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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues one today

In In Re: Prosecutor's Subpoena Regarding S.H. and S.C.; S.H. v. State of Indiana, a 9-page, 5-0 opinion, Justice Massa writes:

When a prosecutor has neither filed a charge nor initiated a grand jury proceeding, may she nevertheless petition a court to compel a party to testify under a grant of use immunity, when that party is the primary target of the investigation and has asserted the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination? We think not. * * *

We therefore hold that in a situation where, as here, no charges have been filed and no grand jury has been convened, a prosecutor may subpoena witnesses pursuant to Indiana Code § 33-39-1-4; if those witnesses invoke their constitutional right against self-incrimination, however, the prosecutor cannot petition the court to grant them use immunity and compel them to testify without first filing charges or convening a grand jury. Further, we disapprove any language in Indiana Bell that may be read to contradict our holding today.

Conclusion. We reverse the trial court’s ruling on the motion to correct error and remand this case for further proceedings consistent with our opinion.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 27, 2013 03:14 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions