But I was here when I read the following quote that makes you want to jump on the parapet.
“According to Newton County Sheriff, Don Hartman Sr., random house to house searches are now possible and could be helpful following the Barnes v. STATE of INDIANA Supreme Court ruling issued on May 12th, 2011. When asked three separate times due to the astounding callousness as it relates to trampling the inherent natural rights of Americans, he emphatically indicated that he would use random house to house checks, adding he felt people will welcome random searches if it means capturing a criminal.”
Sheriff Hartman has cried foul on this quote and issued a statement on the Newton County Sheriff's web site
On May 16, 2011, I was contacted by a reporter of an internet radio station. Her question
concerned a recent Indiana Supreme Court decision, allowing police officers to make random
warrantless searches. I advised her that I was not clear on that particular ruling; she
then asked how the Sheriff’s Office conducted searches of residences. I informed her that
searches were only conducted with a warrant, probable cause or when an officer is in hot
pursuit. When questioned about the Supreme Court ruling, I advised her that as police
officers, we enforce those laws set forth by our legislative branch. This reporter then
asked about the violation of Constitutional Rights. This State Supreme Court ruling in my
opinion cannot override our U.S. Constitutional Rights and I’m sure this state ruling will
When I was asked about my thoughts on random searches and how people would react, I gave
her the scenario of looking for a criminal or escapee. I advised her that if people were aware
of this situation, they would gladly let you search a detached garage, outbuilding, etc., if
it meant keeping them safe, but this would only be after securing permission.
This court ruling is just open for lawsuits if a police officer would attempt a random search
without due cause. Somewhere in this conversation things were definitely taken out of context.
I'm now quoted as saying the Sheriff's Office will be conducting random house to house searches.
I want the citizens of Newton County to rest assured that no member of the Newton County
Sheriff’s Office will enter the property of another person without first having a warrant or
probable cause to do so. I strongly stand behind my oath to uphold the Constitution of the
United States of America, as well as that of the State of Indiana.
Sheriff Donald E. Hartman, Sr.
Actual court document here
Regardless the sooner this is challenged the better.