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Judges reverse woman’s resisting law enforcement conviction

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Opening a police officer’s car door and refusing to place one’s feet inside the car are not acts constituting forcible resistance, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The judges reversed a Miami County woman’s conviction of resisting law enforcement.

Officer Roger Bowland and two animal control officers went to Maddox Macy’s home on the report that her neighbor had been bitten by two dogs owned by Macy. Macy made a scene as Bowland left her home to talk to the neighbor, yelling at the officers that her dogs did not bite anyone. She was placed under arrest, handcuffed and placed in the front seat of Bowland’s police car. She somehow opened the shut door, got out and yelled some more. She then refused to place her feet inside the vehicle after Bowland forced her back inside. He picked them up, put them in the car and then shut the door.

Maddox was convicted of Class B misdemeanor disorderly conduct and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, but she only appealed her resisting conviction.

In Maddox T. Macy v. State of Indiana, 52A02-1309-CR-808, the appeals court noted that the definition of “forcibly” within the resisting law enforcement statute, as outlined in Spangler v. State, 670 N.E.2d 720, 723 (Ind. 1993), has “softened” and become “blurry, to say the least.”

However, each case affirming a conviction of forcible resistance seems to involve, at a minimum, some physical interaction with a law enforcement officer, the judges noted. Macy’s act of opening the car door did not involve any interaction with Bowland, nor was it directed toward him or did it present a threat to him.

“While it is possible that Macy’s conduct may qualify as some other crime, it was not a crime of forcible resistance,” Judge Margret Robb wrote.

The judges also found Macy’s refusal to place her feet inside the vehicle was an act of passive resistance that is not punishable under Indiana Code 35-44.1-3-1(a)(1).

“Finally, we would be remiss not to address the State’s claim that forcible resistance by Macy may be reasonably inferred based on Officer Bowland’s testimony that he had to ‘force’ Macy back into the car and physically pick up her feet and place them in the vehicle,” she wrote. “We disagree for two reasons. First, an officer’s use of force does not establish that the defendant forcibly resisted. Second, on cross-examination, Officer Bowland was asked whether Macy ever physically resisted him, at which point Officer Bowland clarified that Macy resisted his commands. In light of that testimony, we do not believe the evidence supports the State’s proposed inference.”

 

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  1. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  2. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  3. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  4. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  5. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

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