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Thursday, May 01, 2014

Ind. Courts - "200 students sit in on court appeal " in Crown Point

Yesterday a Court of Appeals panel heard oral argument before an audience of students in Crown Point in the case of Maddox Macy v. State. In the past few years, various Court of Appeals panels have heard many oral arguments at sites around the state. From a story today by Ruth Ann Kraause of the Gary Post Tribune:

More than 200 Northwest Indiana high school students got a first-hand look at the Indiana Court of Appeals at work Wednesday when they heard an oral argument in Crown Point.

The auditorium at the Lake County Government Center fell silent as appellate attorney Jill Acklin argued that the conviction of a Miami County woman for resisting law enforcement should be overturned, and deputy attorney general Jesse Drum argued that the conviction should stand.

The three-member panel — Judges John Baker from Monroe County, James Kirsch from Marion County and Margret Robb from Tippecanoe County — took time to answer questions after the argument concluded and joked with students in some of their answers.

It was all business, however, during the timed argument at the event hosted by the Women Lawyers Association and attended by several Lake County judges and other elected officials. Melissa Cohen, president of the association, said the event was intended to educate young people and give back to the community. She encouraged the teens to “think critically about issues that affect your life.”

The case began with a dog-bite incident in 2012 in which the owner of the dogs became uncooperative with police who came to her home. After being told to calm down and refusing to do so, she was arrested, handcuffed and put in the front seat of a police car. The woman opened the door, stepped outside and continued to yell. After police told her to get back into the car, the woman refused, and the officer forced her inside, but she kept her feet on the ground outside the door. The officer picked up the woman’s feet and put them in the car.

Acklin had spoken for just a few minutes when Robb asked, “Can you resist law enforcement when you’re already arrested?”

Afterward, Robb told the students that the judges look to have a conversation during oral argument. Baker said the usual practice is to retire to deliberate, then decide which judge will write the opinion. Baker joked that the car ride back to Indianapolis would afford them time to discuss their positions on the case.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 1, 2014 10:04 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts