The Indiana Court of Appeals stand open to all litigants to bring appeals of most all final orders (and some interlocutory orders) from Indiana’s trial courts. This is a now a constitutional right (in the late 1800s this Court was created to assist the Indiana Supreme Court with an overflow of cases and later became a permanent court). While all such cases may be appealed, a general disagreement with the impartial decision of fact by a judge and/or jury isn’t necessarily a great appeal, and may have a “lack of appeal” in the sense of reversal. The are many issues that ...
February 16, 2016Adam Hayes
In child custody ligation, where one parent is seeking primary physical or legal custody over the parent, the “why” the trial court ruled as it did is often important to the parties to help better understand and accept the decision. This rationale is set out in cases with special findings. This is also considered by Indiana’s appellate courts on appeal, if either party requested the trial court to make special findings. The concept is pretty straight forward. A general judgment allows a trial court to judge the credibility of the witnesses and documentary evidence by all of the verbal and non-verbal ...
December 16, 2015Adam Hayes
In Indiana the marital estate encompasses all assets and debts of the parties. Some states, including Indiana, refer to this as the “one pot theory.” The objective in a dissolution is to divide the parties assets and liabilities in a just and reasonable manner and return them to the status of unmarried adults. If the parties are unable to agree upon the division of assets and debts, then the trial court will make the final decision as to the division and ultimately the percentage of the division. The presumption is to divide the assets and debts equally or 50/50 between the ...
September 1, 2015Adam Hayes
Although in Indiana the current age of emancipation by statute is 19 years of age, meaning the age at which the duty for child support is terminated by statute, a parent may be responsible and have a duty to continue to provide educational expenses of a child enrolled in higher education. Pursuant to state statute, Indiana Code §31-16-6-2(a)(1), a court may enter an educational support order for a child’s education at a post-secondary educational institution. In a recent case the definition of the educational expense at a post-secondary educational institution became the issue. A trial court granted graduate school expenses and ...
August 27, 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
When the inquiry is made about requesting the court to award attorney fees in domestic relations cases, such as a dissolution, modification of custody, paternity matter, modification of child support, or contempt issue, or protective order the standard answer is, “We can ask”. The American standard is that each party pays their own attorney fees, unless there is a contract or statute that allows for an award of attorney fees. In domestic relations matters there are statutes that allow the award of attorney fees, but that is just the first hurdle. Truly the determination of an attorney fee award is solidly ...
July 1, 2015Adam Hayes
Every judge is skilled, but every trial is dynamic and unique. To ensure a fair process and ruling, the Indiana Supreme Court has adopted Rules of Evidence1 to supplement all of the other bodies of law that apply to a given case. In civil litigation ranging from personal injury to divorce cases, an attorney may make objections to testimony (i.e., a person sworn under oath) or exhibits (i.e., documents). This blog explores three common objections to testimony and exhibits. With an objection to testimony, a litigant must stop his or her testimony until the trial court rules. If the objection is ...
June 24, 2015Adam Hayes
In Indiana, every litigant who does not prevail or loses a civil or criminal case in a trial court is entitled to an appeal as a matter of right. This is guaranteed by the Indiana Constitution. As a general rule, all appeals go directly to the Indiana Court of Appeals. This Court is located in Indianapolis and comprised of 15 judges who deicide cases in 3 judge panels. There are three types of legal issues that make for the best type of appeal. Questions of first impression: In the criminal or civil realm, fact situations come before courts that have not been ...
June 10, 2015Adam Hayes
Where the is a dispute about a child, from its biological parent to impermissible removal of a child from his or her home to return, there are numerous statutory laws that apply to ensure the child’s best interests are met and/or the proper court hears the matter. This blog is written to summarize those for you to better understand questions you might want to ask your counsel. The Divorce Act. One of the most commonly applicable bodies of law is found under the Indiana Divorce Act statutes. This statute directs that a trial court make a child’s best interest in determining ...
June 2, 2015Adam Hayes