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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 2 today (and 2 NFP)

For publication opinions today (2):

In M.O. v. Indiana Dept. of Insurance, Indiana Patient's Compensation Fund, a 12-page opinion, Sr. Judge Sharpnack writes:

This case presents issues of which of two statutes sets the interest rate on payments by the Indiana Department of Insurance Patient’s Compensation Fund (“the Fund”) to successful malpractice claimants and of when interest begins to accrue on payments due. The trial court concluded that Indiana Code section 24-4.6-1-101 (1993), with its eight percent rate, applied and that interest began to accrue on the fifteenth day of the month following the end of the claim period in which the claim was filed with the Fund. We agree and affirm.
In Meschach Berry v. State of Indiana, an 8-page opinion, Judge Riley writes:
Appellant-Defendant, Meschach Berry (Berry), appeals his conviction for possession of marijuana, a Class A misdemeanor, Indiana Code § 35-48-4-11(1). We reverse. * * *

A valid inventory search is a “warrantless search of a lawfully impounded automobile if the search is designed to produce an inventory of the vehicle’s contents.” * * *

Berry contends that Officer Sherrell’s decision to impound his vehicle was unreasonable because no statute expressly required his vehicle to be impounded and there was no community caretaking function justification present. * * *

Here, Berry argues that the State provided no evidence that Officer Sherrell’s decision to impound Berry’s vehicle was consistent with standard procedures followed by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. We agree. Officer Sherrell testified that he chose to impound Berry’s vehicle because Berry “didn’t have a valid license and he didn’t have proof of insurance for the vehicle.” * * * Consequently, we conclude that the State failed to prove that an exception to the warrant requirement existed at the time of the inventory search of Berry’s car.

CONCLUSION. Based on the foregoing, we conclude that the search of Berry’s vehicle violated the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Therefore, the trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence obtained through an inventory search of Berry’s automobile. Reversed.

NFP civil opinions today (0):

NFP criminal opinions today (2):

Gregory Foster v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Travis Moore v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 3, 2012 12:40 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions