Monday, February 03, 2014
Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 0 today (and 5 NFP)
For publication opinions today (0):
NFP civil opinions today (2):
NFP criminal opinions today (3):
In William Rinehart v. State of Indiana (NFP), a 12-page, 2-1 reversal that is designated NFP, Judge Bailey writes:
As a result of a handgun found during a police pat-down search in the course of a traffic stop for failure to use a signal, William Rinehart (“Rinehart”) was convicted of Possession of a Handgun Without a License, as a Class C felony. He presents the issue of whether the pat-down search was conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment. We reverse. * * *Jessie L. Johnston v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Here, the testimony does not disclose specific facts that caused Officers Gedig or Norman to entertain a reasonable fear for their safety in issuing a traffic citation for failure to use a turn signal. Instead, it appears that the pat-down search was a routine matter of course when a male was asked to exit a vehicle during a traffic stop. We conclude there was not adequate justification for a pat-down search.
Conclusion. The pat-down search was conducted in violation of Rinehart’s Fourth Amendment rights. Accordingly, the trial court abused its discretion by admitting evidence obtained in that search. Reversed.
FRIEDLANDER, J., concurs.
KIRSCH. J., dissents with separate opinion. [which reads in full] I respectfully dissent.
While I agree with my colleagues that a police officer’s “standard practice” is a not sufficient basis to justify the pat down search, I believe that here there were objective factors justifying the search. The concern for officer safety, the evidence of the presence of illegal drugs in the car, and the officer’s observations are sufficient grounds for the warrantless search and the seizure of the gun.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 3, 2014 01:35 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions