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Membres v. State

889 N.E.2d 265 (2008)

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Membres v. State

Indiana Supreme Court

889 N.E.2d 265 (2008)

Facts

Police investigated George Membres (defendant) for drug trafficking. A confidential informant had seen another drug dealer at Membres’s home and believed Membres kept large quantities of marijuana in the home. This informant had given police reliable information between 40 and 50 times in the past, leading to convictions on more than three occasions. Police surveilling Membres’s home observed a car belonging to a suspected drug dealer parked there. Relying on this information, one officer seized Membres’s trash from the curb on collection day, finding 25 burnt joints, marijuana, baggies with their corners cut off, two empty packs of rolling papers, and mail addressed to Membres. Police obtained a warrant to search the home and seized $57,060 in cash, marijuana, rolling papers, drug paraphernalia, firearms, Rolex watches and other jewelry, cell phones, and documents. The state (plaintiff) charged Membres with drug trafficking and initiated forfeiture proceedings for the seized cash, jewelry, and firearms. Membres moved to stay forfeiture and suppress the evidence. The trial court denied suppression but granted a stay pending Membres’s appeal. On appeal, Membres argued that the search was unlawful under Indiana caselaw released two weeks after the search.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Boehm, J.)

Concurrence/Dissent (Rucker, J.)

Dissent (Sullivan, J.)

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