While very few cases of the tens of thousands of cases carefully decided by Indiana trial court judges are appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals or Indiana Supreme Court each year, a litigant with an adverse civil judgment or criminal conviction should carefully weigh the options of appealing. This is because a judgment after the time for appeal (typically 30 days) stands and there are very few legal reasons to bring a challenge at a later date. In criminal cases, first, the failure to appeal to highest discretionary court (meaning the court does not have to accept the case) limits ...
November 3, 2016Adam Hayes
There is an old phrase, “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.” This is generally viewed in the negative, such as when a defendant has been charged and incarcerated, addressed by the right to demand a speedy trial. Sometimes it takes a defendant or civil litigant a long time otherwise to obtain a trial. In most situations law is inherently slow because it addresses and unravels complex problems that often took a long time in the making. However, the Indiana Supreme Court is actively shortening the process for trial court filings and appeals by moving to electronic filing as of July 1, 2016 ...
July 28, 2016Adam Hayes
In all criminal convictions (sentencing) and civil judgments (final orders), the non-prevailing litigant has an automatic right to appeal. Most appeals go to the Indiana Court of Appeals. With a criminal conviction at the time of sentencing, a defendant who believes he has been wrongfully convicted or received an excess sentence should most always appeal. This blog explores the two key reasons for seeking such an appeal, even in a case such as a revocation of probation. First, failure to seek an appeal may well mean a conviction of an innocent person (on some or all counts stands) attaching a criminal ...
July 14, 2016Adam Hayes
Under Indiana law, most parties have the right to an automatic appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Of the tens of thousands of cases filed each year, only a small percentage are appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals. A party who has the focus and intensity to appeal, sometimes faces the prospect of an adverse result, namely the Indiana Court of Appeals affirming the trial court. When this occurs, it is a highly stressful time and quickly reaches to the question of, “what’s next?” This blog post explores the four choices available to a party who does not prevail ...
May 17, 2016Adam Hayes
Making the Factual Showings in Custody Modification Almost every two people hear about a situation and come up with a different opinion. This is because second hand reporting removes the context and non-verbal communication that may be present, such as grimaces, winces, and other body language. Because of this, the Indiana Court of Appeals and Indiana Supreme Court give great deference to trial court judges in custody modification cases. In cases where there is a pure factual dispute, and no question of the application of the law (such as is this the first custody decision or a modification), it is crucial litigants ...
March 24, 2016Adam Hayes
The Indiana Supreme Court has been proactive to protect the private information that litigants might place before a court. There is administrative rule 9 which is a compilation of directions from the Court and statutes and other rules on point about how to keep private information that should not be in the public record, private; while at the same time, balancing this against the right to public access to the court system. If you have what you believe is private, confidential or privileged information that arises in your case, this is a matter you should identify and discuss it with your ...
January 21, 2016Adam Hayes
In Indiana, there are four key steps to take in appealing a decision of an Indiana judge or jury verdict. The first is to determine if there is a final order. In most civil trials, the appealable order is the final order disposing of all of the issues. In criminal cases, this is the date of the sentencing. The rules set forth by the Indiana Court of Appeals and Supreme Court are strict and require a certain action to be taken within thirty days of a final appealable order. Missing a date can preclude an appeal. The second step is to ...
November 18, 2015Adam Hayes
A key right ensured to every litigant in Indiana’s trial courts is the ability to appeal adverse decisions to the Indiana Court of Appeals or Indiana Supreme Court. This process is not as familiar to the public at large as trial court matters, as there simply are not many appeals from the thousands upon thousands of cases filed in Indiana trial courts each year. A common question an individual (person or business entity) filing an appeal raises is the costs to budget for it. They are fairly standard. First, are the legal fees associated with researching and writing the appeal. This ...
July 30, 2015Adam Hayes
Historically, the Indiana Supreme Court has existed since its creation by the Indiana Constitution in 1851. The Indiana Court of Appeals has played a key role in giving all citizens timely and appeals of right since the late 1800s, becoming permanent by constitutional amendment in the 1970s. The efficiency of the entire legal branch of government is important to note, as it operates on only 1% of Indiana’s budget. That said, the Indiana appellate system has remained responsive to change over time but is truly changing in a fundamental way this year. At the beginning of the year, the font and ...
July 14, 2015Adam Hayes
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