As noted in prior blogs posts, most cases the Indiana Supreme Court take are those granted by a Petition to Transfer. This is a request the Court hears, which it decides whether to take. Typically, the five justices vote whether to take a case (although the number may be less if one is absent). A majority of three votes to take the case in order for transfer to be granted. Nevertheless, in criminal cases, a defendant must seek Transfer in order to see relief from the judgment at a later time, such as post conviction relief or habeas corpus. In all ...
April 30, 2015Adam Hayes
It is sometimes heard in the context of litigants that he or she will go all the way and take the case to the Supreme Court. As a general rule, most appeals go to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Few cases go straight to the Indiana Supreme Court; it decides which cases to take. There are four cases that have the direct right to appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court.1 The first is criminal appeals in which the sentence of death or life imprisonment without parole is imposed. The second are cases in which an Indiana trial court declares a state ...
April 29, 2015Adam Hayes
As a general component of human nature, almost every litigant who has lost a case in a trial court believes the trial court incorrectly decided the matter. No one wants to be “wrong,” but Indiana’s trial court are charged with being open to litigants to freely administer justice and decide cases. Every case has an appeal of right to the Indiana Court of Appeals, if not the Indiana Supreme Court. Nevertheless, most trial court decisions are not appealed. Presumably, this is because the losing party concedes the point. However, there are three times when a case should be appealed. The first ...
April 16, 2015Adam Hayes
A question litigants often have when they receive an unfavorable trial court order is whether they can appeal or challenge it. Within a trial court, a Motion to Reconsider or Motion to Correct Errors may remedy the situation. However, if that is not the case depending on a number of factual and legal variables, you may want to consider an appeal. Appeals may be taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals or Indiana Supreme Court.1 This blog explores the three major types of appeals. The first two are taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals. This is Indiana's intermediate (middle) court ...
March 31, 2015Adam Hayes
Six Reasons The Indiana Supreme Court Might Take Your Case We have all had a moment in time in our personal life or heard on television, someone state they are taking their case to the Supreme Court. That may or may not be a remedy available to them. Under Indiana law and the Indiana Supreme Court’s Rule of Appellate Procedure, there are six specific considerations the Indiana Supreme Court gives to every case. The general consideration is where to appeal it are direct and a matter or right. This means the case does not go to the Indiana Court of Appeals first ...
March 24, 2015Adam Hayes
In Indiana, there are levels of crimes from misdemeanors to felonies. Indiana recently updated its criminal code to include numbered levels for crimes versus the previous letters (ex. A felony). Misdemeanors, felonies and the different levels are divided by the severity of the crimes. For example, dealing in cocaine or narcotic drug can be charged as a Level 5 felony through a Level 2 felony, depending on the amount and circumstances1. A Level 6 felony carries a lesser sentence than a Level 1 felony. But, if you are charged with a felony, can it ever be reduced? Oftentimes, having a felony record ...
January 20, 2015CD
Generally, in civil and criminal cases, you can appeal a final order of the court within thirty (30) days by filing a notice of appeal with the court of appeals, and filing proper service upon certain persons. The Notice of Appeal starts the appellate process. In criminal cases, you can appeal generally two (2) things, the conviction itself, or the sentence, or both. There are many nuances of criminal law and procedure that would lend itself to an argument to appeal either or both a conviction and a sentence. However, if you are convicted of a crime, but believe the conviction ...
December 23, 2014CD
In Indiana, all crimes are statutory. Indiana’s criminal statutes are codified in Title 35 of the Indiana Code, titled “Criminal Law and procedure.” Conduct by a person, however reprehensible, is not a crime, and punishable, unless the Indiana Legislature has exercised its authority to define it as a crime. Because crimes are punishable by a loss of constitutionally protected freedom (i.e. jail and probation), a person must have notice that his or her behavior is criminal. Crimes must be written and published for the general public so that any person has effective notice of what constitutes criminal activity. Each word or phrase ...
November 25, 2014CD