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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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  1. Welcome to Hendricks County where local and state statutes (especially Indiana Class C misdemeanors) are given a higher consideration than Federal statues and active duty military call-ups.

  2. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

  3. The case should have been spiked. Give the kid a break. He can serve and maybe die for Uncle Sam and can't have a drink? Wow. And they won't even let him defend himself. What a gross lack of prosecutorial oversight and judgment. WOW

  4. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  5. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

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