Court of Appeals to hear case at ISU

By: ISU Communications and Marketing Staff, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
October 14, 2009

Evidence seized when a police officer arrested a suspect will be debated when the Court of Appeals of Indiana visits Indiana State University to hear oral arguments in Brea Rice v. State of Indiana.

The court will listen to attorneys' arguments during a hearing at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, in Hulman Memorial Student Union Dede I. For the past 10 years, the court has visited Indiana State as part of its program that travels the state to give Indiana residents the opportunity to see the legal system in action. The public is invited to attend the hearing.

"For students to have the opportunity to view the Indiana Court of Appeals in action is an exceptional learning experience," said Linda Maule, Indiana State associate professor of political science. "It exposes them to a function of government they don't often see, but impacts their lives."
A panel of judges will hear evidence whether evidence seized during an arrest can be used against the defendant.

On June 24, 2008, two Mooresville Police Department officers executed a search warrant at a home on Harrison Street looking for stolen property that was allegedly stored in the residence. Although the two officers did not find stolen property for which they were looking, they noticed a motorcycle helmet in the garage. Later the officers learned the helmet had been reported stolen in Hamilton County.

After receiving an arrest warrant for Brea Rice, who lived at the house, on the charge of receiving stolen property, Rice was arrested on July 9, 2008. When officers searched Rice at the police station, they found two marijuana joints and a small amount of methamphetamine, they said, and also charged her with possession of the two drugs.

When the charge of receiving stolen property was later dismissed, Rice filed a motion to suppress the drug evidence. The trial court denied Rice's motion, but found that the affidavit supporting the arrest warrant charging Rice with stolen property lacked probable cause. However, the court ruled, the officer did nothing wrong in acting on the arrest warrant.

Rice then appealed that decision.

Contact: Linda Maule, Indiana State University, associate professor of political science, at 812-237-3941 or lmaule@indstate.edu

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, assistant director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or jennifer.sicking@indstate.edu