Monday, March 01, 2010

Indiana has a state constitution

In State v. Peters, No. 05A02-0908-CR-735 (Ind. App. Feb. 23, 2010), the Indiana COA upheld a suppression order based on the Indiana Constitution, recognizing that the question is separate from a Fourth Amendment claim:

First, the State has waived the issue of whether the officers’ initial, warrantless search was constitutional because the State has failed to make any argument on the issue of the reasonableness of that search under Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. The trial court unambiguously rested its holding on Article I, Section 11, and it is well settled that Indiana courts "interpret and apply Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution independently from federal Fourth Amendment jurisprudence." Our investigation under Section 11 places the burden on the State to demonstrate that each relevant intrusion was reasonable in light of the totality of the circumstances.
The decision also demonstrates the importance of raising state constitutional issues at the district court level.

Hat tip to

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