You have probably heard the phrase, “I plead the Fifth”, at some point in your life, whether it be on a movie, television, or just in everyday talk. But what does this mean? How far does it extend? On August 21, 2018, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided a case of first impression1 in which the protection of the Fifth Amendment was greatly increased and protected citizens from making incriminating statements by what the contents of their smartphone “says”! This blog covers what you need to know in this the development of the Fifth Amendment to avoid your smart phone ...
Tag: United States Constitution
August 28, 2018CD
Today, more than ever, children are being raised by third parties, including step-parents. When the non-custodial, biological parent does not stay involved in his/her child’s life, this often leads the step-parent (and child) to want to adopt. If the other biological parent is deceased or consents to the adoption, there is no legal barrier to prevent the adoption (assuming the other statutory requirements for adoption are met, such as having a home study). This blog address when a (living) biological parent’s consent is not required for the adoption filing, the biological parents right to contest his or her lack of ...
August 15, 2018CD
Across the United States, including in Indiana, social trends and financial pressures are driving lawmakers and courts to reconsider key areas of law that are being tested and challenged each day. Since family and criminal law constitute the majority of cases, you must understand these to be an informed citizen and have awareness as it impacts your life and legal suits and those of your friends and family. This blog says in one place at one time the “unsaid” of what is known to and a daily struggle for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, lawmakers’ judges, and attorneys. First, natural (and adoptive) ...
June 29, 2017CD
The point of divorce is to divide and financially separate each party from the other—completely if there are no children; children are subject to the continuing jurisdiction of the court until emancipated or through college. This blog covers the complexities of situations where the parties have a parcel of real property in another state or country, addressing the question: Can a trial court divide this real property, and if so, how is the judgment enforced? Indiana follows the one pot theory; this means that the following real property is subject to the trial court’s (divorce court’s) authority to divide: 1). Property ...
June 13, 2017CD
In today’s digital age, a cell phone or hand-held device is basically a sophisticated hand-held computer as well as a primary means of communication. Given this, there is general uniformity in the law that to search a cell phone or computer, the police have to have probable cause and a search warrant, just like your home. This is guaranteed by state constitutions the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and applies in all states,1 which is important if the state has a weak constitutional provision on search and seizure. The reason is clear, like your home, there is an expectation ...
June 8, 2017CD
A great deal of criminal law turns on bedrock constitutional tenets set forth in the United States Constitution, in particular, the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Anytime police are searching your car or home, the Fourth Amendment applies in several ways. One of the misunderstood concepts is protective sweeps for officer safety, a topic again just addressed by the Indiana Court of Appeals. Obviously, at this time with police officers in some areas being targeted, it makes sense that in a stop of a car or search of a home, a police officer could look for weapons that might pose an ...
May 24, 2017Adam Hayes
Parents have a right to raise their children without state interference under what has been referred to as the most fundamental right in the United States Constitution. However, there is a point where parental decisions cross the line into abuse or neglect or children engage in activities that would be criminal if they were adults. When this occurs, Child Protective Services (CPS) may be notified by any concerned third party and are required to be notified by certain individuals and entities such as medical groups, doctors, therapists, and teachers. There is a statewide toll-free number for notification. A child who is abused ...
April 5, 2017Adam Hayes
Every parent has heard or seen a story about a couple whose child is taken and secreted in another state by the other when troubles develop in the relationship. This has been a problem since the 1960s. In 1968, a uniform act was proposed that would ultimately be adopted in all states in some forms by the early 1980s. This blog post generally summarizes the potential use of the UCCJA. In simple terms, the UCCJA allows a parent who files for divorce or takes action in the state where the child is removed to, to have the courts in both states ...
April 13, 2016Adam Hayes