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
You have probably heard the phrase, “I plead the Fifth”, at some point in your life, whether it be on a movie, television, or just in everyday talk. But what does this mean? How far does it extend? On August 21, 2018, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided a case of first impression1 in which the protection of the Fifth Amendment was greatly increased and protected citizens from making incriminating statements by what the contents of their smartphone “says”! This blog covers what you need to know in this the development of the Fifth Amendment to avoid your smart phone ...
August 28, 2018CD
Yes. But as of Monday, July 31, 2018 so can certain advocates and attorneys for your children. This comes by a sweeping decision by the Indiana Court of Appeals applying the statutory authority for this power (or standing) created by the Legislature. This blog surveys when and why DCS may seek to sever a parent-child relationship and addresses who else the Legislature empowered to do so by a new application of the law. After the Department of Child Services (DCS) brings a Child in Need of Services (CHINS) case, and the court finds a legal basis for the children being CHINS, ...
August 8, 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
In Indiana, unlike some other states, there are two higher courts, the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Generally, litigants have an appeal as a matter of right from any losing (in whole or part) final order issued from an Indiana trial court. Appeals are made in written format and have very precise rules and requirements because of the vast amount of time and resources an appeal takes. Whether considering an appeal or retaining counsel, this blog sets forth mistakes that can dilute your appellate brief, cause dismissal, or even sanctions. The key takeaway is appeals need the ...
July 5, 2018CD
All final orders issued from Indiana trial courts may be appealed as a matter of right. Most appeals first go to the Indiana Court of Appeals. The appeal process is all done by written briefs based on the record (testimony and exhibits) from the trial court that decided the issues. In most cases, trial attorneys defer to those who routinely practice in the appellate realm to prepare the appeal. This means you most likely change counsel. In an appellate consult with a new counsel, there are several things you need to gather to make the most of your time with ...
June 12, 2018CD
Over time, we have reviewed many cases for appeal where the party has been dissatisfied with the trial court’s decision and wishes to appeal. In almost all cases, to preserve the right to bring an appeal, it is begun or perfected by filing a Motion to Correct Errors or Notice of Appeal. If properly handled, these allow for an appeal to proceed. However, there are three rather common situations we observe where a party wishes to appeal but cannot because of where the case stands when we review it for appeal. These three mistakes are the focus of this blog. ...
May 31, 2018CD
Life is messy. Divorce really is messy and emotional; this plays out in the courtroom. Trial court judges often face the presentation of evidence in final hearings that is disorganized and ranges from notes and texts to emails and photos. With highly contested divorces, there may be multiple days of hearings over many months or even years. Mostly, for this reason, there are three common mistakes that occur in final decrees that make for strong appeals. This blog covers these three issues for appeal.1 The issue that arises in such a context is divorce litigation where there numerous real and personal ...
May 15, 2018CD
Every litigant in Indiana administrative proceedings or trial courts has the ultimate right to appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Trial courts make many orders, but typically it is the last one deciding the issues that is the final order that is subject to appeal. Usually. However, life and law are complex and sometimes an appealed order is not final as to all of the issues or not a final order at all. A recent case, Severance v. Pleasant View, demonstrates that even where a case before the Court of Appeals does not present a final appealable order, it ...
March 26, 2018CD