Court: No Right to Resist Illegal Cop Entry into Home

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“Listen to Jazz Music”

Since: Mar 09

Bellefontaine, OH

#1 May 17, 2011
Here is an item that we should all prevent happening in Ohio:

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.
blue

Urbana, OH

#2 May 17, 2011
Wow!
That gives more power to "corrupt" officers. Not saying they all are.
When is enough, enough?
Bubbles

Circleville, OH

#3 May 17, 2011
Land of the free?

Since: May 11

Location hidden

#4 May 17, 2011
JAS_BHS62 wrote:
Here is an item that we should all prevent happening in Ohio:
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.
Was that Magna Carta 1215 or 1315?
blue

Urbana, OH

#5 May 17, 2011
Bubbles wrote:
Land of the free?
Not for long! Sad thing is, we are handing them our freedom! We elect these people!
Larry Flynt

Miami, FL

#6 May 17, 2011
Not too many good cops,so chances are it's going to be a bad cop breaking down the door while shooting you in the back and crippling your ass! Total BS!

“Get a life, people!”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#7 May 17, 2011
That's the knee-jerk reaction but I think the court was right (and disagree that the decision undoes centuries of common law).

For starters, how does one know that an entry is unlawful as it is happening? The question of lawfulness is to be decided by a judge after the fact, not by the police or the homeowner at the time it is occurring. At the moment, the homeowner has no idea if (1) the entry is pursuant to a valid warrant; (2) the entry is lawful but based on mistaken or incorrect information; (3) the entry is the unlawful act of a rogue cop.

The contrary result is untenable. Is it reasonable to permit citizens to resist or even kill entering police officers and the question of whether they have committed murder or acted in lawful self defense comes down to an after the fact assessment of whether procedures were followed? Is that fair to property owners to let them roll the dice with their freedom and livelihood like that?

I agree with the court that wronged citizens have adequate remedies at law after the fact and that's the way these things should be resolved - in courtrooms after the passions of the moment have faded, and not in a hail of gunfire.

“Get a life, people!”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#8 May 17, 2011
This is a knee jerk reaction to a complicated issue. I disagree that this decision overturns centuries of common law either.

Consider how ridiculous the alternative is - how on earth does a homeowner in real time determine whether an attempt at entry is lawful or unlawful. He can't - the officer can't. Only a judge, after the fact, can determine the lawfulness of the entry. If we permit homeowners to resist, we're basically telling them they can roll the dice - if the entry is later determined to be unlawful, it's self-defense, but if they're wrong, and the entry was lawful, it's off to the penitentiary for you!

Is it fair to permit an untrained layman to subject himself to life in prison (or worse) on a low-percentage bet that the cop was breaking the law? Any action the homeowner takes would be a sheer guess. He has no idea whether there's a warrant, or if the warrant is valid, or if there might be some ground to after the fact invalidate it.

I agree with the court that homeowners have adequate remedies at law to deal with unlawful searches. We shouldn't let folks shoot first & wait for a judge to tell you later if you get Door #1 or Door #2.

“Get a life, people!”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#9 May 17, 2011
Ack, sorry for the quasi-duplicate post - I got an error the first time & the post didn't appear....geesh.
Moldylocks

Bellefontaine, OH

#10 May 17, 2011
How does one know a home breaker is a law enforcement agent or a criminal? Do you flip a coin before shooting back or using other adequate force? There was a program on TV the other night about banks in Florida breaking down doors and entering properties because owners were allegedly one day past due in a mortgage payment.

“Get a life, people!”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#11 May 17, 2011
The Indiana decision assumes that the officer sufficiently identifies himself at the time of entry. The facts of that case bear out the underlying problem - how does a person determine in real time whether an entry is unlawful? Not every entry requires a warrant - there could be exigent circumstances, fleeing felon exception, plain view exception, etc. There are legal remedies. Do we now permit people to harm/kill a police officer who makes a mistake? Even the two justices in dissent say they'd agree with the majority in the case of domestic violence (why that's so special is not explained, i.e child abuse or beating up the housekeeper is not sufficient).

It still seems completely untenable to me that we can take a "shoot first & litigate the lawfulness of the entry later" approach to this issue. You know me, I have a very conservative view of the Constitution and expansive view of individual rights, but this still strikes me as the right call.

“Listen to Jazz Music”

Since: Mar 09

Bellefontaine, OH

#12 May 18, 2011
The Flip Side wrote:
The Indiana decision assumes that the officer sufficiently identifies himself at the time of entry. The facts of that case bear out the underlying problem - how does a person determine in real time whether an entry is unlawful? Not every entry requires a warrant - there could be exigent circumstances, fleeing felon exception, plain view exception, etc. There are legal remedies. Do we now permit people to harm/kill a police officer who makes a mistake? Even the two justices in dissent say they'd agree with the majority in the case of domestic violence (why that's so special is not explained, i.e child abuse or beating up the housekeeper is not sufficient).
It still seems completely untenable to me that we can take a "shoot first & litigate the lawfulness of the entry later" approach to this issue. You know me, I have a very conservative view of the Constitution and expansive view of individual rights, but this still strikes me as the right call.
Flip,

You must be a lawyer.

In every example you state, the homeowner has to hire a lawyer to fight the establishment to exact just compensation for the illegal entry/mistaken entry. This new law has no place in modern American jurisprudence except to enrich lawyers.

The examples you stated like pursuit of a felon, et al are not illegal entries. If an officer wants to serve a warrant, he can exhibit the warrant when he wants access to the inside of a residence. This gives the resident the opportunity to let the officer know if he has the correct address.

Someone needs to take this law to the US Supreme Court and get it overturned. Pronto !

“Listen to Jazz Music”

Since: Mar 09

Bellefontaine, OH

#13 May 18, 2011
This law can be extrapolated, at some point to mean an officer can look at you in your car or, walking down the street and decide you look like you might break the law and arrest you. If the arrest was unlawful, you would have the opportunity to get it reversed in a court-of-law.

In any event, the lawyers would still be to only ones to benefit from this law.

“Listen to Jazz Music”

Since: Mar 09

Bellefontaine, OH

#14 May 18, 2011
be to=be the

Since: May 11

Location hidden

#15 May 18, 2011
JAS_BHS62 wrote:
This law can be extrapolated, at some point to mean an officer can look at you in your car or, walking down the street and decide you look like you might break the law and arrest you. If the arrest was unlawful, you would have the opportunity to get it reversed in a court-of-law.
In any event, the lawyers would still be to only ones to benefit from this law.
A one point they were considering a law to prosocute people for their thoughts!

“Get a life, people!”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#16 May 18, 2011
Well, that's kind of true about everything. We want people to go to court to settle their disputes, and not take matters into their own hands.

To build on one of the examples - if an officer is pursuing a fleeing felon who ducks into a house/apartment, and the officer mistakenly seeks to enter the wrong house, having identified himself as a police officer, is it your position that the homeowner has the right to resist the officer's entry with violence?(This is the basic fact pattern of the Indiana case)

Still, at the moment an officer makes forcible entry to your home, you have no clue if the entry is lawful, an honest mistake, or an unlawful rogue act. Which of those three is the case is only ascertainable by a judge after the fact. Even if a right to resist an unlawful entry was upheld, the question of the lawfulness of the entry would STILL have to be litigated after the fact to determine whether you walk on self defense or go to jail.

It appears the essence of your argument is that people shouldn't be required to access courts to get justice but should instead have the right to deal it themselves as they see fit. That is a very dangerous proposition.
Antonio

Marysville, OH

#17 May 18, 2011
JAS_BHS62 wrote:
This law can be extrapolated, at some point to mean an officer can look at you in your car or, walking down the street and decide you look like you might break the law and arrest you. If the arrest was unlawful, you would have the opportunity to get it reversed in a court-of-law.
In any event, the lawyers would still be to only ones to benefit from this law.
You mean sorta like they do there in Arizona when the cops pull over Mexicans because they decide they look like illegal aliens?
Bubbles

Circleville, OH

#18 May 18, 2011
There are a lot of scenarios that could include a cop unlawfully entering your home. We shouldn't have to "roll the dice" with the court systems after the fact. Lawyers and courts are not cheap. Cops should have to follow the rules or be punished for not following the rules.

If I were a lawyer, I would also tell people to take it up the tailpipe and let the court deal with it. Since I have no money to gain from the situation, I am speaking as a concerned citizen of this crumbling nation. Cops trying to gain unlawful access to my home will be told to fuck off.

“Listen to Jazz Music”

Since: Mar 09

Bellefontaine, OH

#19 May 18, 2011
The Flip Side wrote:
Well, that's kind of true about everything. We want people to go to court to settle their disputes, and not take matters into their own hands.
To build on one of the examples - if an officer is pursuing a fleeing felon who ducks into a house/apartment, and the officer mistakenly seeks to enter the wrong house, having identified himself as a police officer, is it your position that the homeowner has the right to resist the officer's entry with violence?(This is the basic fact pattern of the Indiana case)
Still, at the moment an officer makes forcible entry to your home, you have no clue if the entry is lawful, an honest mistake, or an unlawful rogue act. Which of those three is the case is only ascertainable by a judge after the fact. Even if a right to resist an unlawful entry was upheld, the question of the lawfulness of the entry would STILL have to be litigated after the fact to determine whether you walk on self defense or go to jail.
It appears the essence of your argument is that people shouldn't be required to access courts to get justice but should instead have the right to deal it themselves as they see fit. That is a very dangerous proposition.
Flip,

Puzzle me this: Let's say a cop is chasing an "alleged" felon, loses track of which house the felon went and enters your house. Let's add that you have left a small bag of "herb" on a table in plain sight of the officer. Let's also say you forgot the baggie was there and let the officer in. Let's say the officer decides to forget the chase and busts you for possession of a controlled substance. Let's also say he seizes the wad of cash you have in your pocket because you just cashed your paycheck but, the cop decides you may also be dealing.

If you can get someone to post your bail, you will have to hire a lawyer to prove yourself innocent because the cop made an unlawful entry and made a bust based on evidence that couldn't be admitted and maybe, you might get your money back or, maybe half of it or, whatever. What say you to this circumstance ?

“Get a life, people!”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#20 May 18, 2011
Bubbles, you roll the dice more taking matters into your own hands. Regardless of the circumstances, even if the Indiana court went the other way, you WILL be arrested and whether you walk or go to jail will depend on whether a judge concludes the entry was lawful or not. The lawfulness of a particular entry can really NEVER be determined on the spot - it has to be litigated. A right to resist unlawful entry doesn't spare you the headache or cost of being arrested & hiring a lawyer.

JAS, the scenario you cite was precisely the fact pattern in the Indiana case. You miss the main question though - which is whether you have the right to pummel the cop (or worse) to keep him out of your place (and pray a judge later finds his entry was unlawful), and if the entry is found to be unlawful, you get to walk for pummelling the cop.

Incidentally, if you let the officer in and he sees the herb in plain sight, the entry is lawful and you're SOL. My query back to you is whether you should be allowed to beat the cop senseless and throw him down the stairs to keep him from seeing your stash?

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