ILNews

‘Living as if a spouse’ permits woman’s domestic battery conviction

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A married woman convicted of domestic battery against a man with whom she was involved in an on-again, off-again romantic relationship couldn’t persuade an appeals court that it was a stretch to apply the criminal statute in her situation.

A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the Class D felony conviction handed down by a Whitley Superior jury and noted the domestic battery statute providing harsher penalties than non-domestic battery clearly applies to someone who “is or was living as if a spouse.” The case is Shayla Bowling v. State of Indiana, 92A03-1212-CR-553.

“Bowling claims that as a matter of law she could not be living as if a spouse with (the victim), within the meaning of the domestic battery statute, when she was married to another man. … She then asserts that ‘to permit the Domestic Battery statute to include sexual partners or extramarital affair participants would arguably, broaden the scope of the Domestic Battery statute’,” Judge Ezra Friedlander wrote for the court. “We are unpersuaded by Bowling’s slender analysis.”

The panel that included judges John Baker and Nancy Vaidik also rejected Bowling’s claim that she could not be “living as if a spouse” with another man without committing bigamy.

“Anti-bigamy laws have no relevance to the issue at hand. Further, even a cursory review of I.C. § 35-42-2-1.3(a) reveals that an individual may be subject to domestic battery charges against more than one individual at any given time. For example, an individual might have a child in common with person A (subsection (a)(3)), be a former spouse of person B (subsection (a)(1)), and be living as if a spouse with person C (subsection (a)(3)). Battering any one of these people would subject the individual to a charge of domestic battery,” Friedlander wrote.

“The fact that the defendant is legally married does not shield the defendant from the domestic battery statute if he or she batters another person with whom he or she has shared a domestic relationship. The focus must be on the defendant’s past or present relationship with the victim and whether said relationship was domestic as defined by the statute. Contrary to Bowling’s suggestion, the nature of this relationship is not defined as a matter of law by the defendant’s relationship with another individual,” the court concluded.

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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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