 2006 11:02 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions