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5/18/2011 1:49:28 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Indiana: Right to Reasonably Resist Unlawful Police Entry Struck Down

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Indiana: Right to Reasonably Resist Unlawful Police Entry Struck Down

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

On Thursday, May 12, the Indiana Supreme Court held in Barnes v. State
that an individual has no right to reasonably resist by force the
unlawful entry into his home by a police officer. Under this opinion,
the court overturned an ancient common law right to resist unlawful
entry as well as Indiana case law upholding this right as recently as
1985. The court went on to say that resisting "an unlawful police
entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with
modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence."

While many states struck down the English common law right to use
reasonable force to resist unlawful arrest by police about 60 years
ago, this case goes beyond the use of force against an unlawful
arrest. By its opinion, the Indiana Supreme Court has eliminated the
defense of reasonably resisting the unlawful entry of a police officer
into a person's home.

While this should not have any immediate impact on the right of
privacy within the homes of families in Indiana, it is all the more
important for members to contact us should they have contact from
authorities about their home or educational program.

The Fourth Amendment still protects your right to the privacy of your
home. You are not required by Barnes v. State to consent to the entry
of your home; you just can't forcibly resist authorities' attempts to
enter. HSLDA has never suggested the forcible resistance of an
unlawful attempt by the police to enter your home. Should a police
officer unlawfully force his or her way into home, you would have
recourse through the courts.

We will continue to monitor this case and the potential impact on
Indiana families in the near future.

Read the Barnes v. State case:
http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05121101shd.pdf

Sincerely,

Thomas J. (Tj) Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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