The PJ Tatler

Indiana Attorney General seeks reconsideration of Fourth Amendment ruling

The ruling is far too broad.

As noted here, the Indiana Supreme Court recently went far beyond the situation before it in Barns v. Indiana and said “there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers. (emphasis added).” Perhaps seeking to emphasize this, the court said, “In sum, we hold that [in] Indiana the right to reasonably resist an unlawful police entry into a home is no longer recognized under Indiana law.” Now, the state Attorney General has asked the court to refine its message. On May 20th, he

joined the chorus of Hoosiers protesting a controversial Fourth Amendment ruling recently decided by the Indiana Supreme Court.

. . . .

Zoeller released a statement saying he will support a rehearing of the case due to concerns that the court ruled too broadly when it found citizens have no right under common law to reasonably resist police who unlawfully enter their homes.

“In our brief and argument to the Indiana Supreme Court last fall, my office did not advocate for the type of ruling the court issued last week. I believe a reconsideration is appropriate. A rehearing and a new ruling would afford the Supreme Court the opportunity to clarify any misperceptions regarding people’s Fourth Amendment right to be secure in their homes against unreasonable searches and seizures – even against unlawful entry by police,” said Zoeller, a Republican.

“While there is no right to commit battery against police, I believe the individual has the right to shut the door, stand his ground and communicate with police without engaging in an altercation. In balancing the perils of domestic violence with respect for law enforcement, I will continue to advise our police clients to respect people’s Fourth Amendment rights.”

This is a good development. The decision was unnecessary, went too far and was way over the top.