857 P.2d 814 (Okla.Crim.App. 1993), M-89-1248, Jones v. City of Tulsa

Docket Nº:M-89-1248.
Citation:857 P.2d 814
Party Name:Richard C. JONES, et al., Appellants, v. The CITY OF TULSA, Appellee.
Case Date:July 27, 1993
Court:Court of Appeals of Oklahoma, Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma

Page 814

857 P.2d 814 (Okla.Crim.App. 1993)

Richard C. JONES, et al., Appellants,

v.

The CITY OF TULSA, Appellee.

No. M-89-1248.

Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma.

July 27, 1993.

Page 815

Richard D. White, Jr., Tulsa, for appellants.

Neal E. McNeill, City Atty. and Mark H. Newbold, Asst. City Prosecutor, Tulsa, for appellee.

OPINION

JOHNSON, VICE PRESIDING JUDGE:

The appellants were convicted in Tulsa Municipal Court, City of Tulsa, for Trespassing pursuant to 27 Tulsa Rev.Ord. § 626(a) or § 626(c). The trial judge sentenced each of the forty-two (42) appellants to a $50.00 fine plus the court cost.

On April 29, 1989, the forty-two (42) appellants, with others, entered the premises of Reproductive Services Adoption Affiliates in Tulsa to "rescue unborn children from death." While on the premises, the appellants positioned themselves to block the entrances to the clinic. The director of the clinic demanded those present to leave the premises. When the appellants did not comply, the director contacted the police who responded and arrested the protestors.

The appellants were prepared to use the defense of necessity at trial. However, pursuant to the City of Tulsa's motion in limine, the appellants were prohibited from using the defense when the trial judge concluded the defense would not apply. As a result, the appellants were tried and sentenced and have perfected this appeal to challenge the trial judge's determination about the necessity defense. In addition, certain of the appellants have challenged the sufficiency of evidence presented by the City of Tulsa to satisfy the Trespassing charge. We have reviewed the record, and affirm the decision of the trial court.

Initially, the appellants challenge the trial judge's decision to grant a Motion in Limine in favor of the City. The trial judge properly sustained the City's Motion in Limine to disallow the use of the necessity defense. Appellee correctly points out that Oklahoma does not have a statutory provision for the necessity defense. To review appellants' argument, it is therefore necessary to review the common law and other state law in reference to the facts in the case due to the fact that this is a case of first impression in Oklahoma.

In general, the defense of necessity is allowed when a defendant is faced with the burden of committing a lesser

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harm to prevent the...

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