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Monday, January 26, 2009

Ind. Decisions - 4th amendment decision appealed to SCOTUS

Petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis was filed in the U.S. Supreme Court Jan. 12, 2009 and docketed (08-8163) Jan. 14th, in the case of Willie Eaton v. State of Indiana.

Attorney for Petitioner F. Thomas Schornhorst has provided the ILB with a copy of the petition. Schornhorst is a professor emeritus at IU Law-Bloomington.

Here are the Indiana Court of Appeals and Supreme Court opinions in the Eaton case. Per this June 30, 2008 ILB entry:

Rucker, J., dissents with separate opinion. [which concludes] Today’s ruling invites the Government’s search of a suspect’s business, home, garage, tool shed, workshop, or any other property a suspect may use simply because a law enforcement officer believes, without more, that evidence of crime can be found there. In my view this is an anathema to the mandate of the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. There were no bases in this case, substantial or otherwise, for the magistrate to conclude that probable cause existed for the issuance of a search warrant. Eaton’s motion to suppress should have been granted. Therefore I agree with the result reached by the Court of Appeals and would reverse the judgment of the trial court.
Here is Professor Schornhorst's cert petition.

The ILB has also received this description / endorsement of the petition, via a public defender:

Are you sick of the boilerplate allegations of police knowledge - or training in support of search warrants for homes, cars, etc. that have no articulated factual basis for a NEXUS between some isolated deal and the home or car to be searched?

Are you sick of illegal GENERAL warrants that authorize seizure of "any and all property" or property "including but not limited to..."

Read Professor Schornhorsts' brilliantly researched cert petition in the Eaton case - where the Ind SCT reversed a grant of suppressioin by the IN CTAPP .

Useful arguments, clear exposition of the inferential leaps that are being made to uphold these nexus-less general warrants, and favorable cites from other jurisdictions, state and federal.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 26, 2009 12:47 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions