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Supreme Court To Rule On Constitutionality Of Forced Entry

Richard Barnes was found guilty of shoving an officer who tried to follow him through his apartment door during a domestic-violence investigation.

police car

Photo: Intiaz Rahim

Attorney General Greg Zoeller said the court went further than it needed to in ruling that citizens have no right to resist police entry; Governor Daniels' chief counsel pointed to a 2006 law giving homeowners the right to defend themselves on their property.

It‘s time for the Indiana Supreme Court to decide whether to reconsider a controversial ruling on warrantless entry by police. Attorney General Greg Zoeller said the court went further than it needed to in ruling that citizens have no right to resist police entry, other than to file suit later. On June 27, he formally adds his voice to court briefs urging the justices to narrow their ruling.

Zoeller said he‘s confident that the conviction of a Vanderburgh County man will still stand: Richard Barnes was found guilty of shoving an officer who tried to follow him through his apartment door during a domestic-violence investigation. Barnes‘ attorney asked the court to throw out the conviction, while the state argued that particular entry was reasonable, and is reluctant to wipe out the common-law right to resist. Legislators and Governor Daniels‘ chief counsel pointed to a 2006 law giving homeowners the right to defend themselves on their property.

The original ruling was 3-2; the state brief is the final step in the process of determining whether case will be given a second look.

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