Attorney will appeal ruling that Hoosiers have no right to resist illegal police entry

2011-05-17T22:00:00Z 2011-05-18T13:16:37Z Attorney will appeal ruling that Hoosiers have no right to resist illegal police entryBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | An Evansville lawyer will ask the Indiana Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling that Hoosiers have no right to resist illegal police entry into their homes.

"We're just not going to let this lie; we're going to see if there's anything we can do about it," said Erin Berger, attorney for Richard Barnes.

Barnes was convicted of misdemeanor resisting law enforcement for shoving a police officer who tried to enter Barnes' home after Barnes told the officer he couldn't come in.

The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned Barnes' conviction because the jury was not instructed on Barnes' common law right to resist illegal police entry into his home.

But in a 3-2 decision written by Justice Steven David, an appointee of Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, the state's high court reinstated the conviction and proclaimed "the right to reasonably resist an unlawful police entry into a home is no longer recognized under Indiana law."

Berger said she was "surprised" at how far the court went in its decision.

"It paints with a very broad brush, and I hope that the Supreme Court will consider revisiting how broad the ruling appears to be on its face," Berger said.

Berger told The Times she will file a petition for rehearing in the next few weeks asking the Indiana Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling.

If the state's high court denies her petition or affirms the original ruling, Berger said she plans to appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

Since the court's decision last Thursday, Berger said she's been contacted by attorneys, law professors and many others offering assistance for an appeal.

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