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Search & Seizure – Applicability of Exclusionary Rule – Violation of Nonconstitutional Right — Unauthorized Practice of Law

State v. Debra Noble, 2002 WI 64, reversing 2001 WI App 145, 246 Wis. 2d 533, 629 N.W.2d 31
For Noble: Thomas H. Boyd

Issue/Holding: Suppression of evidence is required only where it has been obtained in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights or of a statute specifically providing for suppression as a remedy. ¶14.

Issue: Whether, assuming that a detective’s examining defendant at a John Doe proceeding amounted to violation of the unauthorized practice of law statute, the defendant’s answers should be suppressed at a criminal proceeding for perjury based on those answers.

Holding: Noble’s constitutional rights weren’t violated: she was questioned only briefly, and wasn’t made a target of the Doe proceeding, ¶¶21-23; the detective’s participation wasn’t a “drastic step beyond his permissible duties” and didn’t make the proceeding “particularly unfair and oppressive,” ¶24; there’s no showing that the judge “acted partially” in permitting the detective to question Noble, ¶26. Further, there is no John Doe-related exception to the general rule that in the absence of statutory mandate, a constitutional violation is required for suppression. ¶28.


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