As a general rule, the final order of Indiana trial courts has the right to appeal. Most are taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals. A few appeals proceed directly to the Indiana Supreme Court. In this blog post, three types of matters that cannot normally be taken up on appeal are discussed as this creates significant confusion for some litigants.
The first are interlocutory orders. During the trial process a judge may make dozens or hundreds of orders to move the trial along. Normally, these are not appealable because they are interlocutory (or not final) in nature. However, a trial court judge may certify certain interlocutory issues for appeal and some are allowed as a matter of right. The rule for an interlocutory appeal is effectively to correct a potential error that would have no remedy later.
Second, an appeal has to be filed within thirty days of a final order in a civil case or thirty days of sentencing in a criminal case. Failure to do so waives the right to appeal in most cases, except a belated appeal may be approved by a trial court in a criminal case because criminal convictions involve the loss of liberty or core constitutional rights. Once this thirty-day period passes, particularly in civil cases, it becomes very difficult to challenge through other procedures.
Third, an appeal must raise all issues. A litigant cannot pick one and leave the others for a later day. Failure to raise all legal issues in the appeal from the final order or sentencing bars later appeal under concepts knows as res judicata, collateral estoppels, and the law of the case doctrine.
Appeals are very technical, the rules governing timelines changed as of July 1, 2016, and most appeals must now be electronically filed. Thus, a litigant wishing to appeal should act to select and perfect an appeal as soon as possible to ensure the deadlines are met as failure to timely file, not follow the rules, or bring an appeal my cause dismissal and harm to one’s case.
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates handle appeals of criminal, civil and violation of probation cases throughout the Indianapolis metropolitan area and the State of Indiana. This blog post is written for general educational purposes. It is not intended as a solicitation for legal services or intended to provide legal advice. It is an advertisement.