Article Image
News Link • Police State

Court: No right to resist illegal cop entry into home

• Northwest Indiana Times

INDIANAPOLIS | Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.

In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

"We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," David said. "We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."

David said a person arrested following an unlawful entry by police still can be released on bail and has plenty of opportunities to protest the illegal entry through the court system. 

The court's decision stems from a Vanderburgh County case in which police were called to investigate a husband and wife arguing outside their apartment.

When the couple went back inside their apartment, the husband told police they were not needed and blocked the doorway so they could not enter. When an officer entered anyway, the husband shoved the officer against a wall. A second officer then used a stun gun on the husband and arrested him.

Professor Ivan Bodensteiner, of Valparaiso University School of Law, said the court's decision is consistent with the idea of preventing violence.

"It's not surprising that they would say there's no right to beat the hell out of the officer," Bodensteiner said. "(The court is saying) we would rather opt on the side of saying if the police act wrongfully in entering your house your remedy is under law, to bring a civil action against the officer."

Justice Robert Rucker, a Gary native, and Justice Brent Dickson, a Hobart native, dissented from the ruling, saying the court's decision runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"In my view the majority sweeps with far too broad a brush by essentially telling Indiana citizens that government agents may now enter their homes illegally -- that is, without the necessity of a warrant, consent or exigent circumstances," Rucker said. "I disagree."

Rucker and Dickson suggested if the court had limited its permission for police entry to domestic violence situations they would have supported the ruling.

But Dickson said, "The wholesale abrogation of the historic right of a person to reasonably resist unlawful police entry into his dwelling is unwarranted and unnecessarily broad."

This is the second major Indiana Supreme Court ruling this week involving police entry into a home.

On Tuesday, the court said police serving a warrant may enter a home without knocking if officers decide circumstances justify it. Prior to that ruling, police serving a warrant would have to obtain a judge's permission to enter without knocking. 

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


6 Comments in Response to

Comment by Anonymous
Entered on:

You need to know, and I must tell you what this means: "... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy" … it simply means that it is against public policy for anyone TO RESIST WHILE POLICE ARREST OR UNLAWFUL ENTRY IS IN PROGRESS – regardless of whether such arrest or entry is legal or not. What is being prevented as a matter of public policy is the violence, death or injury that would take place if police officers -- described in the study of law as "persons in authority" – are obstructed or prevented from the performance of their duty.

During arrest, the person being arrested cannot stop the arrest by invoking his/her constitutional right. The lawyer if present while the arrest is in progress has no right either to intervene or stop the arrest. Anyone resisting and using violence in resisting arrest or entry could end up in the morgue.

"Do you understand now why such resistance is against public policy?" This is what I often asked my clients before I retired from the practice of law, to be sure that they understand this inhibition very well. It will protect them from harm.

In this report, it says that " Professor Ivan Bodensteiner, of Valparaiso University School of Law, said the court's decision is consistent with the idea of preventing violence." Bodensteiner said that because he is a professor of law and no lawyer worth his salt would ever miss knowing that the person being arrested by the police or agents of the law or the owner or resident/s of the house or building being entered into by the police or agents of the law in the performance of their duty have no right to resist otherwise they would either get killed or injured.

The court dissenters – Justice Robert Rucker and Justice Brent Dickson – saying that the majority decision "runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment" must be politicians donning the black robe of the bench. As judges, they knew that they are talking crap, but it got their name in the banner story of The Northwest Indiana Times.

Only those ignorant of this legal dictum would ridicule this court ruling, and as opportunist propagandists, would whip public sentiments against the Government represented by the existing justice system or the whole System itself, as the likes of Larken Rose are prone to crucify with such sadistic abandon and/or vicious indulgence.

It is no longer debatable that our justice system is in fact flawed. But to be too legalese in criticizing those defects – real or imagine – one must at least be a lawyer who knows the rough edges as well as the refinements of law, the legal and constitutional rights of the individual, the rights of those who challenge the law, especially police officers while engaged in the performance of their duty. Otherwise what we read here is a spate of ignorance … nothing more than just pure sadistic hatred of the System, especially when exhibited by those who declared themselves as "revolutionary Libertarians" whose call to arms has become a favorite pastime.

Don’t move to other websites. Stick to It is only here that you can read all the excitable and quick-tempered anti-Establishment spitfires whose rage against the System, and whose wrath against the Government and the people in the Government are organized and written in a million megabytes.

Comment by J E Andreasen
Entered on:

In my twenties & was a conservative Republican, morphing into a neophyte Libertarian. I believed following the law was what responsible people did, and fighting commies, balancing the budget, and legalizing marijuana was a good life goal.    

In my thirties, I had dumped the two-party system, was a Libertarian activist with anarchistic leanings.  I envisioned my kids being more free than me.    

By my forties I was jettisoning party politics, starting to hunker-down with my guns.  I hoped for the People rising up after Ruby Ridge & Waco.    

By fifty, I was trying to become low-low profile, looking at places to run away to, until a better day.    

In a week, I'll be fifty-five.  My carefully propped-up illusions are long gone.  The sad fact is that there IS evil in the world, and government is one of its most valuable tools. 

I now openly relish witnessing the coming blood-letting and yet rue the tragic loss of innocent lives that will also be part of the days and years to come. 

I pray the tormentors will turn from their evil path, but hold out nearly no hope. 

I'm the same nice guy I started out as, but the bastards just will not let up.  They have relentlessly ground away nearly all my self-deception, forgiveness, and patience. 

Yet, I love life, family, friends, and still have faith in mankind.  Perhaps I am where I am, precisely BECAUSE I love life, family, friends? 

The details all differ among us, but I'll bet there are thousands of guys out there just like me.  Thinking the same stuff. 

What is it they say about fearing the man who has nothing left to lose?








Comment by Temper Bay
Entered on:

Libertas an Nex!

Comment by Charles Crissman
Entered on:

 god knows how long you got to live.  death may be here quicker than you think  try it and see.

Comment by Temper Bay
Entered on:

 This ruling is the reason we have the 2nd Amendment.  When the courts will not protect the people's rights than the people must protect them.

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

This and Larken Rose's latest FP OpEd are MUST reads right now!!!! 

"a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," slaves!

Join us on our Social Networks:


Share this page with your friends on your favorite social network: