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Monday, June 20, 2011

Ind. Decisions - The State has until Monday, June 27 to file a response brief to the petition for rehearing in Barnes v. State

The State has until Monday, June 27 to file a response brief to the petition for rehearing in Barnes v. State. (Here is a long list of earlier ILB entries re "Barnes".) According to this story today from Dan Carden of the NWI Times:

Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who represents the prosecution at the state's high court, has until June 27 to file a motion opposing the petition for rehearing.

Zoeller told The Times he will not do so, to give the five-member court a chance to narrow its 3-2 ruling on police entry issues, though Zoeller said Barnes' convictions should stand.

Once the June 27 deadline passes, there is no timetable for the court to act on the petition for rehearing.

This earlier story by reporter Carden, from May 30th, that the ILB somehow missed the first time around, is based on an interview with State Attorney General Greg Zoeller. Some quotes:
INDIANAPOLIS | State Attorney General Greg Zoeller is toeing a tightrope following this month's Indiana Supreme Court ruling that Hoosiers have no right to resist illegal police entry into their homes.

After all, as the state's attorney in criminal appeals to the high court, Zoeller won the case.

In its May 12 Barnes v. State of Indiana ruling, the Supreme Court overturned a decision of the Indiana Court of Appeals and restored the misdemeanor convictions of Richard Barnes, of Evansville, for disorderly conduct, battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.

Barnes shoved a police officer who tried to enter his home after Barnes told the officer he couldn't come in. Police were dispatched to Barnes' home following a 911 call reporting a possible domestic incident.

Zoeller believes the circumstances justified police entry into Barnes' home without his permission, Barnes was wrong to touch the officer and therefore Barnes' convictions should stand.

At the same time, Zoeller said he will not oppose a petition expected to be filed by Barnes' attorney, Erin Berger, asking the court to reconsider its ruling.

Zoeller told The Times the portion of the court's 3-2 decision that terminated the common law right of resistance to illegal police entry deserves a second look.

"You change a historic common law right when there's a demand and a clear need for it and, at least from my perspective, I didn't see it," Zoeller said. "There are a number of ways to resolve the case short of reaching this policy decision."

The Republican attorney general said he was so surprised by the broad scope of the court's ruling that he had his staff reread their court filings to see if they said anything that might have triggered the unexpected outcome.

"This was the court looking at a policy decision, but it wasn't something that we asked for," Zoeller said.

ILB: So it may be that the AG will file no response at all to the petition for rehearing, although that would be surprising to many.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 20, 2011 09:09 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions