The law is slow to change because individuals and businesses make most every decision about current life based on certain legal understandings. For instance, you can obtain a cell phone simply by signing the contract and leave the store with a new service. Most all of us have done it. However, if contract law was not stable across the state, that would not be the case. However, over time, a law may become obsolete and how it is applied may need to be reconsidered. If this is the case and the trial court rejected the argument, can it be raised on appeal? Perhaps. This is the topical coverage of this blog.
There are clear limits on arguing for a change in the law your case was decided under on appeal. For instance, if a parent did not want to pay higher education expenses for his or her child from a divorced family, he or she may argue in the trial court that this is unconstitutional and violates equal protection. This is because married couples are treated differently than divorced couples. Married couples are free to make no contribution to their children’s higher-education. Divorced couples, on the other hand, may be forced to contribute toward higher education expenses by the divorce court, thus drawing an argument this violates equal protection. However, ordinarily a party challenging the constitutionality of a statute on appeal (higher education contribution statutes found in the Divorce and Paternity Acts) must notify the attorney general or be barred from raising this on appeal.
That said, both the Indiana Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court can and will entertain appeals of final orders from Indiana trial courts on claims that the law is outdated, needs extended or vacated, and the result and decision of the trial court reversed. This means that even if you lose at the trial court and the law does not support your success on appeal, you can argue for a good faith extension or change to the law on appeal. If the Court of Appeals agrees or the Indiana Supreme Court takes the case on transfer, you may well be able to win a case you lost in the courts below by a change in the application of the law. This keeps the law responsive to the needs of an ever-evolving state (and country), while at the same time, creating stability in the law allowing you to make decisions based on reasonable certainty the law is clear and can be relied upon. Is this your case?
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates handle appeals of all final orders from all Indiana trial courts from all of Indiana’s ninety-two (92) counties in the Indiana Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court. Perhaps we maybe a wise choice as your appellate advocate. This blog is written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. for general educational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice or a solicitation for services. It is an advertisement.