US Marijuana Party

Friday, March 25, 2005

Indiana police restricted on searching trash

By Kevin Corcoran

IN - Criminal investigators can't root through Hoosiers' garbage on mere hunches of finding evidence, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled unanimously today.

Writing for the high court, Justice Theodore Boehm set a new, higher legal standard in which police must offer specific, legitimate reasons for trash searches that include a reasonable expectation of turning up evidence.

"The police can no longer, out of curiosity, come out to see what's in your trash," Indianapolis defense attorney Robert Hammerle said after reviewing the ruling. "We now require more of police officers than we do of raccoons."

In the case, State Police went through the trash of Patrick and Susan May Litchfield of Marshall County. Their names had been obtained from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which had come across the Litchfields in records subpoenaed from companies advertising in High Times, a magazine for marijuana growers, according to court records.


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