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Gingersnap
05-13-2011, 06:22 PM
Court: No right to resist illegal cop entry into home

By Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 | Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 3:56 pm | (148) Comments

INDIANAPOLIS | Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.

In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

"We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," David said. "We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."

David said a person arrested following an unlawful entry by police still can be released on bail and has plenty of opportunities to protest the illegal entry through the court system.

The court's decision stems from a Vanderburgh County case in which police were called to investigate a husband and wife arguing outside their apartment.

When the couple went back inside their apartment, the husband told police they were not needed and blocked the doorway so they could not enter. When an officer entered anyway, the husband shoved the officer against a wall. A second officer then used a stun gun on the husband and arrested him.

Professor Ivan Bodensteiner, of Valparaiso University School of Law, said the court's decision is consistent with the idea of preventing violence.

"It's not surprising that they would say there's no right to beat the hell out of the officer," Bodensteiner said. "(The court is saying) we would rather opt on the side of saying if the police act wrongfully in entering your house your remedy is under law, to bring a civil action against the officer."

Justice Robert Rucker, a Gary native, and Justice Brent Dickson, a Hobart native, dissented from the ruling, saying the court's decision runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"In my view the majority sweeps with far too broad a brush by essentially telling Indiana citizens that government agents may now enter their homes illegally -- that is, without the necessity of a warrant, consent or exigent circumstances," Rucker said. "I disagree."

Rucker and Dickson suggested if the court had limited its permission for police entry to domestic violence situations they would have supported the ruling.

NWTimes (http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_ec169697-a19e-525f-a532-81b3df229697.html)

Gingersnap
05-13-2011, 08:02 PM
What? Nobody cares about this? :eek:

Bumping for the formerly free.

pyackog
05-13-2011, 08:55 PM
OK. How does this not violate the 4th amendment?

djones520
05-13-2011, 09:01 PM
OK. How does this not violate the 4th amendment?

I think their view is that anything gained from that illegal entry is still impermissible as evidence. But it is a bullshit ruling. It was made just for the sole purpose of ensuring no one gets "harmed" but in the long run it may cause more harm.

NJCardFan
05-13-2011, 09:51 PM
I don't agree with the "for whatever reason" deal. This does violate the 4th amendment. This will probably be defeated in the SCOTUS.

Odysseus
05-13-2011, 11:41 PM
The facts of the case don't jibe with the article. Here is the court's finding of facts:


On November 18, 2007, Richard Barnes argued with his wife Mary Barnes as he was moving out of their apartment. During the argument, Mary tried to call her sister but Barnes grabbed the phone from her hand and threw it against the wall. Mary called 911 from her cell phone and informed the dispatcher that Barnes was throwing things around the apartment but that he had not struck her. The 911 dispatch went out as a domestic violence in progress.

Officer Lenny Reed, the first responder, saw a man leaving an apartment with a bag and began questioning him in the parking lot. Upon identifying the man as Barnes, Reed informed him that officers were responding to a 911 call. Barnes responded that he was getting his things and leaving and that Reed was not needed. Barnes had raised his voice and yelled at Reed, prompting stares from others outside and several warnings from Reed.

Officer Jason Henry arrived on the scene and observed that Barnes was ―very agitated and was yelling. Barnes continued to yell, loudly and did not lower his voice until Reed warned that he would be arrested for disorderly conduct. Barnes retorted, ―if you lock me up for Disorderly Conduct, you‘re going to be sitting right next to me in a jail cell. Mary came onto the parking lot, threw a black duffle bag in Barnes‘s direction, told him to take the rest of his stuff, and returned to the apartment. Reed and Henry followed Barnes back to the apartment.

Mary entered the apartment, followed by Barnes, who then turned around and blocked the doorway. Barnes told the officers that they could not enter the apartment and denied Reed‘s requests to enter and investigate. Mary did not explicitly invite the officers in, but she told Barnes several times, ―don‘t do this‖ and ―just let them in. Reed attempted to enter the apartment, and Barnes shoved him against the wall. A struggle ensued, and the officers used a choke hold and a taser to subdue and arrest Barnes. Barnes suffered an adverse reaction to the taser and was taken to the hospital.

Barnes was charged with Class A misdemeanor battery on a police officer, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct, and Class A misdemeanor interference with the reporting of a crime.

The husband was being thrown out and had become violent (he was throwing things and threatening his wife) and she called 911. The police responded to the call and then followed the husband into the home, where he tried to block them, while his soon-to-be ex-wife told him not to block them and to let them in. Clearly, she wanted the police there. And, Barnes' attempt to prevent entry to a home that he was vacating, but which his wife was still in possession of, means that he was, in effect, denying her the right to police protection.

While the court's cavalier dismissal of the Fourth Amendment guarantees is almost certainly wrong, the facts indicate that the entry was not unlawful. From the court's decision:


Further, we note that a warrant is not necessary for every entry into a home. For example, officers may enter the home if they are in hot pursuit‖ of the arrestee or if exigent circumstances justified the entry. E.g., United States v. Santana, 427 U.S. 38, 42–43 (1976) (holding that retreat into a defendant‘s house could not thwart an otherwise proper arrest made in the course of a ―hot pursuit‖); Holder v. State, 847 N.E.2d 930, 938 (Ind. 2006) (―Possible imminent destruction of evidence is one exigent circumstance that may justify a warrantless entry into a home if the fear on the part of the police that the evidence was immediately about to be destroyed is objectively reasonable.‖). Even with a warrant, officers may have acted in good faith in entering a home, only to find later that their entry was in error. E.g., Arizona v. Evans, 514 U.S. 1, 11 (1994); United States v. Leon, 468 U.S. 897, 922–25 (1984). In these situations, we find it unwise to allow a homeowner to adjudge the legality of police conduct in the heat of the moment. As we decline to recognize a right to resist unlawful police entry into a home, we decline to recognize a right to batter a police officer as a part of that resistance.

By following Barnes into the home, the hot pursuit argument may be applicable, and since the person who made the 911 call had not stated that she was in no danger, the imminent her safety constituted an exigent circumstance.

Or, to put it another way, the police didn't "act stupidly", but were acting on a complaint made by Mrs. Barnes.

Wei Wu Wei
05-14-2011, 04:00 AM
What? Nobody cares about this? :eek:

Bumping for the formerly free.

I think this is a terrible ruling.

pyackog
05-14-2011, 04:06 AM
The facts of the case don't jibe with the article. Here is the court's finding of facts:


In that individual case, it was OK for the cops to go inside because the man was a possible threat. The court ruling is the problem, based primarily on "the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry."

The police need a valid reason IMO to enter a home...this ruling says otherwise. And as far as I concerned, once they enter without a valid reason, they are trespassing if not worse.

Odysseus
05-14-2011, 12:19 PM
I think this is a terrible ruling.
Why? All of your heroes were all about unlimited police powers, and the right to keep someone out of your home is based on private property rights. You should be on the side of the court.

In that individual case, it was OK for the cops to go inside because the man was a possible threat. The court ruling is the problem, based primarily on "the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry."

The police need a valid reason IMO to enter a home...this ruling says otherwise. And as far as I concerned, once they enter without a valid reason, they are trespassing if not worse.

I agree. It's a bad ruling that takes a case that has nothing to do with the Fourth Amendment and uses it to expand police powers.

Arroyo_Doble
05-14-2011, 02:02 PM
What? Nobody cares about this? :eek:

Bumping for the formerly free.

First, they came for Miranda and I said nothing ......

Articulate_Ape
05-14-2011, 02:07 PM
What? Nobody cares about this? :eek:

Bumping for the formerly free.


I just read about this. This is an incredibly bad sign of things to come I think. We are running out of time, people. :mad:

AmPat
05-14-2011, 02:51 PM
Keep your guns clean and your powder dry. These filthy liberal tendencies will have to eventually be overruled by a high speed injection of lead into the brain pan. I hope I won't be around to see it!