When a matter is ripe for appeal, there first must be a determination of which Court has jurisdiction. In many cases, the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction, and the briefs, appendix, and related filings will be reviewed by the Court of Appeals. This is generally true for final orders. In some cases, however, the jurisdiction goes straight to the Indiana Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over all appeals from Final Judgments of Circuit, Superior, Probate, and County Courts (if the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction). Additionally, the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over interlocutory (before a final ...
May 6, 2014CD
In Indiana, most all cases that flow through the court system are not confidential. In other words, your name and all your legal business are potentially publicly available1. There are some cases, or persons involved in the case, that are automatically kept confidential, and only the parties and attorneys can access the court files, such as matters that fall under the Indiana Civil Protective Order Act, Juvenile Paternity (children born out of wedlock) matters, Mental Health Cases, Adoption Cases, Children In Need of Services (CHINS) cases, and the names of victims and witnesses of a crime2. However, even when these ...
October 3, 2013CD
A recent blog discussed how an appellant (person initiating an appeal) gathers documents from the lower court hearing being appealed in an appendix to provide the Court of Appeals with the relevant information litigated to give a background into the matter. Additionally, the appellant will order a transcript of the lower court hearings for review by the parties and the Court of Appeals. A transcript is a verbatim written recording of the events of the trial court. If a hearing went on for multiple days with multiple witnesses, all of that testimony will be delineated exactly in the transcript. If a ...
September 24, 2013CD
Previous blog posts have explored several subparts and nuances of the amended statute on emancipation for purposes of child support1, passed in July, 2012. However, a recent amendment and additional terms have been added to the statute, retroactive to July 1, 2012, which clarify when college expenses can be petitioned for. Recently, the Indiana Court of Appeals addressed a case involving a dismissal of a father’s petition for postsecondary educational expenses for the daughter of the parties2. In this case, the parties had two (2) daughters. The parties divorced in 2001, and no provision was included regarding college expenses. The parties ...
September 12, 2013CD
Traditionally, Grandparents had no special common law right to visitation with their grandchildren. However, in the past few decades, many states have enacted legislation which allows grandparents to seek a court order for visitation with their grandchildren. The Indiana legislature enacted Indiana Code § 31-17-5 allowing for grandparents to seek visitation, in certain limited circumstances, including if one of the child’s parents is deceased, the parents are divorced, or the child was born out of wedlock, also known as the Grandparent Visitation Act (GVA).1 Following the enactment of the GVA, and other similar statutes in other states, there was some confusion ...
March 19, 2013CD
Sometimes, a civil or criminal case may seem like litigation is taking longer than expected. There are often motions to continue to reschedule (called Motions to Continue) on the part of each party, joint motions by both parties, and sometimes even by the trial court because of a conflict or another case must be heard first or takes longer than expected. A date set for a final hearing in a divorce may be postponed because parties need to mediate or there needs to be a preliminary hearing first. Unlike civil cases, however, criminal cases can be requested to be speedy, as ...
October 9, 2012CD
What Is It? What Is Included? How Is It Divided Up? In Indiana, what property, assets, and liabilities the trial court is to divide is commonly referred to as the “marital pot”. In essence, everything the divorcing parties have is poured into a “pot” and the court divides this in a just and equitable manner. Specifically, a central determination to be made during settlement of a case, or by a trial court after trial of the matter, is how the marital estate or marital property is to be divided. An important concept to understand is that the marital pot includes assets and ...
July 12, 2012CD
And How Does the Indiana Court of Appeals Review Cases? At Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., we consult and represent clients with a wide array of appellate issues, ranging from domestic relations to criminal to civil cases based on theories ranging from contracts to torts. During initial meetings with clients, the discussion quickly turns to what occurred in the trial court that is potentially “wrong” and how to formulate an appeal, if at all, in order to bring those issues to light. Fortunately, Indiana has one of the most efficient intermediate appellate courts in the country (the Indiana Court of Appeals) and decides ...
July 10, 2012CD
How Mental Health May Factor into the Legal Mix The ability to raise one’s children the way one sees fit is a fundamental, constitutional right. However, all rights, even those guaranteed by the United States Constitution, have more or less obvious boundaries. Stated differently, no right is unconditional. For example and related to this blog post, children must be educated and live in a healthy and safe home. The issue of a parent with mental health diagnoses, and his or her ability to parent, is a complex medico-legal question and difficult one in any situation. This requires a case-by-case analysis. Some mental ...
June 28, 2012CD
Beware of “True Up” Provisions and Changing Child Support Formulas When calculating child support, complex mathematical formulas are utilized which take in account prior and subsequently born children, health care costs, and the number of overnights exercised by the parent paying child support, to name a few. These are constant considerations in virtually all child support calculations. Because the child support calculation formula is used to determine child support for numerous types of parents across many types of economic circumstances, it remains fairly general. Stated differently, the income, status, and finances of each parent is different, and as such, a basic formula ...
June 26, 2012CD