I.          Offenses Against Public Order


OBJECTIVE #1       

Peace Disturbance - MCCH 11.2, Read elements


1.         What are the most difficult elements of peace disturbance


(a)       Unreasonably and knowingly - How can you prove that Defendant knowingly (knew that D was going to disturb another's peace of was practically certain to disturb another's peace):


(1)       Answer - Difficult to prove.  The book gives the example of loud party - Note:  Police advise of this and then come back.  Probably only way to prove knowingly (same with city ordinance violations).


(2)       Must show actor knew he was causing alarm or disturbing others.


(3)       Supreme Court threw out threatening to commit a crime.  Why?  Courts do not like to punish mere words.


a.         Left in words likely to produce violent response; fighting; odors; unreasonably destructing ingress or egress for pedestrian or traffic (will not work if any First Amendment argument, i.e. homeless, etc.)



2.         Example:  D and 2 armed companions drive in D's car to collect debt owed by homeowner's stepson.  Homeowner comes home and finds these three (3) people blocking road.  Argument starts.  Passenger and homeowner fight.  Everyone struggles.  Passenger puts gun to homeowner's head.  Stop fighting but passenger fires as they leave.  Gunshots damage home's windows, mailbox, car and truck.  D guilty of peace disturbance and obstructing traffic.


a.         Don't worry about private peace disturbance.  Only used if both on same piece of private property.



Note:  POST does not require anything other than the elements of peace disturbance be taught from this chapter.


B.        Unlawful Assembly


1.         Example:  October 31, 1984 - Student from NEMO drives to Maywood to participate in traditional Halloween gathering.  Student was aware that Maywood had a reputation that anything goes on Halloween.  Student and his friend, Martin arrive at 5:45.  D has bottle rockets in pockets; Martin has spray paint.  Go to general store.  Deputy tells student and his friend, "Keep it down, keep it within reason."  Officers explain unlawful assembly elements, but "as long as you're not doing anything but having fun, we don't object."  Also told student that it is illegal to shoot bottle rockets.  Confiscated spray paint.  During evening the following events occur:


(a)       Bottle rockets set off near gas pumps and at police car.


(b)       General store owner's house is egged - stop sign put on porch.


(c)        Fire bombs and M-80s set off.


(d)       Eggs, bottle rockets and beer bottles thrown at police car.


Officers only see student shoot a bottle rocket.  Officer tells them to break it up and they separate into groups of five - called officers names.  Officers leave.  Officers return - bottle rockets going off - fire bombs - eggs flying.




1.         Did defendant knowingly assemble?  Yes.  With 6 or more?  Yes, originally.


2.         Did they agree to violate laws with force and violence?


(a)       Court said intent can be reflected by the participants' acts, conduct and language.  Purpose is to discourage assembly that interferes with the rights of others and endangers public peace.


3.         What about fact that they only saw student shoot off one (1) bottle rocket?


(a)       Court said he failed to disassociate himself.


(b)       Stayed after the groups' purpose became unlawful.


(c)        Duty to disassociate - even if he didn't commit any unlawful act.


(d)       Don't need agreement - actions show intent of the assembly.


Student fined $250.00.  Also got $100.00 fine and two (2) days in fail for refusal to disperse.  Warning to "break it up was sufficient." 


2.         Note:   Could they have been charged with rioting? 


(a)       State elected not to because they only had sketchy evidence of violating law.  Could have.  What's the difference between rioting and unlawful assembly?  Did violate law, not just agree like with unlawful assembly.


3.         How many people does it take for unlawful assembly and peace disturbance?  One (1) defendant agreeing with six (6) or more - total of seven (7).


4.         Refusal to disperse.  Note:  Takes knowingly failing to obey command to depart.


C.        Ethnic Intimidation


1.         Motivated by race, color, religion or national origin.

These crimes have been repealed.  It is now an aggravating factor and increases the penalty range.



Revised 4/01