A key right ensured to every litigant in Indiana’s trial courts is the ability to appeal adverse decisions to the Indiana Court of Appeals or Indiana Supreme Court. This process is not as familiar to the public at large as trial court matters, as there simply are not many appeals from the thousands upon thousands of cases filed in Indiana trial courts each year.
A common question an individual (person or business entity) filing an appeal raises is the costs to budget for it. They are fairly standard. First, are the legal fees associated with researching and writing the appeal. This is pretty familiar to litigants, as is the second, expenses. The expenses might include photocopies, legal research, and binding of the brief (basically a short book of the case).
The third is the filing fee. To file a case in the Indiana Court of Appeals, a $250 filing fee is required in most cases. Cases that proceed above this level and are sought to be transferred to the Indiana Supreme Court and have a $125 filing fee, notwithstanding whether the Indiana Supreme Court accepts the matter on transfer.
The fourth expense is generally unknown to most litigants—this is the cost of the trial court transcript. This rule is changing. Presently, within thirty days after the filing of a Notice of Appeal, a party must have entered into an agreement with the court reporter for payment of the transcript. Indiana Rule of Appellate Procedure 9(H).
The transcript is the typed word-for-word account of what was said at the trial underlying the appeal. It is in a question and answer format. Effective July 1, 2016, parties will only have ten days after the filing of a Notice of Appeal to enter into an agreement with the Court Reporter for payment of the cost of the transcript.
Appellate rules are precise and closely followed. Failure to follow any given rule or set of errors may result in remedies being imposed from dismissal of the appeal to appellate sanctions in extreme cases. A party and attorneys must carefully follow the rules. This change may seem subtle, but it must be followed.
We hope this blog post helps you understand the dynamic state of appellate rules as they are always evolving to ensure a more orderly appellate process. It is important to remember that this year, starting with a change in font and format for better OCR, the Indiana appellate court system is rapidly moving toward automation.
This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who practice in Indiana’s appellate courts and handle cases from all Indiana trial courts. This is not intended to be a solicitation for specific legal services and for general informational purposes. Indiana’s appellate courts strive to be more accessible to those it serves and always striving for internal improvement.