IC § 35-45-1-3. Disorderly conduct.

– A person who recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally . . . disrupts a lawful assembly of persons . . . commits disorderly conduct.

Case Law

– Oliver and other members of his church were protesting homosexuality in downtown before a Colts game. Most of the demonstrators were standing against a brick wall out of pedestrian traffic. Oliver was standing in the middle of the sidewalk carrying a sign and turning it as he moved on the sidewalk. Pedestrians had to walk into the street to avoid running into Oliver or being hit by his sign. Oliver was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for interrupting a lawful assembly of persons.  Assembly means “an assembled group, especially of people meeting for a specific purpose.” “Assembly” refers to a group that is already assembled, as opposed to one that is in the process of assembling. Assembly does not include pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The conviction for disorderly conduct is reversed. Oliver v. State, 789 N.E.2d 1003 (Ind. App. 2003).

– D.R. was told by a teacher to put on a belt, in accordance with the school dress code. D.R. muttered “fuck you.” No other students or teachers overheard or witnessed the encounter. D.R. was arrested for disorderly conduct. The word “assembly” is defined as: “an assembled group, especially of people meeting for a specific purpose.” The teacher involved in the incident testified that he was the only person standing near D.R. at the time of their encounter. The teacher also testified that no other students saw the incident occur. D.R. and the teacher were not a part of a group of people. The conviction for disorderly conduct is reversed. D.R. v. State, 729 N.E.2d 597 (Ind. App. 2000).

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