John W. Anthony, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff
from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Marcel A. Pratt,
Judge Trial Court Cause No. 49G13-1707-IF-35689
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Ruth Ann Johnson Victoria L. Bailey
Marion County Public Defender Agency Indianapolis, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Tyler G. Banks Deputy Attorney General
John W. Anthony appeals the trial court's determination
he violated Indiana Code section 9-19-19-3, which prohibits
driving "with a sign, poster, sunscreening material, or
other nontransparent material upon the front windshield, side
wings, or side or rear windows of the vehicle that obstructs
the driver's clear view of the highway or an intersecting
highway." As the State did not present any evidence to
prove Anthony violated that statute, we reverse.
and Procedural History
On July 25, 2017, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
Officer Kenneth Greer observed a car being driven by Anthony.
The car "had plastic bags of trash, canned foods,
clothes, piled from the bottom of [its] floor to the ceiling
. . . on the dashboard and along the side windows and rear
windows." (Tr. Vol. II at 6.) After looking around the
car and being able to see in only the driver's window,
Officer Greer issued a citation to Anthony for violation of
Indiana Code section 9-19-19-3.
On November 13, 2017, at a bench trial, Anthony represented
himself and denied violating the statute. Throughout his
testimony Anthony repeatedly noted the statute prohibits
"nontransparent material upon the"
windows, Ind. Code § 9-19-19-3 (emphasis added), and
argued he "didn't have nothing on the windshield.
[He] didn't have nothing on the side windows. [He] did
have items in the automobile." (Tr. at 13) (errors in
The State, during its cross-examination of Anthony, told
Anthony he was not understanding the statute correctly. The
following exchange occurred:
[State:] A person may not drive a motor vehicle with a sign,
poster or non-transparent material, that's debris, on the
front windshield, side windows, rear window of the vehicle,
obstructs the driver's clear view of the highway or
intersection highway. You read this?
[Anthony:] It says nothing on the windshield. I don't
have nothing on the windows.
[State:] I don't believe you understand what I'm
[Anthony:] I understand what you're saying. I understand
what I'm reading too.
[State:] So you do understand that non-transparent materials
is not a decal? That's not a sticker. It's any