Filings in the Indiana Court of Appeals involve a well-defined and specific structure, and are governed by strict rules1. From the first filing to the last, and all filings in between, there are specific people who must be served and a specific number of documents that must be filed.
A panel of Justices for the Court of Appeals consists of three (3) justices. As such, copies of motions, briefs, etc. must be filed with a specific number of copies. It is important to include the proper number of filings, because it may change depending on what is being filed. A brief requires more copies to be filed versus a motion, and certain motions require fewer copies than other motions. Therefore, it is imperative that the rules are understood as to how many copies need to be filed, specific to the filing at hand.
Who must be served is also specific to what is being filed. For example, a Notice of Appeal must be served on several people, including the parties, Clerk of Court, Court Reporter, and potentially others. However, other filings do not require that all of these persons are served. Again, it is necessary to review what is being filed to determine who must be served with same.
If something is missing or incorrect in a filing, the Court may issue a notice of defect if the error is not substantive. However, if there is a defect, the Appeal may also be dismissed outright, and the right to appeal is lost, without recourse.
Due to the specificity and detail of the rules involved in appellate matters, it is advised to seek the counsel of an attorney to help ensure that you are meeting all of the requirements to avoid losing the right to appeal or having your appeal dismissed.
We hope that this blog post has been helpful in exploring the appellate process. This blog is not intended as legal advice. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana and in the appellate arena. This blog post was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.