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Trial court ordered to determine if man was diligent in pursuing appeal

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The Indiana Court of Appeals held that a man cannot appeal the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, but the trial court should determine whether the defendant has been without fault and diligent in pursuit of his original appeal of child molesting convictions.

Willie Huguley was convicted of three charges of child molesting in 1999. His attorney filed a timely appeal, but he later petitioned the COA to terminate the appeal and remand the cause to the trial court to let Huguley seek post-conviction relief regarding ineffective assistance of trial counsel. The appellate court granted the petition, terminated the appeal, and remanded to the trial court. The post-conviction court denied his petition for relief, and no notice of appeal of that decision was ever initiated.

Eight years later, Huguley’s present attorney filed a petition for belated perfection of appeal. Huguley claimed he was unaware that his request for post-conviction relief was denied or that no notice of appeal was filed. He argued he was diligent in determining why his appeal wasn’t pursued.  

The Court of Appeals concluded that Huguley is unable to appeal the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, but that his original appeal may be “revived.” The judges found that Huguley met the requirements under Indiana Post Conviction Rule 2(3) and sent the issue back to the trial court to allow Huguley the opportunity to make a factual case to support his allegations.

If the trial court finds in favor of Huguley, then he may continue his appeal as originally initiated, the judges held in Willie Huguley v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-1105-CR-413.

 

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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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