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Supreme Court To Decide On Warrant-Less Police Entry Ruling

Last updated on Monday, June 27, 2011

(UNDATED) - It’s time for the Indiana Supreme Court to decide whether to reconsider a controversial ruling on warrant-less entry by police.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller has said the court went further than it needed to in ruling citizens have no right to resist police entry, other than to file suit later.

He formally adds his voice today to court briefs urging the justices to narrow their ruling.

The state's brief is the final step before the justices decide whether to give the case a second look.

Zoeller acknowledges the state is asking for reconsideration of a case it won, but says he's confident 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.

While Barnes' attorney has asked the court to throw out the conviction, the state and several legislators who filed a friend-of-the-court brief, have argued the court could rule that particular entry was reasonable, rather than wipe out the common-law right to resist.

Legislators and Governor Daniels' Chief Counsel has argued that right isn't limited to common law.

They point to a 2006 law giving homeowners the right to defend themselves on their property.

The original ruling was 3-2, with dissenters Robert Rucker and Brent Dickson supporting the conviction but contending the majority issued too sweeping a ruling.

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