As you may know, the Indiana Supreme Court, as is the case in most states, is the highest judicial authority in the state of Indiana. However, what you may not know is the extent of the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction. In this blog, we look at three considerations in deciding whether you can or should to take your appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court. Original and Exclusive Jurisdiction. The first consideration in deciding whether to take your case to the Indiana Supreme Court is whether your action is a matter where the Supreme Court has what is known as original and exclusive ...
November 12, 2020CD
Appeals from divorce cases, or post-decree custody matters, constitute a large number of cases taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals. By the time a divorce trial is over (or subsequent child custody modification case), many people are drained emotionally and have spent a lot of money to litigate a divorce or modification action. However, the losing party (or both parties) can appeal. For most people, the mere thought of having to retain new appellate counsel to address an appeal is an unpleasant thought at best. Since there is no requirement to file an appellee’s brief, the question we often ...
October 22, 2020CD
Many clients, and prospective clients, have come to us after receiving some sort of adverse judgment in a trial court wanting to appeal. These individuals typically have a laundry list of arguments that they want to raise on appeal. Yet, what some litigants do not realize is that there are limitations on what can be argued on appeal. This is understandable as the appeals process can be a long and confusing one, even for attorneys. Nonetheless, having a basic understanding of the limitations on, and rules surrounding, an individual’s argument on appeal will go a long way in preparing for ...
October 16, 2020CD
In many instances, individuals getting divorced will enter into settlement agreements to divide what is deemed “marital property.” Settlement agreements are contractual in nature. Therefore, when individuals enter into settlement agreements dividing marital property, the settlement agreements become binding on the parties. The trial court only retains jurisdiction to interpret the terms of the property settlement agreement and to enforce them. But what happens if the settlement agreement was improper or was based on something like fraud? Is there ever any instance in which a court can modify an agreement? The Court of Appeals recently addressed such questions in their ...
July 23, 2020CD
We often see a lot of confusion when it comes to appeals and the appeals process. This is understandable, as it is an extremely technical process, requiring close attention to the rules of appellate procedure. In Indiana, the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court are limited in their ability to hear certain matters and the evidence that can be presented in each particular matter. You may be wondering then, what evidence does the Court of Appeals consider? Can it be any evidence? New evidence? In this blog, we try to answer some of these questions and provide a basic understanding ...
July 17, 2020CD
Child custody litigation is a gut-wrenching experience for all parents. Both want the same amount of time they had before the divorce or post-divorce they may be seeking a modification to gain additional time, but there is only a finite amount of time for custody and parenting time. That said when a parent loses a custody battle their first thought often is to appeal. Sometimes this is possible and sometimes it is not. Further, there are a number of different reasons to appeal. When and why you should appeal a loss in custody litigation is the focus of this blog ...
July 7, 2020CD
Appeals represent only a small fraction of all of the final orders issued each year by Indiana Trial Courts. Appeals take an additional emotional toll, are sometimes costly, and add several more months to the litigation. That said, the Appellant has the right, presupposing the potential Appellee, files an Appellee’s Brief, to have the proverbial last word on appeal and may file a Reply Brief not later than fifteen (15) days after the Appellee’s Brief is served. This is an Appellant’s right under the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure, but it is not required.1 This blog explores why most Appellant’s ...
June 26, 2020CD
Like everyone and everything in life, the judicial system isn’t perfect. As such, sometimes trial courts get it wrong. If you or someone you know just received a child custody determination that you believe was wrongly decided, you have the ability to seek relief via an appeal. How is this done? How long does it take? In this blog, we look at the general process for appealing a custody order in Indiana. The first thing to consider in the appeal process is the timing of initiating the appeal. Generally speaking, once you receive a final custody order, whether it be an ...
June 17, 2020CD
Yes. No. Maybe. In Indiana, child custody is always modifiable, if modification is in the child’s best interests and there is a substantial change in one (1) or more factors1 the court can consider under the initial custody determination statute, namely (1) the age and sex of the child; (2) the wishes of the child’s parent or parents; (3) the wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child’s wishes if the child is at least fourteen (14) years of age; (4) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child’s parent or parents, the child’s siblings, and ...
June 5, 2020CD
In a civil trial with many issues, such as divorce which may have child support, custody, and property issues decided, a losing party may want to challenge every issue, such as a minimal difference or error in weekly child support to be paid. While there is no express appellate rule prohibiting or limiting the number of issues a party may raise on appeal, raising more than three or four issues on appeal is normally not prudent. This blog explores why limiting the number of issues raised on appeal is practical and prudent. As a threshold matter, a party that raises numerous ...
May 29, 2020CD