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Elements of crimes did not occur in Indiana

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The Indiana Court of Appeals ordered that charges be dropped against a pair living in Houston who faced counterfeiting and theft charges, finding the trial court lacked territorial jurisdiction.

The case of An-Hung Yao and Yu-Ting Lin v. State of Indiana, No. 35A02-1006-CR-678, came before the appellate court on interlocutory appeal. Yu-Ting Lin, who operates a business in Houston that imports airsoft toy guns from Taiwan and sells them, and An-Hung Yao, a bank vice president who helped set up business systems for Lin, challenged the Huntington Circuit Court’s decision to not dismiss theft and corrupt business influence charges against the pair.

The charges stemmed from the sale of a certain airsoft gun that allegedly resembled Heckler & Koch Inc.’s MP5 submachine gun. H&K hired Indiana-based Continental Enterprises to investigate possible trademark infringement claims. Continental placed several orders for the guns that were shipped to Indiana, and a company investigator visited Lin’s company in Houston.

Also on appeal, the state challenged the decision to grant Yao and Lin’s motions to dismiss counterfeiting charges.

Yao and Lin argued that the Indiana trial court did not have territorial jurisdiction over them. There have only been a small number of Indiana cases that address territorial jurisdiction, wrote Chief Judge Margret Robb, and all either held that there is no serious evidentiary dispute that Indiana has territorial jurisdiction or there is a serious evidentiary dispute requiring a jury determination.

“However, given that Indiana Code section 35-34-1-4(a)(10) provides that the trial court may dismiss an information if there is a jurisdictional impediment to the prosecution, we believe the converse of the rule announced in Ortiz (v. State, 766 N.E.2d 370, 374 (Ind. 2002)) is also true: if there is no serious evidentiary dispute that Indiana does not have territorial jurisdiction, the trial court may dismiss the information as a matter of law and the issue need not be submitted to the jury,” she wrote.

The judges concluded that the elements of the crimes Yao and Lin were charged with did not occur in Indiana. Citing United States v. Smith, 173 Fed. 227 (D. Ind. 1909), the appellate court concluded that between the two options – Yao and Lin committed a separate crime in every jurisdiction where they sent airsoft guns or they committed a crime only in the place where they actually possessed the guns – the second choice was more reasonable and comported with due process.

The COA remanded Thursday for the trial court to dismiss the remaining charges.

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  1. Too many attorneys take their position as a license to intimidate and threaten non attorneys in person and by mail. Did find it ironic that a reader moved to comment twice on this article could not complete a paragraph without resorting to insulting name calling (rethuglican) as a substitute for reasoned discussion. Some people will never get the point this action should have made.

  2. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  3. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  4. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  5. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

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