In Indiana, there are thousands and thousands of trials and hearings each year. For litigants who lose on the merits in civil or criminal litigation, there are roughly 3,000 appeals taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals.1 This is Indiana’s intermediate appellate court. The entire appellate process is laborious for the lawyers who handle appeals and time-consuming for the Court because three judges are assigned to review every case. As might be expected, there are comprehensive rules to ensure efficiency and consistency in the process because these appeals come from all of Indiana’s 92 counties. The one rule that can ...
April 30, 2020CD
Indiana provides parties involved in legal disputes, whether it be criminal or civil in nature, with the opportunity to appeal the outcome of the case, albeit, with some exceptions. Like most everything else in life, an individual’s entitlement to an appeal is not absolute. There are certain requirements that must be met in order to effectively preserve your ability to pursue an appeal. In this blog, we look at three basic components to an appeal and provide a brief overview of information so that you do not forfeit your right to an appeal. Timing. The first thing to know about appeals ...
January 9, 2020CD
The United States Supreme Court has long recognized the “fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.”1 This fundamental right to parent is why the Indiana Courts place the burden of proof on the Department of Child Services (“DCS”) when it comes to proving that a child is a child in need of services (“CHINS”). Specifically, our Indiana Supreme Court has found that DCS must prove three basic elements for a CHINS finding.2 Those elements are: (1) that the parent’s actions or inactions have seriously endangered the child; (2) that the child’s ...
April 1, 2019CD
Many people in Indiana have a general idea of what it means to appeal a decision. The popularity of legal TV shows, true crime shows streamed to our laptops and tablets, and news stories about the reversal of criminal convictions based on DNA evidence or a new United States Supreme Court case all touch on the idea of an “appeal.” But what does an “appeal” really mean, and what can you do to set yourself up for success if you find yourself having to appeal a decision from a trial court?1 These questions are addressed in this blog post. An appeal ...
March 8, 2019CD
Probably. Divorce is unique in civil suits because the parties likely will continue to know each other (particularly) if they have children and interact into the future. With a divorce if you lose custody, child support is wrong, or the property is not properly divided or completely divided, you need to appeal to protect your future rights. This blog explores why you should consider an appeal in divorce and paternity cases. Where children are involved (divorce or paternity), if child custody is at issue, the parent who does not prevail should consider an appeal if there are viable issues. Just waiting ...
January 15, 2019CD
Probably not, at least right away. Ultimately, yes. Much of what lawyers and clients do in the legal system is far removed from the courtroom. However, where litigation is involved, the stakes are often high—in terms of loss of freedom, money/property or children. This type of litigation is a client’s life. A court loss is traumatic and sometimes leads to an appeal. All appeals are important but sometimes litigants just want “to go to the supreme court”. This blog covers few cases that automatically go to the Indiana Supreme Court versus the Court of Appeals and covers how a case ...
November 20, 2018CD
The Rules of Appellate Procedure are intended to be very specific, time-sensitive, and speedy for justice and make the Indiana Court of Appeals one of the most efficient in the Country. The average appeal follows certain precise Appellate Rules that typically do not fluctuate in terms of when you are required to initiate your appeal – thirty (30) days after a “final” order is issued by the trial court. No rules are perfect. This blog covers for unique situations or anomalies that are not always apparent in the final-rule order and impact when you can appeal; you must know and ...
November 7, 2018CD
The divorce decision was handed down and it is now final. The property has been divided. The costs have been allocated, and attorney’s fees may have been awarded. If you have children, then custody, parenting time, and child support also have finally been decided. What are your rights if you disagree with the decision? You are not happy with the result. Maybe you feel the property division was unfair, or maybe you did not get joint custody. Whether you disagree with one provision or several, you have a right to appeal your divorce decree to the Indiana Court of Appeals. When ...
August 29, 2018CD
In paternity (children born out of wedlock) and divorce cases, the initial determination is gender neutral and made without any preference for either parent; the court decides physical custody considering any relevant factor to what is in the child’s best interests. For parents who present a strong factual and legal case and do not prevail, many consider appealing the decision to the Indiana Court of Appeals. This blog analyzes the general considerations for whether to appeal a losing custody decision or move to modify it in the future. That said, unlike most all other judgments in civil litigation, including property division ...
August 2, 2018CD
Every year, Indiana trial courts issue hundreds of thousands of orders or render decisions in criminal bench trials or have verdicts in criminal or the small percentage of civil jury trials. Most all order are interlocutory in nature and normally not appealable orders.1 However, with final orders—an order that decides all issues—or jury verdicts there is the right to appeal in the first case in most situations to the Indiana Court of Appeals. This blog explores four orders that constitute final appealable orders in civil cases that are not interlocutory orders or decisions rendered by a jury. The first order, which ...
July 17, 2018CD