ILNews

Appeals court reverses student's convictions

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a teenager's convictions for battery and disorderly conduct stemming from a face-off with an assistant principal and dean of students in the school cafeteria.

In Christopher Bailey v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0801-CR-65, the court unanimously reversed the two misdemeanor convictions resulting from an incident in November 2007 at Perry Meridian High School in Marion County.

An assistant principal confronted Christopher Bailey while he was in a cafeteria line for breakfast and told him to pull up his pants, but the student refused and started to walk toward another line. The assistant principal put out her arm and directed him to the dean's office, but Bailey bumped into her arm as he walked away. The dean of students confronted Bailey, who then threw down his drink and coat, put his face about 9 inches from the dean, balled his fists, and cursed at the school official. Bailey was charged with battery and disorderly conduct, and was convicted at a bench trial before Marion Superior Judge Rebekah Pierson-Treacy.

In reviewing the case, the appellate court determined the state didn't prove that Bailey conducted battery because it didn't show that his conduct of walking into the assistant principal's outstretched arm constituted "knowing" battery, that Bailey knew he was going to bump into her arm.

The court also relied on caselaw to determine that the disorderly conduct shouldn't stand because it can't be defined as "tumultuous conduct" that would result in serious bodily injury or substantial damage to property. The state urged at trial that Bailey should be convicted because the harm was impending and could likely result in actions from the defendant, but the appellate judges rejected that argument.

"Bailey was close to (the dean's) face and yelling obscenities, but one could not reasonably expect (he), as the Dean of Students, would respond to Bailey's tirade with physical aggression," the court wrote. "Because Bailey's behavior was not 'tumultuous,' we reverse his conviction of disorderly conduct."

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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