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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