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Monday, August 05, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 3 NFP)

For publication opinions today (1):

In Brad Kroft v. State of Indiana, a 7-page opinion, Judge Vaidik writes:

Indiana Code section 9-19-6-4 requires motor vehicles to have two tail lamps that, when lighted, emit a red light plainly visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear. In this case, a state trooper stopped Brad Kroft because one of his two working tail lamps had a dime-sized hole that let out a miniscule amount of white light. Because both tail lamps worked and the tail lamp with the tiny hole was overwhelmingly red when illuminated, we find that the state trooper did not have reasonable suspicion to stop Kroft. We therefore reverse the trial court’s denial of Kroft’s motion to suppress. * * *
[4] We acknowledge our Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Sanders, in which it held that the police officer had reasonable suspicion that the tint on the windows of the defendant’s car was in violation of the Window Tint Statute “such that the initial stop was justified.” Sanders, 989 N.E.2d at 336. However, we find that this case is similar to Ransom v. State, 741 N.E.2d 419 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000), trans. denied, where the defendant did not commit an infraction and therefore the police officer did not have an objectively justifiable reason to stop him. Here, Trooper McCreary thought that it was an infraction to have a broken tail light, but the statute does not prohibit this. Rather, it requires tail lamps, when lighted, to emit a red light plainly visible from 500 feet to the rear. In addition, there was no evidence that Kroft committed the infraction of unsafe vehicle because he did not pose any danger to motorists approaching from behind.
NFP civil opinions today (2):

In Re the Guardianship of C.S. and A.S.: E.R. v. M.S. and D.S. (NFP)

Todd M. Westbrook v. Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Youth Opportunity Center, Inc. (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (1):

Zachariah Galyan v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 5, 2013 11:14 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions