Free Markets, Free People

Stunning court decision in Indiana–Hoosiers have no right to resist illegal police entry into their home

No, you read it right.  That’s what the Indiana Supreme Court decided in what would be a laughable finding if it wasn’t so serious:

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.

The author of the story reporting this is right – somehow the ISC managed, in one fell swoop, to overturn almost 900 years of precedent, going back to the Magna Carta.

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. [emphasis mine]

Or said another way, your home is no longer your castle. 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”


Wrong – in Indiana

"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.

What part of “unlawful” doesn’t Justice David understand?  What part of the right of the people to “be secure… shall not be violated” wasn’t taught to him in law school.

How secure is anyone in their “persons, houses, papers and effects” if, per David, a police officer can waltz in any home he wants to “for any reason or no reason at all?”

The given reason by the so-called Justice is resistance is “against public policy?”  What freakin’ policy is that?  I , for whatever reason, thought our public policy as regards our homes was set by the 4th amendment to the Constitution.  Since when does Indiana’s “public policy” abrogate the Constitutional right to be “secure in our persons, houses, papers and effects”?

And, from where I sit, it is the job of the police not to “escalate the level of violence”, not the homeowner.  You know, like maybe a polite knock on a door to attempt arrest instead of a battering ram and the violent entry of a full SWAT team to arrest a jaywalker.  Maybe a little pre-raid intelligence gathering, or snagging the alleged perp when he leaves the house to go to work, or walk the dog, or go to the store.

I swear, this sort of thing lights a fast fuse in me.

Now we’re to give up our rights because it might “elevate the violence” if we attempt to protect ourselves from unlawful activity.   And check out this pinhead’s “analysis”:

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."

So we’ll just throw out your 4th amendment right to satisfy the court’s desire to “prevent violence?”

Screw you Justice David (and the other two Justices) and the horse you rode in on. 

I hope your decision is destroyed on appeal and if you’re in an elected office you become very “insecure” in your probability of staying there.

The two dissenting Justices got it mostly right:

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."

I say mostly right because they indicated that in the case of domestic violence, they too were willing to throw the 4th amendment under the bus. 

How in the freakin’ hell can you say “it runs afoul of the Fourth Amendment” and then agree to a partial abrogation of the 4th under certain circumstances?

Oh, and just to point out that this likely isn’t an outlier for this crew:

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.

Because, you know, it would be just asking too much to have to have the police actually justify a no-knock entrance to a judge, wouldn’t it?


And you wonder why you have to protect your rights daily from attacks within?


Twitter: @McQandO


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36 Responses to Stunning court decision in Indiana–Hoosiers have no right to resist illegal police entry into their home

  • Wow, great minds think alike?  No sooner had I posted my take on this decision then I read yours.
    I could not believe the news article when I read it.  I’m still stunned by the judge’s reasoning.  The Fourth Amendment, even to my untrained eyes, appears pretty clear.  This decision is simply wrong.

    • If you read the decision, it becomes clear that the justices saw that modern jurisprudence that eroded the 4th Amendment … and decided to pile on.

  • Yeah if the government is going to screw you over, it might escalate to violence.  So we’ll declare it legal for them to screw you over and you’ll be much more subdued knowing you’ll go to jail for resisting them.
    WTF are they smoking in Indiana?

  • What are the chances that we could get a right-leaning cop to take advantage of this and just enter into the majority justices homes to make arrests?

    Ah screw that, the mob should do that job, except for the arrest part. 

  • Living in Indiana makes me sick now. The government gets more and more intrusive all the time.

  • It’s all of a piece, sadly. Where does TSA get the authority to abrogate the 4th Amendment with their groping of private parts or the FBI with warrantless telephone taps? If federal authorities can do those with impunity in the name of public policy why should not state and local authorities enter one’s private dwelling on a whim, warrantless and illegally? This is a very slippery slope and I hope the Supreme Court strikes all these unwarranted invasions down.

    • You went one bridge too far, Wolf.  Wire-taps are RARELY warrant-less, but they ALLL used to be historically.  Wire-tap jurisprudence…including computer privacy…has been an expansion of civil liberties.

      • I think not,Ragspierre, the FBI has it’s ways.
        ‘Cell phone users, beware.  The FBI can listen to everything you say, even when the cell phone is turned off.’

        • Yeah, but don’t get paranoid, Wolf.  I CAN do all kinds of things I just don’t have the time or inclination to do.

          The “roving bugs” were approved by a judge after the more conventional bugs planted at specified locations were discovered by members of the crime family, who then started to conduct their business dealings in several additional locations, including more restaurants, cars, a doctor’s office and public streets.
          “The courts have given law enforcement a blank check for surveillance,” Richard Rehbock, attorney for defendant John Ardito, told ABC News.
          Judge Kaplan’s ruling said otherwise. “While a mobile device makes interception easier and less costly to accomplish than a stationary one, this does not mean that it implicated new or different privacy concerns.” He continued, “It simply dispenses with the need for repeated installations and surreptitious entries into buildings.  It does not invade zones of privacy that the government could not reach by more conventional means.”

  • I think law enforcement and the legal profession have been merging.

  • The concept of “unreasonable searches and seizures” is shrinking smaller and smaller…

  • This is in Indiana and the Republicans are pushing for their governor Mitch Daniels to run for president.  I don’t like that idea.  What are they going to do make this national?  No thanks, this is just in your face facism and violation of rights. 

  • Wholly CRAP, this just shows how muzzy thinking can become!
    I very much doubt it will survive review by the Supremes, BUT that there is ANY question it would is really a commentary in itself!
    How can we APPROACH a condition where simply reading the Constitution and applying it is too hard for our highest courts?
    This is just hard to believe…

    • Justice Steven H. David was appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels.
      Perhaps he was right to drag out any announcement for a Presidential run.

      • Yeah, Neo, but one of the worst indicators of a pols’ ideology is the voting record of their appointees to high courts.
        Think of Reagan and others, and some of the stinkers they appointed.  Bush 41…not much a conservative…put up Thomas, who I think is brilliant.

        • There was plenty of evidence that ‘Justice’ David was an ass long before he was placed as one of Indiana’s highest judicial voices by Mitch Daniels. I hope that whatever temporary political quid-pro-quo Daniels got by sacrificing the civil rights of his state’s citizens was worth it, Rags…

          • Didn’t Daniels just get to choose from among a few that were actually chosen by a commission?

        • …one of the worst indicators of a pols’ ideology is the voting record of their appointees to high courts.

          True in general, Rags, but in this case there’s more to the story.

          • I bow (or even bow-wow) to your superior knowledge of inside baseball politics in Indiana.  I am no Daniels booster.
            He screwed the pooch when the Indiana Fleebaggers took to their heels and he excused them.

  • I think it’s only fair that we use all three justices names so they can lay claim to their legacy.
    Justice Steven H. David has been on the court for 6 months.
    Cheif Justice Randall T. Shepard
    Justice Frank Sullivan, Jr.

  • This decison may seem troubling, but I sort of see the logic.  1)When a police entry is legal it is often pretty obvious.  2)When police entry is unlawful, it may not be obvious in the heat of the entry.  So, to avoid unnecesary violence, the citizen must stand by and acquiesce.  But, if the entry is illegal, then all the evidence obtained and any fruits of the evidence are inadmissible.  So, succumbing to illegal search avoids violence but does not infringe on rights to exclude evidence illegally obtained.  Thus an unlawful entry/search is NOT in the interest of police whether the citizen resists or not.  So avoid vilnce and potential harm, and dont resist. 

    • That might sound logical, but it is NOT constitutional.  The constitution is very clear that there will be no illegal search and seizures.  

    • Rarely, if ever, can you NOT see some rationale for a CRAPPY legal decision.  It just means you can rationalized any damn thing.

    • Then there have been instances of criminals masquerading as cops and pushing their way into homes to rob the occupants, should homeowners resist? And even the police tell women driving alone on a dark road to proceed to a gas station or similar populated area if she is not sure the flashing lights in her rear view mirror are really a cop car.

      • I’ll go you one better…there have been more than a few rogue LEOs…even whole departments that were dominated by criminals with badges.
        The Indiana Supremes really got this one WRONG, and I sure hope it bites the dust quickly.  The legislature could deal with this in short order, if they were of a mind.

  • After moving to Indiana (dumb move) from California, it’s obvious nearly all elected officials in Indiana are corrupt, and they do not care who knows it. Although the judge made it official, Indiana residents never have had the right to defend theirselves from nosy, intrusive, & the bullying of law enforcement.

  • Oh, f#$k, it’s going to get nasty…

  • ” … incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence … ”
    Oh, frabjous day: post-modernist jurisprudence has arrived.
    Who cares about the Framers and their intent?  Who cares about protecting the God-given rights of law-abiding citizens if it would inconvenience any member of any branch of State or Federal bureaucracy?  The Constitution is, like, OVER A HUNDRED YEARS OLD (according to a savant named Ezra Klein) — it’s outdated and confusing!!!  Let’s just simplify it a bit:  “Government at any level gets to do whatever the hell it wants and we on the bench will rubber-stamp our approval later.  And especially so, if we can put the screws to the majority ethnic group (hint: they resemble those European-born Founders) by favoring the outlandish claims of officially-acknowledged “victim” classes; we intend to ALWAYS determine there is majority bias which can only be redressed by giving the “victims” extra rights and preferences, and this will ALWAYS require taking away rights from the majority -hereinafter referred to as ‘haters’, ‘bigots’, ‘racists’, and/or ‘Republicans’.”

  • There is a procedure the may use to gain access.  If they see a crime being committed, they identify themselves as police pursuing a suspect.  Without probable cause, they obtain a search warrant, ring the bell, identify themselves as police, show their warrant and enter.  Unfortunately, with more frequent use of SWAT tactics and a parallel rise in home invasions, the authorities had better be absolutely certain that they are in the right place when they breach the door.  Here in Alabama where everyone is armed, the police have more sense than to kick down doors. 

    Alabama also has castle and stand and fight laws.  If you feel you are being threatened, you can use deadly force and be exempt from both criminal and civil charges.
    Have these Indiana judges have been misusing ethanol again?

  • BTW, “Hoosier” is an Indiana nickname mocking someone answering a knock at the door with, “Who’s there?”

  • So when a home invader (or 2 or 3) holler “Police!” as they break into a home to rape, kill and pillage–I guess any law-abiding citizen (oops I mean subject, now) of Indiana will be thrown in prison if he/she defends the family!  After all, how do you know what’s real?  Anyone can go to Kohl’s, get some navy slacks and light blue shirt, sew on a flag (and a fake-but-looks-good badge from the Internet)–and there’s a uniform for the criminal.

    Time to man* the barricades*, folks.   [*speaking figuratively)