Petitions for Rehearing
Petitions for Rehearing
As with the Court of Appeals, the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure allow a party to seek rehearing in the Indiana Supreme Court. Only on the rarest of occasions will the Indiana Supreme Court grant a Petition for Rehearing, usually in cases of great public interests or where a significant public policy is in question.1 The reason for this should be obvious. The Supreme Court only grants discretionary transfer for a small percentage of those cases decided in the Court of Appeals. And in these cases, five (5) Justices (not three, as in the Court of Appeals, who are called Judges) all review and decide all cases before the Court, meaning the published decision has undergone intense scrutiny before it is handed down and it is simply highly unlikely there is any error in the decision. Moreover, many times the Published Decisions (as in the Court of Appeals) go through many revisions.
Nevertheless, the Indiana Supreme Court can (and does) grant rehearing, again, normally in cases of great public interest involving a significant public policy. Perhaps the most common time a litigant would want to consider seeking rehearing is if the Supreme Court denies discretionary transfer of a case decided by the Court of Appeals. However, a party may not seek rehearing of an order denying transfer.
Like petitions for rehearing in the Court of Appeals, a Petition for Rehearing must be filed no later than thirty (30) days after the decision. No brief in response to a Petition for Rehearing is required unless requested by the Court. However, the Attorney General must file a brief in response to the Petition in a criminal case where the sentence is death. Any Brief in Response must be filed within fifteen (15) days after the Petition is served. Reply Briefs are prohibited.
The take-away is the Indiana Supreme Court, being the highest court in Indiana, itself provides litigants with tools, such as seeking rehearing, to ensure that in every case due process is afforded to every litigant. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. appellate advocates had prepared and filed Petitions for rehearing with the Indiana Supreme Court. However, because most all cases in the Supreme Court are there and being decided because of discretionary transfer, a litigant should use extreme restraint in considering this action. Seeking rehearing just as a last-ditch effort to win a properly decided case would not be well received by the Indiana Supreme Court.
1.) An example is Barnes v. State, 946 N.E.2d 572 (Ind.2011), rehearing granted and redecided in Barnes v. State, 953 N.E.2d 473 (Ind.2011).
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