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Boultinghouse v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 6, 2019

Christopher H. Boultinghouse, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff.

          Appeal from the Gibson Circuit Court The Honorable Jeffrey F. Meade, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 26C01-1804-F4-345

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Charles E. Traylor Kolb Roellgen & Kirchoff LLP Vincennes, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Ian McLean Supervising Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Najam, Judge.

         Statement of the Case

         [¶1] Christopher H. Boultinghouse appeals his conviction for invasion of privacy, as a Class A misdemeanor, following a jury trial. Boultinghouse raises three issues for our review, which we restate as the following two issues:

1. Whether his conviction for invasion of privacy infringes on Boultinghouse's fundamental rights under the United States or Indiana Constitutions.
2. Whether the State presented sufficient evidence to support Boultinghouse's conviction.

         [¶2] We hold that the invasion of privacy statute does not infringe on Boultinghouse's fundamental rights. We also hold that the State presented sufficient evidence to support Boultinghouse's conviction. Accordingly, we affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶3] On September 20, 2017, the trial court issued an ex parte order for protection for Roberta Hook and against Boultinghouse. According to the ex parte order, Hook had shown, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Boultinghouse was her intimate partner, namely, her husband (though the dissolution of their marriage would become final about one month later); that he had engaged her in domestic or family violence; that he represented a credible threat to her safety; and that the issuance of the order was necessary to bring about a cessation of that violence or threat of violence. The ex parte order expressly enjoined Boultinghouse from committing or threatening to commit further acts of domestic or family violence, stalking, or a sex offense against Hook; it prohibited him from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting, "or directly or indirectly communicating" with Hook; and it ordered Boultinghouse "to stay away from the residence" of Hook "even if invited . . . by [Hook] or any other person." Ex. Vol. at 10-11.

         [¶4] A local law enforcement officer, Jennifer Loesch, served the ex parte order on Boultinghouse in person and advised him that, as the order was a temporary order, there would be a "following court date that [he would] need to be [at] and speak to the Judge," who would then decide "whether or not a permanent order is issued." Tr. Vol. 2 at 185. The court held the hearing to make the ex parte order a permanent order on September 26. Both Hook and Boultinghouse attended that hearing, and Boultinghouse "agree[d] to the issuance of the Order for Protection." Ex. Vol. at 5. Later that same day, the court made the order for protection permanent and reiterated the same findings and advisements from the ex parte order. The permanent order automatically expires on September 20, 2019.

         [¶5] Nonetheless, about two months after the issuance of the permanent order for protection, Boultinghouse "pretty much" started living with Hook again. Tr. Vol. 2 at 136, 150. When later asked why she let Boultinghouse back into her home "even though there was a valid protective order" that Hook "still fe[lt she] needed," Hook responded, "[b]ecause I just did." Id. at 150.

         [¶6] On March 8, 2018, Boultinghouse and Hook got into an argument at her residence. During the argument, Boultinghouse was "yelling and hollering"; he "hit the wall," which resulted in a hole in the wall; he struck Hook's minor son; and he "chased [Hook] around" the kitchen. Id. at 156-57. Hook called 9-1-1, and Boultinghouse drove away in Hook's car. Officers later arrested him.

         [¶7] The State charged Boultinghouse with invasion of privacy, as a Class A misdemeanor, among other offenses. At his ensuing jury trial, Boultinghouse did not object to the admission of, or otherwise challenge, either the ex parte order for protection or the permanent order for protection. Instead, his defense focused exclusively on the credibility of the State's witnesses. The jury found Boultinghouse guilty of invasion of privacy, as a Class A ...


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