Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

December 18, 2012

Local case overturned on appeal

Ruling could affect domestic violence cases.

An Indiana Court of Appeals ruling on a Kokomo case could have a lasting impact on domestic violence victims who file for protective orders.

At stake is the ability of police to arrest abuse victims who invite their abusers to violate a protective order.

Last week the appeals court, in a split decision, overturned the conviction of Kokomo resident Melissa Patterson on two charges of aiding, inducing or causing invasion of privacy.

For the majority, Appeals Court Judge Ezra Friedlander said the Indiana General Assembly never intended make it a criminal offense to invite an abusive ex to violate a protective order.

The point of law covered by the case is a familiar one to local police — someone obtains a protective order against a partner, only to be found later voluntarily in the company of the same person.

If the protective order is still in effect, police usually arrest both individuals.

The Dec. 14 appeals court decision, written “for publication,” in order to serve as a legal precedent, contends only the subject of the protective order can and should be arrested under those circumstances.

A Howard County sheriff deputy arrested Patterson in October 2011, accusing her of helping her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Gregory Darden, violate the protective order she’d taken out against him.

Specifically, the deputy found Darden at the same house with Patterson, who in turn told the deputy she was “just visiting” Darden.

Both Darden and Patterson told the deputy they thought the protective order against Darden had been dismissed by the court, but the deputy arrested them anyway — Darden on a charge of invasion of privacy and Patterson on a charge of aiding, inducing or causing invasion of privacy.

About a month later, Darden and Patterson were both arrested again, for the same offenses.

Patterson sought to have the charges against her thrown out prior to trial, but Howard Superior Court 1 Judge William Menges declined her motion, based on the rationale that Patterson was criminally complicit in helping Darden violate the no-contact order.

The appeals court disagreed, basing its decision in part on a 2003 Ohio Supreme Court decision, State vs. Lucas.

In that decision, the appeals court noted Ohio’s protective order law is very similar to Indiana’s, and said Ohio’s law specifically states that even if the person who sought a protective order urges the person named in the order to violate it, that doesn’t nullify the power of the order.

In other words, even if Patterson asked Darden to visit her, that didn’t absolve Darden from criminal liability for violating the order.

Any criminal responsibility for violating the order would rest on the person named in the order — and not on the person who asked for the order, the appeals court concluded.

The Legislature’s decision to not write a specific criminal violation for urging someone to violate an order “must be viewed not as an omission, but as a determination that such should not be criminalized,” Friedlander wrote for the 2-1 majority.

In the Lucas decision, the Ohio Supreme Court also stated that “if petitioners for protective orders were liable for criminal prosecution, a violator of a protection order could create a real chill on the reporting of a violation by simply claiming the illegal visit was the result of an illegal invitation.”

“Protection orders are about the behavior of the [person named in the order] and nothing else,” the Ohio majority wrote. “How or why [that person] finds himself at the petitioner’s doorstep is irrelevant.”

Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or at scott.smith@kokomotribune.com

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Waterford Place looks to 11 senior living duplexes to campus More senior living options could be on the way in Kokomo.Waterford Place Health Campus, located in the 800 block of St. Joseph Drive, is looking to expand with 11 new senior duplexes after receiving approval from the Kokomo Plan Commission’s plat com

    August 1, 2014

  • Trial dates moved in Wagoner clinic drug case Trial dates for seven of the eight people charged in the Wagoner Clinic prescription drug case have been moved to Oct. 3.Several of the suspects – including Marilyn Wagoner, the wife of Donald Wagoner, the former head of the clinics – were set to sta

    August 1, 2014

  • NWS - Summer Fest 02 Russiaville Summer Fest starts Friday RUSSIAVILLE — You think you can knock a baseball out of the park? There's a contest for that. If you love to sing, there's an activity for that. If you're afraid to sing but know the words to your favorite song, there's an activity for that, too. The

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • July 2014 has been the coldest on record Veteran Indiana residents are familiar with the old adage as it pertains to weather: "Hang out, it's sure to change." And, change it has. Just 24 months removed from the hottest July on record in 2012, the National Weather Service announced late Thur

    July 31, 2014

  • One injured in motorcycle crash A 50-year-old man suffered chest injuries when he crashed his motorcycle at Washington and Lafountain streets Wednesday afternoon. A Kokomo Police Department accident report stated Tommie Barger of Kokomo was driving a 1983 Honda 1100 south on Lafoun

    July 31, 2014

  • BMV offering driver tests in 11 languages INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is now offering drivers tests in 11 languages other than English that are spoken across Indiana. BMV Commissioner Don Snemis said Wednesday the decision was made at the urging of businesses, un

    July 31, 2014

  • Tionna Brown 02 Kokomo celebrates Tionna Brown's gold medal victories Little boys with pretend gold medals around their necks fought Wednesday to get their pictures taken with a pint-sized superstar who had won three real gold medals for herself. Twelve-year-old Tionna Brown just returned from Texas after competing in

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • KFD Rescue 2 Staffing changes leave Kokomo Fire Department with one rescue truck

    A shift in how the Kokomo Fire Department is staffed and responds to calls has some firefighters worried they will not have access to all the equipment they need. City officials, however, maintain there will be no change in the quality of service pro

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Kokomo Police officers reach out to public Tuesday Kokomo police will be out in full force Tuesday in area neighborhoods. In addition to their regular patrols, officers will be out getting to know residents and the issues they may have as part of National Night Out, a crime prevention event. National

    July 30, 2014

  • Feds cite Indiana Medicaid fraud unit over notices INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal agency found that the Indiana attorney general's office didn't give proper notice in nearly a quarter of the Medicaid fraud cases it helped prosecute in recent years. A report from the Department of Health and Human Serv

    July 30, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries