ILNews

COA corrects, clarifies issues in taillight case

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2007
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http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05210701mgr.pdfThe Indianapolis law professor who challenged in court the ticket he received for a broken taillight in Fort Wayne petitioned for a rehearing, and the Court of Appeals today issued an opinion that affirms but corrects and clarifies its earlier ruling.

On May 21, the COA reversed and remanded Joel Schumm's case, Schumm v. State, to Allen Superior Court for a new trial. In that opinion, the appellate judges found the trial court improperly denied Schumm's Baston challenge.

Schumm recently petitioned for a rehearing raising five issues; the appeals court responded by correcting a factual statement and clarifying two aspects of its earlier opinion.

In today's opinion in Schumm v. State, authored by Judge Margret Robb, the court states that a jury instruction by Schumm is an Indiana pattern instruction. The court had earlier ruled the pattern instruction was not from Indiana.

In a footnote in today's opinion, the court noted its library copy of Indiana's jury instructions indicated it was current through December 2006; however, the table of contents and several chapters - including Chapter 17 - had not been updated and did not include the instruction Schumm submitted. The court also thanked Schumm for bring it to their attention.

Also in its previous opinion, the appellate judges stated Schumm waived his argument regarding the admissibility of Department of Transportation regulations because he failed to seek to introduce the evidence relating to them at trial. The Court of Appeals writes that Schumm did indeed seek to introduce evidence to show his vehicle was in compliance with DOT regulations but not to introduce the regulations themselves.

In its May 21 opinion, the court also stated Schumm waived his argument that the trial court improperly excluded evidence regarding the Fort Wayne Police Department's Standard Operating Procedures. The court restates that Schumm "waived his argument as to whether the SOPs themselves were admissible, as he did not attempt to admit them at trial."
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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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