Douglas M. Curtis, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.
from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Jeffrey Mendes,
Pro Tem Judge Trial Court Cause No. 49G08-1506-CM-22260
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Barbara J. Simmons Oldenburg, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of
Indiana Jodi Kathryn Stein Deputy Attorney General
Douglas Curtis appeals his conviction for Class A misdemeanor
criminal trespass. We reverse.
issue before us is whether there is sufficient evidence to
sustain Curtis's conviction.
Curtis lived with his father, Michael, in Michael's
apartment in the Nora Commons on the Monon ("Nora
Commons") complex in Indianapolis. Because Nora Commons
is a complex for residents fifty-five years old and older,
Curtis could not be a tenant there. In 2010, Curtis executed
a "Live-In Attendant" agreement that permitted him
to live in Michael's apartment to allow Michael to live
independently. Ex. A. However, Nora Commons's policy was
that such an agreement had to be re-executed annually
whenever a lease was renewed and attached to the lease.
Curtis had never renewed the agreement, and none was attached
to the most recent lease Michael had executed.
Cathy Neff is the property manager of the Nora Commons
complex. On June 24, 2015, Neff learned that Curtis had
resold books stolen from the Nora Commons library to a
secondhand bookstore. On that same date, Neff prepared a
written "No Trespass Notice" and hand-delivered it
to Curtis, barring him from the Nora Commons premises. Ex. 1.
Neff told Curtis when giving him the notice, "I will
give you 48 hours and to get anything out if you need to or
make arrangements with your father . . . ." Tr. p. 24.
Shortly after Neff gave Curtis the no trespass notice,
several Nora Commons residents approached Neff and told her
Curtis was removing some electronic equipment from the
complex's community room, which they believed did not
belong to Curtis. Neff then contacted police, who arrived on
the scene approximately twenty minutes after Neff had given
the no trespass notice to Curtis. Police arrested Curtis for
criminal trespass. There is no evidence Curtis was ever
arrested or charged for any attempted theft of electronic
equipment from the community room; Curtis claimed the
equipment was a PA system he had loaned to the complex.
State charged Curtis with Class A misdemeanor criminal
trespass. After a bench trial, Curtis was convicted as
charged. Curtis now appeals.
Curtis contends there is insufficient evidence to support his
conviction for criminal trespass. When reviewing a claim of
insufficient evidence we neither reweigh the evidence nor
judge the credibility of the witnesses. Suggs v.
State, 51 N.E.3d 1190, 1193 (Ind. 2016). We will
consider only the evidence and reasonable inferences
therefrom that support the conviction. Id. We will
affirm if there is probative evidence from which a reasonable
fact-finder could have found the defendant guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt. Id.
State charged Curtis under Indiana Code Section
35-43-2-2(b)(1), which provides that a person commits Class A
misdemeanor criminal trespass if, "not having a
contractual interest in the property, [that person] knowingly
or intentionally enters the real property of another person
after having been denied entry by the other person or that
person's agent . . . ." However, there is no
evidence here that Curtis left the Nora Commons premises and
then re-entered the premises after being given the no
trespass notice by Neff. Rather, it appears he never left the
property before police arrived on the scene and arrested him.
If anything, this factual scenario would fall under Indiana
Code Section 35-43-2-2(b)(2), which provides that a person
commits Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass if, "not
having a contractual ...