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Inmate’s action for credit time moot after DOC grants request

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A Henry Circuit judge correctly dismissed an inmate’s action for educational credit time as moot after the Department of Correction determined he was entitled to the time and awarded him the credit, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Monday.

Alvino Pizano was incarcerated for committing child molesting and neglect of a dependent in 2007. He was released on parole in 2010 but returned to the DOC in 2012 because of a parole violation. In November 2012, he filed an action arguing that the state had erroneously denied him credit time after he earned a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University. The trial court summarily denied his request, but the Court of Appeals remanded for a hearing on the matter.

In preparation for the hearing in February 2014, the DOC found that Pizano had in fact completed the requirements of the bachelor’s degree program and awarded him credit time. The state then filed a motion to dismiss the action as moot since the DOC awarded the time. The trial court agreed and granted the state’s motion.

Pizano appealed in Alvino Pizano v. Indiana Attorney General Gregory Zoeller, et al., 33A04-1402-MI-85, claiming the dismissal was an error.

Pizano is no longer incarcerated and he has not identified any potential negative collateral consequences of the action being dismissed, the COA held. Pizano argued that he should have had 496 days subtracted from his maximum parole release date because of the state’s initial denial of his request for credit time, but he does not cite to any relevant authority to support his claim.

“Furthermore, because the State has awarded Pizano credit time for earning his degree and Pizano has since been released from incarceration, the trial court properly determined that the matter was moot as Pizano had been granted all possible relief. The trial court did not err in vacating the scheduled hearing and dismissing the action as moot,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote.

 

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  3. 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.

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