Bryant v. State, No. 27S04-9409-CR-865

Docket NºNo. 27S04-9409-CR-865
Citation660 N.E.2d 290
Case DateDecember 27, 1995
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 290

660 N.E.2d 290
64 USLW 2511
Ross BRYANT, Appellant (Defendant Below),
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee (Plaintiff Below).
No. 27S04-9409-CR-865.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Dec. 27, 1995.
Concurring and Dissenting Opinion of
Justice DeBruler, Jan. 2, 1996.

Page 293

Patrick N. Ryan, Ryan & Payne, Marion, for appellant.

Pamela Carter, Attorney General, Suzann Weber Lupton, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, for appellee.

ON PETITION TO TRANSFER

SHEPARD, Chief Justice.

We confront several questions of first impression involving Indiana's new drug tax. The State imposed both civil and criminal sanctions on appellant Ross Bryant for his failure to pay the Indiana Controlled Substance

Page 294

Excise Tax (CSET). 1 He appealed the criminal penalty, claiming he was twice punished for the same offense. We hold that the civil and criminal penalties were each jeopardies, and that both cannot be imposed without violating the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States Constitution.

I. Statement of Facts

In August 1992, Grant County Sheriff's deputies responded to an alarm at Bryant's home. Discovering an open door with fresh pry marks on it, they entered the dwelling and searched it. There was no one in the home, but police found over 250 marijuana plants in the basement, outhouse and garden. Officers then obtained a warrant and completed a more thorough search which uncovered marijuana seeds, dried marijuana and other drug paraphernalia. When police questioned Bryant upon his return, he confessed that the marijuana was his and that he was growing it for his own use. Police then arrested Bryant and transported him and the objects seized to the Grant County Jail.

The deputies next contacted the Indiana Department of Revenue to report their findings. The Department dispatched a special agent to the jail to determine the amount of Controlled Substance Excise Tax owed by Bryant. 2 The agent weighed the marijuana and assessed a tax of $83,680. 3 The agent then met with Bryant and demanded payment. Because Bryant did not immediately pay the CSET, the agent served him with a "Record of Jeopardy Findings and Jeopardy Assessment Notice and Demand" which required payment of the CSET plus a 100 percent penalty for nonpayment of the tax. 4 Bryant's total obligation to the State was thus $167,360. The very next day, the Department levied on Bryant's "checking and/or savings accounts, contents of safe deposit boxes, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, ... [and] any other evidence of indebtedness" as payment on this obligation. (R. 456.) Counsel informed us at oral argument that the Department also seized Bryant's home.

The State next charged Bryant with failure to pay the CSET, a class D felony; 5 growing and cultivating more than 30 grams of marijuana, a class D felony; 6 maintaining a common nuisance, a class D felony; 7 and, possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana, a class A misdemeanor. 8

In April 1993, Bryant was convicted on all four counts. The court sentenced him to two and a half years in prison on each of the four felony counts and one year for misdemeanor possession. His sentences were to run concurrently, with one year suspended to probation.

Page 295

Bryant subsequently appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals. After briefing was completed, I transferred the case to this Court pursuant to the authority granted me by Ind.Appellate Rule 4(D).

Bryant raises the following issues on appeal:

1. Whether the State violated the Double Jeopardy Clause by assessing both the CSET's civil and criminal sanctions against Bryant; 9

2. Whether the trial court erroneously convicted Bryant for failure to pay the CSET based on evidence that he grew and cultivated marijuana;

3. Whether the trial court erred when it admitted evidence obtained in the search of Bryant's home;

4. Whether the trial court erred by admitting evidence of Bryant's prior convictions; and,

5. Whether there was sufficient evidence to convict Bryant of possessing marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance.

We hold the Department's assessment of the CSET against Bryant was a jeopardy. His criminal prosecution for failure to pay the CSET constituted a second jeopardy in violation of his double jeopardy rights under the United States Constitution, as did his criminal prosecutions for growing and possessing marijuana. Accordingly, we vacate his conviction on those counts. 10 We affirm his conviction on the remaining count.

II. The CSET and Double Jeopardy

Bryant claims that because the State assessed the CSET and its 100 percent penalty for nonpayment against him and later convicted him of a felony for nonpayment, it violated his double jeopardy rights under the United States and Indiana Constitutions. 11 U.S. CONST. AMEND. V; IND. CONST. art. I, § 14. 12

The Double Jeopardy Clause provides that no person shall "be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." U.S. CONST. AMEND. V. This clause is applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. Benton v. Maryland, 395 U.S. 784, 89 S.Ct. 2056, 23 L.Ed.2d 707 (1969). It protects a person from suffering (1) a second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal, (2) a second prosecution for the same offense after conviction and (3) multiple punishments for the same offense. North Carolina v. Pearce, 395 U.S. 711, 89 S.Ct. 2072, 23 L.Ed.2d 656 (1969).

Jeopardy is, in its constitutional sense, a technical term which has traditionally applied only to criminal prosecutions. Evans v. Brown, 109 U.S. 180, 3 S.Ct. 83, 27 L.Ed. 898 (1883). Departing from this historical rule, however, the U.S. Supreme Court has held in recent years that particular forfeitures, civil fines and financial exactions can be "jeopardies." Montana Dep't of Revenue v. Kurth Ranch, 511 U.S. 767, 114 S.Ct. 1937, 128 L.Ed.2d 767 (1994); United States v. Halper, 490 U.S. 435, 109 S.Ct. 1892, 104 L.Ed.2d 487 (1989). Cf. Austin v. United States, 509 U.S. 602, 113 S.Ct. 2801, 125 L.Ed.2d 488 (1993). In determining whether a jeopardy has occurred, the Court has said that the sanction's label of "criminal" or "civil" is not controlling. Halper, 490 U.S. at 447, 109 S.Ct. at 1901; see also United States v. Haywood, 864 F.Supp. 502, 506 (W.D.N.C.1994) (description of sanction as "civil" does not foreclose possibility it is a jeopardy). Rather, the test is whether the

Page 296

civil sanction constitutes a "punishment." Kurth Ranch, 511 U.S. at ----, 114 S.Ct. at 1946. When the sanction serves the goals of punishment rather than the remedial purposes of compensating the government for its loss, it is a "punishment" and thus a "jeopardy" within the Double Jeopardy Clause. Id. The sanction's essence as a punishment can be identified "only by assessing the character of the actual sanctions imposed on the individual by the machinery of the state." Halper, 490 U.S. at 447, 109 S.Ct. at 1901.

A. Is the CSET's Civil Sanction a Punishment?

The Supreme Court recently delineated the analysis for determining whether a tax is a punishment in Kurth Ranch, 511 U.S. 767, 114 S.Ct. 1937, a case bearing strong resemblance to the one before us. In Kurth, the Montana Department of Revenue sought to impose both criminal and tax penalties for the same possession of marijuana. In determining whether the tax was a "punishment" and thus a jeopardy under double jeopardy analysis, the Court examined four factors: the tax's deterrent purpose (as opposed to revenue purpose), its high rate, its prerequisite of the commission of a crime before assessment, and the nature of the tax. Ultimately, the Court found that when considered in tandem these factors revealed that the Montana tax was a punishment and thus a second jeopardy imposed on the taxpayer in violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause.

To apply the Kurth analysis, we examine first the purpose and rate of the CSET. 13 It is apparent that the CSET is aimed at least partly towards deterrence. One who pays the CSET receives a receipt that admonishes him that delivery, sale, possession or manufacture of a controlled substance is a crime. Ind.Code Ann. § 6-7-3-10(a) (West Supp.1994). The taxpayer is required to show this receipt to officials to prove he has paid the tax, but the receipt is valid for only forty-eight hours. Ind.Code Ann. § 6-7-3-10(b) (West Supp.1994). A taxpayer who possesses the same drug for over forty-eight hours must therefore repay the tax every forty-eight hours to continue to possess a valid receipt and thereby avoid the CSET's additional sanctions. Both the receipt's admonition and the limited period for which it is valid suggest a deterrent purpose.

Second, just as the Kurth Court found the high rate of the Montana tax demonstrated its punitive character, we find the CSET's rate similarly revealing. The Montana tax was imposed at the rate of $100 per ounce, roughly eight times the market value of the marijuana taxed. Kurth Ranch, 511 U.S. at ----, n. 12, 114 S.Ct. at 1943, n. 12. Indiana's CSET imposes a tax of $40.00 per gram, or $1,133.96 per ounce. This is a rate of over ninety times the market value and more than eleven times the rate imposed in Kurth. 14 It indicates a punitive character.

The third factor the Kurth Court found suggestive of the tax's punitive nature was the fact that it was conditioned on the commission of a crime and was exacted only after the possessor was arrested. The Court found these conditions " 'significant of [the tax's] penal and prohibitory intent rather than the gathering of revenue.' " Kurth Ranch, 511 U.S. at ----, 114 S.Ct. at 1947 (quoting United States v. Constantine, 296 U.S. 287, 295, 56 S.Ct. 223, 227, 80 L.Ed. 233 (1935)). The CSET is similarly conditioned on the commission of a crime. It is imposed only on individuals who deliver, possess or manufacture controlled substances "in violation

Page 297

of IC 35-48-4 or 21 U.S.C. 841 through 21 U.S.C. 852." Ind.Code Ann. § 6-7-3-5...

To continue reading

Request your trial
92 practice notes
  • Commissioner of Revenue v. Mullins
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • November 19, 1998
    ...at 590-591; Wilson v. Department of Revenue, 169 Ill.2d 306, 314- Page 7 315, 214 Ill.Dec. 849, 662 N.E.2d 415 (1996); Bryant v. State, 660 N.E.2d 290, 294 (Ind.1995) (same), cert. denied, 519 U.S. 926, 117 S.Ct. 293, 136 L.Ed.2d 213 (1996). See also Desimone v. State, 111 Nev. 1221, 1225-1......
  • Waters v. Farr, No. E2006-02225-SC-R11-CV.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • July 24, 2009
    ...principles. See, e.g., Wilson v. Dep't of Revenue, 169 Ill.2d 306, 214 Ill.Dec. 849, 662 N.E.2d 415, 419-21 (1996); Bryant v. State, 660 N.E.2d 290, 296-97 (Ind.1995); Comm'r of Revenue v. Mullins, 428 Mass. 406, 702 N.E.2d 1, 5-8 (1998); Desimone v. State, 116 Nev. 195, 996 P.2d 405, 410-1......
  • Myers v. State, No. 72S01-0406-CR-249.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 21, 2005
    ...Gregory-Bey v. State, 669 N.E.2d 154, 157 n. 8 (Ind.1996); Tobias v. State, 666 N.E.2d 68, 72 n. 1 (Ind.1996); Bryant v. State, 660 N.E.2d 290, 295 n. 12 (Ind.1995); Bivins v. State, 642 N.E.2d 928, 936 n. 1 (Ind.1994); St. John v. State, 523 N.E.2d 1353, 1355 (Ind.1988). We thus address th......
  • Wheeler v. Lawson, No. 07-1791.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 21, 2008
    ...170 Ind.App. 29, 351 N.E.2d 43, 46 (1976). After Wells, Indiana courts continued to require such a showing. See, e.g., Bryant v. State, 660 N.E.2d 290, 302 (Ind.1995). In 1998, however, the Indiana General Assembly amended Indiana Code § 35-48-4-13(b) to add the phrase "one (1) or more time......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
92 cases
  • Commissioner of Revenue v. Mullins
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • November 19, 1998
    ...at 590-591; Wilson v. Department of Revenue, 169 Ill.2d 306, 314- Page 7 315, 214 Ill.Dec. 849, 662 N.E.2d 415 (1996); Bryant v. State, 660 N.E.2d 290, 294 (Ind.1995) (same), cert. denied, 519 U.S. 926, 117 S.Ct. 293, 136 L.Ed.2d 213 (1996). See also Desimone v. State, 111 Nev. 1221, 1225-1......
  • Waters v. Farr, No. E2006-02225-SC-R11-CV.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Tennessee
    • July 24, 2009
    ...principles. See, e.g., Wilson v. Dep't of Revenue, 169 Ill.2d 306, 214 Ill.Dec. 849, 662 N.E.2d 415, 419-21 (1996); Bryant v. State, 660 N.E.2d 290, 296-97 (Ind.1995); Comm'r of Revenue v. Mullins, 428 Mass. 406, 702 N.E.2d 1, 5-8 (1998); Desimone v. State, 116 Nev. 195, 996 P.2d 405, 410-1......
  • Myers v. State, No. 72S01-0406-CR-249.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • December 21, 2005
    ...Gregory-Bey v. State, 669 N.E.2d 154, 157 n. 8 (Ind.1996); Tobias v. State, 666 N.E.2d 68, 72 n. 1 (Ind.1996); Bryant v. State, 660 N.E.2d 290, 295 n. 12 (Ind.1995); Bivins v. State, 642 N.E.2d 928, 936 n. 1 (Ind.1994); St. John v. State, 523 N.E.2d 1353, 1355 (Ind.1988). We thus address th......
  • Wheeler v. Lawson, No. 07-1791.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 21, 2008
    ...170 Ind.App. 29, 351 N.E.2d 43, 46 (1976). After Wells, Indiana courts continued to require such a showing. See, e.g., Bryant v. State, 660 N.E.2d 290, 302 (Ind.1995). In 1998, however, the Indiana General Assembly amended Indiana Code § 35-48-4-13(b) to add the phrase "one (1) or more time......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT