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Court Of Appeals To Hear Argument At Loogootee High School

Last updated on Friday, May 4, 2012

(LOOGOOTEE) - Loogootee High School is site for Appeals Court argument about compelled testimony.

The Court of Appeals of Indiana will conduct oral argument at Loogootee High School on Monday, in a case that challenges a trial court's decision to compel the testimony of people who had not been charged with any crime.

Each side will have 20 minutes to argue before a panel of Judges John G. Baker, Melissa S. May and Elaine B. Brown. All three judges were appointed to the Court of Appeals from southern Indiana counties: Monroe, Vanderburgh and Dubois, respectively.

The argument will begin at 10 a.m. in the school auditorium before students from Loogootee and Shoals high schools. The public also may attend.

The court is conducting the argument by invitation from Martin Circuit Court Judge Lynne E. Ellis.

The case, on appeal from Shelby Superior Court, is titled In Re: Prosecutor's Subpoenas Regarding S.H. and S.C. In this case, S.C. gave birth at her home. Shortly after birth, the baby showed signs of injury.

The State asked the court to grant "use immunity" so the parents could be compelled to submit to interrogation about the incident. The trial court granted the State's petition, and the parents appeal on the ground a prosecutor should not be able to circumvent their constitutional right to remain silent during a pre-charge investigation by granting use immunity. (A witness granted use immunity may be compelled to testify, but cannot be prosecuted on the basis of that testimony. In other words, prosecution can only proceed based on independently developed evidence.)

The Court of Appeals hears oral arguments across Indiana to enable Hoosiers to observe the Court in action and learn more about its indispensable role in Indiana government. The Court has held more than 325 "Appeals on Wheels" at law schools, colleges, high schools and other venues since its centennial in 2000-01.

The Court of Appeals is Indiana's second highest court and reviews both civil and criminal appeals from trial court decisions. An Appeals Court decision is final unless the Indiana Supreme Court grants further review.

For more information about traveling oral arguments, please visit www.in.gov/judiciary/appeals/2332.htm.

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