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  1. #1
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    "Failure to follow a lawful order"

    I'm a little curious just how to define, "Failure to follow a lawful order." Most of the time I see it mentioned it's in regards to someone interferring with a police operation, but not always. Just so we lowly non-LEOs can put it in perspective beyond, "It's against the law because I just decided to say so." I'd like to have a better understanding.

    What brought my question to mind was this story.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Conven...5668622&page=1
    But I'm not here to try to make this specific instance the main focus of the thread. We only see snippets of what happened. Obviously ABC News is ticked off because their guy didn't get to do what he wanted, so they're not an objective source on this story. One particular regarding this story that I do wonder about is the trespassing charge for being on the sidewalk. I was under the impression that sidewalks are public property and that a trespassing charge wouldn't apply there.

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    Failure to follow a lawful order is just that. There has been a shooting. You want to cross the tape for what ever reason. I tell you to step behind the tape. You either do not comply or step back, only to cross it again. Hence my lawful order was disobeyed.
    Protesting is legal. If you and 500 people want to come to a location and protest I cannot stop you if you stay on the sidewalk and do not impede traffic. If you don't listen, you did not obey my order. If you step onto private property I can tell you to move. If 5000 of you want to shut down the road, it's best to allow you to do that for a while and divert traffic. Those that do not divert failed to follow a lawful order.
    I doubt that the Brown Palace owns the sidewalk in the above incident. This certainly does not look good for those that were involved. I noticed that the cameraman was not bothered. The man arrested was a producer which seems strange.
    What we have is a case of rich people that did not want to be photographed hobnobbing with other rich people so they complain to the hotel. The hotel then calls the police. bad PR for everyone involved. I am sure the hotel has other exits these people could have used.
    To get back to your question, if you are a journalist, and you are waiting for people to emerge from a hotel my order for you to move is not lawful because you are engaged in your pursuit of a story. You have a purpose for being there. You are not loitering or trespassing. You would be guilty of trespass once you enter the lobby and refuse to move. You cannot position yourself to block an exit either.
    Just cause someone does not want to be photographed is no reason for me to move you along especially by force. You can hide your face, use another exit or just not even show up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by velobard View Post
    I'm a little curious just how to define, "Failure to follow a lawful order." Most of the time I see it mentioned it's in regards to someone interferring with a police operation, but not always. Just so we lowly non-LEOs can put it in perspective beyond, "It's against the law because I just decided to say so." I'd like to have a better understanding.

    What brought my question to mind was this story.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Conven...5668622&page=1
    But I'm not here to try to make this specific instance the main focus of the thread. We only see snippets of what happened. Obviously ABC News is ticked off because their guy didn't get to do what he wanted, so they're not an objective source on this story. One particular regarding this story that I do wonder about is the trespassing charge for being on the sidewalk. I was under the impression that sidewalks are public property and that a trespassing charge wouldn't apply there.
    Just so long as your not trolling for a reaction or anything.
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    What is it they say... something along the lines of Ignorance is not admissible in the court of law...

    So basically, It's not MY fault if you do not UNDERSTAND or KNOW the law... therefore if you break it by IGNORANCE you don't get to say... "Well uh judge... whata happened was... I didn't know the law..."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kknudsen View Post
    Just so long as your not trolling for a reaction or anything.
    If you think I'm a troll, fine. No skin off my nose.

    I used that phrase as an example of how some people might perceive that sort of charge.

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    It has nothing to do with doing what I would LIKE, it about not doing something I have a legal/definable right to tell you to do. I can't indiscriminately apply our failure to comply with lawful order statute to anyone who ticks me off. It usually comes into play in resisting cases/use of force when after I have developed reasonalble suspicion or probable cause, I give an order that they do not wish to comply with and they force the situation. Who wants to waste time making misedeanor cases for not listening constantly, I would much rather just have a little cooperation and find that you are only upset I am asking you to let me search you, exit the vehicle, or stop running and find nothing is amis. Instgead they choose to force my hand and now I have to justify why I had to physically force you to comply...

  7. #7
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    I don't know if the term "lawful order" is even found in the wording of the law. In my state all you have to do is willfully resist, delay, or obstruct any public officer, peace officer, or an emergency medical technician, in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of their office or employment and you're off to jail.

    If I need to clear a sidewalk, stop traffic, evacuate an building, tell someone to halt, lay down, or to put down an object (just to name a few) in order to do my job and they refuse to comply, then there is a violation.
    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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    Hi, velobard,

    Failure to comply with a lawful order is more likely to be used as a justification for use of force than as a criminal charge.

    For example, if a person is deaf, and didn't know he'd been given the order, or didn't heed it for that reason, or for some other reason, such as not understanding the language, it's not criminal for him to fail to comply; in general, it's criminal only if it reaches the level of obstruction.

    Another example: if an officer lawfully commands a person to identify himself and what he's doing in his present location, and the person exercises his right to remain silent, the officer may be justified in taking him into custody, but the person will not for that noncompliance alone be guilty of an offense.

    Police have broad authority to keep the peace, and may issue commands accordingly. For example, although the People have the right peaceably to assemble, the People do not have the right to do so impeaceably, and a police officer may issue an ad hoc cease and desist order against e.g. impairing public passage on the highways. Failure to comply with such an order would constitute a common law breach of the peace, and even if it was not a statutory criminal offense, would justify the police officer in using necessary and reasonable force to restore the People's peace.

    The court could later find that the person had been acting within the scope of legitimate freedom of expression, and that the police officer had been acting within the scope of his legitimate authority, and send both of them home. Or it could penalize either party depending on the specifics of the situation. There are many possibilities in this area.

    Your apparently somewhat rankled allusion to some persons being "lowly" because they are not LEOs suggests to me that you think that the authority of police officers to issue "lawful commands" to some extent smacks of a constitutionally prohibited conferring by the government of a title of nobility. Some officers may act as if that were the case, but I think the courts are reasonably diligent in preventing that from being the case, allowing police officers to issue lawful commands, and penalizing appropriately only those who inappropriately do not comply with them, and/or officers who improperly issue or enforce them, i.e. who issue orders under color of authority with insufficent basis, or who make inappropriate use of force in the situation.

    I almost always do what the nice police officer commands, just as I do when a judge commands me in a subpoena duces tacem to bring someone or something to court. The nice police officer is presumably doing his duty in a situation that has in his view brought about the necessity or appropriateness or exigent circumstances leading to his issuing a command.

    Regards,

    Monty
    Last edited by Monty Ealerman; 08-29-2008 at 01:51 AM.

  9. #9
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    Monty, I admit I was in a mood to engage in a touch of tongue-in-cheek self-deprecation with my "lowly" comment.

    Just out of curiousity, I did a quick search on the Denver court website and did not find any records under the producer's name as given in the story. I thought that might provide an update, like the one I found on the case where the fellow brought guns into the hotel lobby this week. I did find this from ABC:
    Police arrested Eslocker and charged him with trespassing, failure to follow a lawful order, and interference with a police officer.

    Eslocker's attorneys said Thursday that their client is "innocent of all three crimes."
    http://www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Co...5678763&page=1

    I do appreciate your explanation of the topic. That provides a decent perspective, which is all I was after in the first place.

  10. #10
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    Our enforcement options include: Contravene requirement/ direction - provided they are lawful i.e.state full and correct name and current address, a move on direction has been issued to a person and they're not return for a set period of time; Obstruct police; or Commit public nuisance.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monty Ealerman View Post
    Failure to comply with a lawful order is more likely to be used as a justification for use of force than as a criminal charge.
    Apparently, the recent jury verdict against Canadian Peter Watts is exactly the opposite.

    =================
    http://boingboing.net/2010/03/19/pet...-found-gu.html

    "After Beaudry had finished whaling on me in the car, and stepped outside, and ordered me out of the vehicle; after I’d complied with that, and was standing motionless beside the car, and Beaudry told me to get on the ground — I just stood there, saying “What is the problem?”, just before Beaudry maced me.

    And that, said the Prosecutor in her final remarks — that, right there, was failure to comply. That was enough to convict."
    =================

    I wonder what would you say about this article:
    http://www.tuccille.com/blog/2007/12...deference.html

    "So, if the police are just folks in blue polyester shirts, why are we supposed to obey their dictates as if they've been handed down from Mount Olympus? We argue with plumbers, doctors and store clerks when we believe that they are mistaken, even about matters within their areas of expertise. Why would we make special rules for enforcers of the laws -- especially when the consequences of their mistakes can involve such monumental matters as stiff fines and loss of liberty?

  12. #12
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    Its enforceable under military law!
    I don't work - I merely inflict myself upon the public.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by vadimr View Post
    Apparently, the recent jury verdict against Canadian Peter Watts is exactly the opposite.

    =================
    http://boingboing.net/2010/03/19/pet...-found-gu.html

    "After Beaudry had finished whaling on me in the car, and stepped outside, and ordered me out of the vehicle; after I’d complied with that, and was standing motionless beside the car, and Beaudry told me to get on the ground — I just stood there, saying “What is the problem?”, just before Beaudry maced me.

    And that, said the Prosecutor in her final remarks — that, right there, was failure to comply. That was enough to convict."
    =================

    I wonder what would you say about this article:
    http://www.tuccille.com/blog/2007/12...deference.html

    "So, if the police are just folks in blue polyester shirts, why are we supposed to obey their dictates as if they've been handed down from Mount Olympus? We argue with plumbers, doctors and store clerks when we believe that they are mistaken, even about matters within their areas of expertise. Why would we make special rules for enforcers of the laws -- especially when the consequences of their mistakes can involve such monumental matters as stiff fines and loss of liberty?
    Police aren't just folks in polyester blue suits, no more than doctors are just folks in scrubs. The uniform is a clear indicator to the position the person holds, what they are and what they can do is indicative of the Office they hold. If I give you an order, it's not for you to decide then and there that it be lawful or not and I don't care if you agree or not. What I say will be done when I'm in the perform of my duites.

    Ask. Tell. Make.


    I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

  14. #14
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    yeah, what smurfy say . i read the first one post and seen smurfy posted last, i go all the way down to see what she say what she says ,usually goes.saves my time reading all the crap.
    break censorship chains

  15. #15
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    From the California Vehicle Code:

    Compliance with Peace Officer Orders

    2800. (a) It is unlawful to willfully fail or refuse to comply with a lawful order, signal, or direction of a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, when that peace officer is in uniform and is performing duties pursuant to any of the provisions of this code, or to refuse to submit to a lawful inspection pursuant to this code.

    (b) Except as authorized pursuant to Section 24004, it is unlawful to fail or refuse to comply with a lawful out-of-service order issued by an authorized employee of the Department of the California Highway Patrol or by a uniformed peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code, when that peace officer or authorized employee is performing duties pursuant to any provision of this code and the out-of-service order complies with Section 395.13 or 396.9 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

    (c) It is unlawful to fail or refuse to comply with a lawful out-of-service order issued by the United States Secretary of the Department of Transportation.

    (d) It is unlawful to fail or refuse to comply with a lawful out-of-service order issued by a peace officer or commercial vehicle inspector, of any state, any Province of Canada, or the Federal Government of the United States, Canada, or Mexico, when that peace officer or commercial vehicle inspector is in uniform and is performing duties under any provisions of state, provincial, federal, or Mexican law and the out-of-service order complies with Section 395.13 or 396.9 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Amended Sec. 29.5, Ch. 724, Stats. 1999. Effective January 1, 2000.
    Amended Sec. 2, Ch. 952, Stats. 2004. Effective January 1, 2004. Operative September 20, 2005.
    Amended Sec. 1, Ch. 288, Stats. 2006. Effective January 1, 2007.

    Obedience to Firemen

    2801. It is unlawful to wilfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order, signal, or direction of any member of any fire department, paid, volunteer, or company operated, when wearing the badge or insignia of a fireman and when in the course of his duties he is protecting the personnel and fire department equipment.
    Additionally, Section 166 of the California Penal Code (too lengthy to post here) has several references to "Lawful Order" dealing with peace officers, the court, etc.

    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/di...0&file=142-181
    Last edited by SgtCHP; 05-04-2010 at 10:30 PM.
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  16. #16
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    IC 35-44-3-7
    Refusal to aid an officer
    Sec. 7. A person who, when ordered by a law enforcement officer to assist the officer in the execution of the officer's duties, knowingly or intentionally, and without a reasonable cause, refuses to assist commits refusal to aid an officer, a Class B misdemeanor.

  17. #17
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    When asked to comply with an order the officer often has a valid reason to ask for your compliance.

    Ie he is directing traffic at a flooded bridge. He wants to stop your car to save your life.

    Etc etc. Just because you don't like he officer telling you to stop doesn't mean he is power tripping on telling you what to do.

    Point is the officer has a reason. A reason that he doesn't have to explain to you.
    Any views or opinions presented by this prenomen are solely those of a burlesque author and do not necessarily represent those of a LEA or caementum couturier.

    nom de plume

    This is the internet- take all information with a grain of salt. Such could be valid and true or could be typed just for playing devils advocate.

  18. #18
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    1 year and 8 months is a long time for failing to follow a lawful order. Hope you learned your lesson. I'm guessing Resisting and Obstructing. A two year felony in the best State. 5 years if it causes injury.

    So, two years because it wasn't your first felony and you got 4 months knocked off for good behavior or you escaped.

    Just sort of wierd that you went to page 100 to find this crappy thread.
    It takes a Wolf.......

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CruiserClass View Post
    IC 35-44-3-7
    Refusal to aid an officer
    Sec. 7. A person who, when ordered by a law enforcement officer to assist the officer in the execution of the officer's duties, knowingly or intentionally, and without a reasonable cause, refuses to assist commits refusal to aid an officer, a Class B misdemeanor.
    That's an interesting little gem. Do you know of anybody who has been arrested and/or prosecuted under that statute?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SgtCHP View Post
    It is unlawful to willfully fail or refuse to comply with a lawful order, signal, or direction of a peace officer
    The way I read it, it's unlawful to refuse to comply with the officer's order, signal, or direction provided that order, signal, or direction is directly based on a law. If it's not based on a law, then it does not apply.

    For instance, if officer stops a motorist, the motorist gets out of the vehicle, the officer orders him back in the vehicle, but the motorist refuses, then "failure to comply" can only be applied if there's a law clearly stating that it's unlawful to get out of the vehicle when stopped. If there's no law officer's order is based on, then the order is not lawful.

    The very fact of the presence of this "lawful" in the statute, I think, makes it clear that it does not apply to just any order coming from uniformed officer, and some orders can be unlawful.
    Last edited by vadimr; 05-05-2010 at 10:17 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryker View Post
    Point is the officer has a reason. A reason that he doesn't have to explain to you.
    The law does not say "failure to comply with reasonable order". It says "lawful". There must be a law backing officer's order.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scipio View Post
    That's an interesting little gem. Do you know of anybody who has been arrested and/or prosecuted under that statute?
    New York State has a similar clause in their penal code. I think the charge actually reads the same... Or maybe it's "failure to aid a peace officer"?
    I'll look around and see if I can find it...
    "Peace exists, not simply with the loss of conflict, but with the presence of true justice."

  23. #23
    Welp, see ya later!

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    Got it... By law, according to the NYS Penal Code:

    § 195.10 Refusing to aid a peace or a police officer.
    A person is guilty of refusing to aid a peace or a police officer
    when, upon command by a peace or a police officer identifiable or
    identified to him as such, he unreasonably fails or refuses to aid such
    peace or a police officer in effecting an arrest, or in preventing the
    commission by another person of any offense.
    Refusing to aid a peace or a police officer is a class B misdemeanor.


    There you have it!
    "Peace exists, not simply with the loss of conflict, but with the presence of true justice."

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by vadimr View Post
    The way I read it, it's unlawful to refuse to comply with the officer's order, signal, or direction provided that order, signal, or direction is directly based on a law. If it's not based on a law, then it does not apply.

    For instance, if officer stops a motorist, the motorist gets out of the vehicle, the officer orders him back in the vehicle, but the motorist refuses, then "failure to comply" can only be applied if there's a law clearly stating that it's unlawful to get out of the vehicle when stopped. If there's no law officer's order is based on, then the order is not lawful.

    The very fact of the presence of this "lawful" in the statute, I think, makes it clear that it does not apply to just any order coming from uniformed officer, and some orders can be unlawful.
    You are talking in circles and making more of the issue than is intended. Quit trying to insert your own morale code and read the words as they are posted in the quote.

    Bottom line: a police officer has the right to give you an order that is within reason and substance.

    You do not have the right to refuse or disobey. i.e., if I appoint you to assist me in apprehending a suspect because I need help, you must assist.

    If I am aware that you may be harmed helping me, then that would be an unlawful order. I cannot force you to expose yourself to the possibility of harm.

    But, on the other hand, while investigating a crime I tell you to stop, raise your hands and submit to investigation; you must do so immediately or you have failed to comply with a lawful order.

    Further, if you are driving a vehicle that is unsafe to those around you and I tell you to park it and do not drive it any further. Your willful disregard for that directive makes it a violation of a lawful order.

    In short, no law enforcement officer or firefighter is going to tell a person to do something that is not reasonable, prudent and sane without a purpose and within the accepted norms.
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


  25. #25
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    Outshined is right


    I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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