COA corrects, clarifies issues in taillight case

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2007
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share 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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.