City of Shoreline v. McLemore

This court case is completed

Police arrived at Mr. McLemore’s door after a reported domestic disturbance, knocked for a prolonged period of time, and threatened to break the door down. When Mr. McLemore came to the door and stated that he was exercising his right to refuse them entry without a warrant, they broke down his door and arrested him for obstruction of a law enforcement officer, based on his failure to let the police in. We filed an amicus brief with the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Washington Defender Association arguing that this misuse of obstruction charges has a chilling effect on the exercise of individual rights in interactions with the police. We asked the court to limit interpretation of the statute in order to protect constitutional rights. The Washington Supreme Court issued a split 4 to 4 Opinion, half in favor of Mr. McLemore’s conviction and half against—functionally affirming Mr. McLemore’s conviction. ACLU-WA will file an amicus in support of reconsideration, explaining that the ruling creates confusion about significant rights, making it very difficult for organizations like the ACLU to provide know-your-rights information.