Glenn v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Christopher Glenn’s petition for a writ of certiorari was granted for consideration of whether the Georgia Court of Appeals erred in affirming a trial court’s order revoking Glenn’s probation based on its determination by a preponderance of the evidence that Glenn committed felony interference with government property by kicking and damaging the door of a police car when he was detained inside. Glenn claimed he damaged the door in the court of exercising his common-law right to resist an unlawful arrest and detention; this claim was rejected by both the trial and appellate courts. On appeal, the Georgia Supreme Court addressed: (1) whether a person has a common-law right to attempt to escape from the detention resulting from an unlawful arrest; and (2) if so, whether a person may damage government property in such an attempt. The Court held that the common-law right to resist an unlawful arrest includes the right to use proportionate force against government property to escape an unlawful detention following the arrest. Because the trial court found that Glenn’s arrest was unlawful but did not then consider whether the force he used in attempting to escape the ensuing unlawful detention was proportionate, the Court vacated the Court of Appeals’ decision with direction that the case be remanded to the trial court to make this "essential" determination.