The Indiana Supreme Court will rule on the issue of whether a defendant has to prove at a probation revocation hearing for
failing to support dependents his or her inability to pay the support.
The high court granted transfer to Dannie Ray Runyon v. State of Indiana, No. 57S04-1006-CR-317 – one of two cases it took on transfer June 17.
Dannie Ray Runyon appealed the revocation of his probation and order that he serve 6 years of a previously suspended sentence for not paying child support, a violation of his probation. He argued the revocation was an error because Indiana statute provides that probation may not be revoked for failure to comply with a condition of a sentence that imposes financial obligations unless the person recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally fails to pay.
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that because in a prosecution for nonsupport of a dependent a defendant bears the burden of proving he was unable to provide support, when revoking probation for failing to support dependents the defendant also bears the burden of proving he wasn’t able to provide support.
Runyon didn’t prove his inability to pay, the appellate court concluded.
The Supreme Court also accepted National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, et al. v. Standard Fusee Corp., No. 49S04-1006-CV-318. The Indiana Court of Appeals for the first time adopted a site-specific approach to rule on an insurance case with multiple polices in several states. Previously, the appellate court had been following a uniform-contract interpretation approach when ruling on choice of law questions in contract actions.
The Court of Appeals concluded Indiana law would apply in the case since it had the most significant relationship with contamination involving sites in Indiana; California law would apply to the contaminated sites in that state.
The high court denied transfer to 34 other cases.