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Court reinstates man's direct appeal

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has reinstated the direct appeal of a LaPorte County man convicted of felony robbery and attempted robbery in 2004, finding that he should not receive a new trial for receiving ineffective assistance of appellate counsel the first time he tried to challenge his convictions and sentence.

In the case of Mario A. Allen v. State of Indiana, No., 46A04-1106-PC-353, the appellate court affirmed and reversed in part a ruling from LaPorte Superior Judge Kathleen B. Lang. Mario Allen appealed the trial court’s denial of his post-conviction relief petition requesting a new trial or release because he was denied appellate counsel assistance. The panel agreed with the state that the proper remedy is to permit Allen to proceed with the direct appeal he was denied.

Finding that the parties didn’t refer to any Indiana case addressing this issue, the three-judge appellate panel looked to other jurisdictions that have ruled on this matter. The 2nd and 7th Circuit courts and Northern District of Indiana have addressed the topic in the past two decades and held the proper remedy is to give the defendant the appeal he or she has been deprived. The appellate panel rejected Allen’s claims that both res judicata and the law of the case doctrine prevent the court from providing him with a direct appeal remedy.

The post-conviction court’s conclusion is affirmed and the appellate panel remanded the case with instructions that the trial court appoint Allen counsel to represent him on appeal.

 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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