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Justices order COA to consider man’s appeal

March 13, 2014

A man’s appeal of his aggravated battery convictions should proceed to the Indiana Court of Appeals even though the issue of restitution remains unresolved, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In a four-page per curiam opinion, the justices rejected the state’s claim that Bobby Alexander’s appeal should be dismissed because he appealed before the issue of restitution had been settled. The state sought around $96,000 in restitution for the medical expenses incurred by an uninsured battery victim. The trial court set the matter for a hearing to be scheduled in a “couple weeks” and then told Alexander if he wanted to appeal he had to file his notice within 30 days.

The restitution hearing was set for July 16; Alexander filed his notice of appeal July 11. The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal as premature.

“[H]ere the trial court advised Alexander that any Notice of Appeal had to be filed within thirty days of the June 20 hearing and the trial court appointed appellate counsel a few days later. That advisement sufficiently put matters in a state of confusion about Alexander’s appeal deadline, we think, such that he is entitled to have his appeal decided on the merits now,” the opinion states.

The justices remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for consideration of the points raised in Alexander’s appellant’s brief.

The case is Bobby Alexander v. State of Indiana, 49S04-1308-CR-534.
 

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