Evidentiary hearing held in South Bend Police tape case
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The trial to determine the ultimate fate of the South Bend Police tapes has been delayed by a hearing to determine whether three officers have standing in the case. Once that is determined, the trial, which could result in the tapes being released, can begin.
This case began in 2012 when the South Bend Common Council sued the South Bend administration because it refused to turn over the tapes, which were recordings of South Bend Police officer Brian Young's phone line 6031.
The recordings in question were made in 2011 - on February 4, April 5, June 3, June 6, June 16, June 27, July 14 and July 15.
Four officers and Young's wife intervened in the case to prevent the tapes from being released. The court has already determined they no longer have standing in the case because they were party to a portion of the case that has already been decided in a summary judgment.
Thursday's hearing is to determine whether officers Sheldon Scott, James Taylor and Scott Hanley have standing in this case. They intervened in the case in 2018.
The council says the officers do not have standing because they have evidence they are not on the recordings at issue.
Once that decision is made, the case between the common council and the administration can begin. The trial was originally scheduled to begin Thursday.
The only issue remaining at trial is whether or not police department officers and employees gave implied consent to the recording of their telephone conversations on line 6031 at the South Bend Police Department.
A judge has already found the recordings made on February 4, 2011 are not covered by the Indiana Wire Tap Act which does not prevent it from being given to the council.
The question is whether the recordings made after February 4, 2011 can be released.
The February 4, 2011 date is when Karen DePaepe, a police department employee, listened to a recording on line 6031 and heard something that concerned her.
Two weeks later, she discussed the concerning conversation with then Police Chief Darryl Boykins. Chief Boykins did not instruct DePaepe to stop recording line 6031 so the line continued to be recorded.
If the court determines the officers gave implied consent to have their phone lines recorded, the recordings after February 4, 2011 are not in violation of state and federal wiretap laws, which require prior consent of at least one party, then the rest of the tapes can be released.