788 N.W.2d 860 (Mich.App. 2010), 289330, People v. Corr

Docket Nº289330.
Citation788 N.W.2d 860, 287 Mich.App. 499
Opinion JudgePER CURIAM.
Party NamePEOPLE v. CORR.
AttorneyMichael A. Cox, Attorney General, B. Eric Restuccia, Solicitor General, Jeffrey L. Sauter, Prosecuting Attorney, William M. Worden, Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, and D. Sunny Matz, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for the people. Kronzek & Cronkright PLLC, Lansing, (by Steven A. Freeman a...
Judge PanelBefore: MARK J. CAVANAGH, P.J., and FITZGERALD and SHAPIRO, JJ.
Case DateJanuary 19, 2010
CourtCourt of Appeals of Michigan

Page 860

788 N.W.2d 860 (Mich.App. 2010)

287 Mich.App. 499

PEOPLE

v.

CORR.

No. 289330.

Court of Appeals of Michigan.

January 19, 2010

Submitted Jan. 6, 2010, at Lansing.

Approved for publication March 9, 2010, at 9:10 a.m.

Page 861

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 862

Michael A. Cox, Attorney General, B. Eric Restuccia, Solicitor General, Jeffrey L. Sauter, Prosecuting Attorney, William M. Worden, Senior Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, and D. Sunny Matz, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for the people.

Kronzek & Cronkright PLLC, Lansing, (by Steven A. Freeman and Brandy J. Thompson), for defendant.

Before: MARK J. CAVANAGH, P.J., and FITZGERALD and SHAPIRO, JJ.

PER CURIAM.

[287 Mich.App. 501] The prosecution appeals by leave granted the circuit court's order affirming the district court's decision not to bind over defendant for trial on two counts of assaulting, resisting, and obstructing a police officer, MCL 750.81d(1). We reverse and remand for reinstatement of the charges.

The charges in this case stem from defendant's violent behavior against police officers after a pickup truck in which she was a passenger was stopped on suspicion that it was being operated by a drunk driver. Defendant's son was driving the truck and both he and defendant were intoxicated. Defendant got out of the pickup truck and disobeyed the officers' instructions to return to the vehicle. She kicked, shoved, and elbowed the officers. The facts were disputed regarding whether this conduct occurred while defendant's son was sitting in the back of a patrol car after having been arrested, or after he had been taken to jail.1

[287 Mich.App. 502] The district court found no probable cause to bind over defendant for resisting or obstructing police officers because the police unlawfully detained defendant. The

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district court concluded that defendant did not " obstruct" as defined in the statute because she did not refuse to obey a lawful command to return to the truck.

The circuit court affirmed on different grounds. The circuit court found that there was probable cause to believe that defendant's actions satisfied the elements of resisting or obstructing a police officer. The court agreed that defendant was illegally detained, but acknowledged that an unlawful arrest does not preclude prosecution for resisting and obstructing a police officer. Instead, the circuit court concluded that the illegal arrest required application of the exclusionary rule to bar the officers' testimony, without which probable cause could not be established. The prosecution now appeals.

In reviewing a decision to bind a defendant over for trial, we apply the following standards:

A magistrate's ruling that alleged conduct falls within the scope of a criminal statute is a question of law reviewed [de novo] for error, and a decision to bind over a defendant is reviewed for abuse of discretion. In reviewing the district court's decision to bind over a defendant for trial, a circuit court must consider the entire record of the preliminary examination, and it may not substitute its judgment for that of the magistrate. Reversal is appropriate only if it appears on the record that the district court abused its discretion.... Similarly, this Court reviews the circuit court's decision de novo to determine whether the district court abused its discretion. [ People v. Orzame, 224 Mich.App. 551, 557, 570 N.W.2d 118 (1997) (citations omitted).]

" The district court must bind over a defendant if the evidence presented at the preliminary examination establishes that a felony has been committed and there is [287 Mich.App. 503] probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the crime." People v. Terry, 224 Mich.App. 447, 451, 569 N.W.2d 641 (1997). " Circumstantial evidence and reasonable inferences arising from the evidence are sufficient to support a bindover." Id.

After reviewing the testimony of the officers at the preliminary examination, we find that the district court erred in its decision not to bind defendant over for trial because the evidence established probable cause to believe that defendant committed the offense. Under MCL 750.81d(1), the elements required to establish criminal liability are: (1) the defendant assaulted, battered, wounded, resisted, obstructed, opposed, or endangered a police officer, and (2) the defendant knew or had reason to know that the person that the defendant assaulted, battered, wounded, resisted, obstructed, opposed, or endangered was a police officer performing his or her duties. MCL 750.81d(1); MCL 750.81d(7)(b)( i ); People v. Ventura, 262 Mich.App. 370, 374-375, 686 N.W.2d 748 (2004). " ‘ Obstruct’ includes the use or threatened use of physical interference or force or a knowing failure to comply with a lawful command." MCL 750.81d(7)(a).

First, testimony by the police officers who were at the scene established probable cause to believe that defendant assaulted, battered, resisted, or obstructed a police officer. The testimony revealed that defendant pushed, shoved, elbowed, and kicked the officers after they repeatedly commanded or warned her to stay in the vehicle. Rather than submitting, defendant disobeyed the officers' commands and aggressively came into physical contact with them (1) when she got out of the vehicle and " pushed" an officer in an attempt to get by the officer, (2) when she struggled with and elbowed

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the officer when the officer was trying to get her back into [287 Mich.App. 504] the vehicle, and (3) when she struggled with and kicked and shoved the officers who were trying to confine her during her arrest. We agree with the circuit court that defendant's conduct constituted the type of conduct specifically prohibited under MCL 750.81d(1), regardless of the lawfulness of the officers' commands to stay in the vehicle. Under MCL 750.81d(1), it is illegal to assault, batter, resist, or obstruct an officer even if the officer is taking unlawful action, as long as the officer's actions are done in the performance of the officer's official duties. Ventura, 262 Mich.App. at 377, 686 N.W.2d 748.

The testimony also provided credible evidence that defendant knew or had reason to know that the person that she assaulted, battered, resisted, or obstructed was a police officer performing his or her duties. The phrase " has reason to know" " requires the fact-finder to engage in an analysis to determine whether the facts and circumstances of the case indicate that when resisting, defendant had ‘ reasonable cause to believe’ the person he was assaulting was performing his or her duties." People v. Nichols, 262 Mich.App. 408, 414, 686 N.W.2d 502 (2004). Given that the vehicle was pulled over during a traffic stop by a patrol car with activated emergency lights, additional officers arrived on the scene to assist the officer, and the officers performed ordinary police functions during the stop, such as checking defendant's identification, performing sobriety tests on the driver, arresting the driver, maintaining control over the scene, ordering defendant to remain in the vehicle, and administering breathalyzer tests in an attempt to locate a sober driver to move the vehicle from the roadway, defendant knew or had reason to know that the persons she assaulted were police officers performing duties in their official capacity. Therefore, defendant's conduct...

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  • 886 N.W.2d 910 (Mich.App. 2016), 323762, People v. Morris
    • United States
    • Michigan Court of Appeals of Michigan
    • February 11, 2016
    ...police officer as long as the officer is acting in the performance of those duties." [314 Mich.App. 408] People v Corr, 287 Mich.App. 499, 505; 788 N.W.2d 860 (2010). So, to fall under the statute, the individual must assault, batter, wound, resist, obstruct, oppose......
  • 894 N.W.2d 732 (Mich.App. 2016), 327767, People v. Mahdi
    • United States
    • Michigan Court of Appeals of Michigan
    • October 11, 2016
    ...the issue whether the Fourth Amendment was violated and the issue whether an exclusionary rule applies. People v Corr, 287 Mich.App. 499, 506; 788 N.W.2d 860 (2010).[1] The United States and Michigan Constitutions protect against unreasonable searches and seizures. ......
  • People v. Gibson, 120513 MICA, 304181
    • United States
    • Michigan Court of Appeals of Michigan
    • December 5, 2013
    ...defendant had 'reasonable cause to believe' the person he was assaulting was performing his or her duties." People v Corr, 287 Mich.App. 499, 504; 788 N.W.2d 860 (2010), quoting People v Nichols, 262 Mich.App. 408, 414; 686 N.W.2d 502 (2004). As previously discussed, the evidence was s......
  • People v. Hall, 102015 MICA, 321755
    • United States
    • Michigan Court of Appeals of Michigan
    • October 20, 2015
    ...officer performing his or her duties." [People v Quinn, 305 Mich.App. 484, 491; 853 N.W.2d 383 (2014), quoting People v Corr, 287 Mich.App. 499, 503; 788 N.W.2d 860 (2010).] Relevant to the circumstances here, "obstruct" includes the "knowing failure to comply with a law......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
93 cases
  • 886 N.W.2d 910 (Mich.App. 2016), 323762, People v. Morris
    • United States
    • Michigan Court of Appeals of Michigan
    • February 11, 2016
    ...police officer as long as the officer is acting in the performance of those duties." [314 Mich.App. 408] People v Corr, 287 Mich.App. 499, 505; 788 N.W.2d 860 (2010). So, to fall under the statute, the individual must assault, batter, wound, resist, obstruct, oppose......
  • 894 N.W.2d 732 (Mich.App. 2016), 327767, People v. Mahdi
    • United States
    • Michigan Court of Appeals of Michigan
    • October 11, 2016
    ...the issue whether the Fourth Amendment was violated and the issue whether an exclusionary rule applies. People v Corr, 287 Mich.App. 499, 506; 788 N.W.2d 860 (2010).[1] The United States and Michigan Constitutions protect against unreasonable searches and seizures. ......
  • People v. Gibson, 120513 MICA, 304181
    • United States
    • Michigan Court of Appeals of Michigan
    • December 5, 2013
    ...defendant had 'reasonable cause to believe' the person he was assaulting was performing his or her duties." People v Corr, 287 Mich.App. 499, 504; 788 N.W.2d 860 (2010), quoting People v Nichols, 262 Mich.App. 408, 414; 686 N.W.2d 502 (2004). As previously discussed, the evidence was s......
  • People v. Hall, 102015 MICA, 321755
    • United States
    • Michigan Court of Appeals of Michigan
    • October 20, 2015
    ...officer performing his or her duties." [People v Quinn, 305 Mich.App. 484, 491; 853 N.W.2d 383 (2014), quoting People v Corr, 287 Mich.App. 499, 503; 788 N.W.2d 860 (2010).] Relevant to the circumstances here, "obstruct" includes the "knowing failure to comply with a law......
  • Request a trial to view additional results