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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Best v. City of Portland (ND Ind., Judge Lee), a 10-page opinion, Judge Williams writes:

In this appeal we must deter- mine the preclusive effect in a federal civil suit of the denial of a suppression motion in an earlier Indiana state criminal case that never reached the merits of the criminal charges. The denial of the suppression motion was affirmed in an interlocutory appeal, but the affirmance was followed by a motion in the trial court to reconsider based on new evidence. The trial court never ruled on that second motion because the govern- ment dismissed the prosecution. Applying Indiana law, as we must under 28 U.S.C. § 1738, we hold that the denial of the suppression motion does not have later preclusive effect because it was an interlocutory ruling that was never subsumed within a final judgment on the merits. We also hold that the use of a criminal defendant’s statements at a suppression hearing held after charges are initiated constitutes use in a “criminal case,” and can be the basis of a valid Fifth Amendment claim.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 3, 2009 11:59 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions