In general, an individual cannot appeal a trial court’s decision until there is a final judgment in the case. A final judgment is one that disposes of all pending issues in a case. There are, however, exceptions to the “final judgment rule.” As one may imagine, a judge typically does not decide all issues in a case at one time. In fact, judges make numerous rulings in cases. There are times when a judge will make a ruling that does not dispose of all the issues, but just some of them, meaning that there is no final judgment, ultimately barring ...
September 19, 2019CD
Indiana is fortunate to have an intermediate appellate court where every litigant with a final order can appeal as a matter of right if they have a good-faith basis the trial court erred.1 A significant amount of the entire civil docket is family law, so there are thousands of family law final orders issued each year. If you do not prevail and are considering an appeal, the blog may assist you as it addresses the three strongest types of family law appeals, although every case may be taken to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Special Findings. In Indiana trial courts, if ...
August 28, 2019CD
The trial court’s final order, such as in a divorce case, dividing the property and making a custody award can be enforced immediately. And it usually is. That said, a litigant who does not want an order enforced pending an appeal has two ways to stop its enforcement pending an appeal. In this blog, we cover stays that stop a trial court’s final order from being enforced. As a first step, which seems like a foreign concept to many litigants, they have to ask the court to issue the order to issue a stay. The reason this seems strange is because ...
August 22, 2019CD
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from illegal searches and seizures. This means that when police officers illegally conduct searches or illegally seize items, evidence obtained as a result of the illegal search or seizure cannot be used against the individual to convict them. Most illegal searches occur in the absence of a search warrant, but, not every warrantless search will justify a Fourth Amendment violation. There are exceptions to the warrant requirement. One of the biggest exceptions to the warrant requirement is a Terry stop. A Terry stop allows a police officer to conduct a ...
August 21, 2019CD
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from random police searches. The United States Supreme Court has found that, implicit within the Fourth Amendment is a preference for a valid warrant before conducting a search. Specifically, the Supreme Court has stated that “searches conducted outside the judicial process . . . are per se unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment – subject only to a few . . . exceptions.”1 Therefore, if a police officer conducts a search without a warrant, it must be pursuant to a well-established exception. One such exception is a vehicle inventory search. An ...
August 9, 2019CD
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects you from illegal searches and seizures. This means that when police officers illegally conduct searches and illegally seize items, evidence obtained as a result of the illegal search and/or seizure cannot be used against the individual to convict them. The starting point in determining whether the search or seizure was illegal depends on the circumstances. To claim that there was an illegal seizure of the person, one must be in police custody and be subject to police interrogation. To claim there was an illegal search, one must establish that they had ...
August 8, 2019CD
The Indiana Court of Appeals made it abundantly clear that if you want to interfere with a criminal proceeding by refusing to testify and do so with a grant of immunity, you will go to jail. A key new case on this rule is the topic of this blog post. In Michael Leroy Tunis v. State of Indiana, 2019 Ind. App. LEXIS 322, Tunis was called upon to testify against Samuel Jude Clark in Clark’s trial for alleged theft and conspiracy. Tunis immediately asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege and right not to incriminate himself, leading the Trial Court to grant him ...
July 25, 2019CD
Most of us have heard the term Miranda warning at some point in our lives, but what are Miranda warnings? When do they matter? In a nutshell, Miranda warnings come into play when an individual is taken into police custody. Police are to give an individual his or her Miranda warnings before interrogating the individual. Miranda warnings, such as the right to remain silent, are designed to put an individual on notice of his or her Constitutionally protected rights. Failure to give an individual their Miranda warnings can result in an exclusion of any criminal statements made by the individual. ...
July 16, 2019CD
The vast majority of us have been pulled over at some point in our lives. Whether it be for speeding or a random traffic stop, being pulled over is often an unpleasant situation. For some of us, being pulled over led to further complications, such as police conducting a search of your vehicle. But can police just pull you over whenever they feel like it? Can they search your vehicle? The short answer is, it depends. Generally, police cannot simply pull you over when they “feel like it.” But police officers do have a fairly low threshold to meet when ...
July 8, 2019CD
Double Jeopardy is a term that most have heard of before, whether it be from personal experience, a book, or television show. But what is this concept of “double jeopardy” and how is it applied? In a nutshell, double jeopardy protects a person from being convicted of the same crime twice. Both the U.S. Constitution and the Indiana Constitution have clauses protecting against double jeopardy. While the definition of double jeopardy seems straight forward, its application is not so clear. The Indiana Court of Appeals recently discussed the inner workings of the double jeopardy clause in their recent decision of ...
July 3, 2019CD