Court of Appeals Overturns Resisting & Obstructing Conviction
Case: People v. Sear
Court: Michigan Court of Appeals ( Unpublished Opinion )
Issues:Whether the defendant was entitled to a new trial on the resisting or obstructing a police officer charge on the basis that the jury was not properly instructed on all the elements of the charge; People v. Kowalski; People v. Quinn; People v. Vandenberg;People v. Mills; Request to vacate the defendant’s conviction for resisting and obstructing rather than remanding for a new trial; Sufficiency of the evidence that the police officer’s actions were lawful; Sufficiency of the evidence to support his conviction for disturbing the peace; People v. Mitchell
The court reversed the defendant’s conviction for resisting and obstructing a police officer, remanded for a new trial on that charge, and vacated the disturbing the peace conviction. He argued that he was “entitled to a new trial on the resisting or obstructing a police officer charge because the jury was not properly instructed on all the elements of resisting or obstructing an officer.” It was “not instructed on the third element, i.e., whether the police officer’s actions were lawful.” Instead, it was instructed on the first two elements and, after it sent a note inquiring as to the lawfulness of the entry, it was “instructed that it was not to consider the lawfulness of the entry.” In requesting that the court vacate his resisting and obstructing conviction rather than remand for a new trial, defendant claimed that there was insufficient evidence for the jury to find that the officer’s actions were lawful. The court rejected his claim.