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COA finds inmate's post-conviction relief process 'confusing'

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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a pro se inmate’s petition for permission to file a belated appeal after his post-conviction relief petition was denied, finding the chronological cases summary to contain inconsistencies. The judges also noted that this particular court has a “documented history” of not organizing and keeping abreast of its post-conviction relief files.

Anthony Taylor was convicted in 2007 of felonies unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and unlawful use of body armor, and he was sentenced to 15 years. In 2008, he filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief. During this process, Taylor was moved from the Putnamville Correctional Facility to the Miami Correctional Facility. Taylor alerted the court of his move, but he did not receive further pleadings or orders for a while after his move. The post-conviction court denied his petition for relief on Feb. 4, 2010.

In April, Taylor filed a motion for re-issuance of order denying post-conviction relief and/or extension of time limitation in order to contest ruling, and at this point the allegations of the pleadings included in the record and the entries of the CCS diverge, noted the appellate court. The CCS, which acts as the court’s official record, had inaccuracies and contradictions. The post-conviction court, Marion Superior Judge Grant W. Hawkins’ court, denied Taylor’s motion on July 27, 2010.

In Anthony Taylor v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-1008-PC-949, Taylor appealed pursuant to Post-Conviction Rule 2, but that rule is not available to him. Instead, the appellate court used its power to grant appropriate equitable relief under Taylor’s Trial Rule 72(E) motion. This rule is applicable when the CCS doesn’t contain evidence that a copy of the court’s order was sent to each party, wrote Chief Judge Margret Robb. The CCS doesn’t specify to what address the post-conviction court mailed the order denying Taylor’s petition and also showed that it still mailed an order to him at his previous address after he gave the court notice he was moved.

Taylor did everything he knew to do to bring the case to the appellate courts, and the record supports his assertion that he corresponded with the post-conviction court around the time of his move.

“And, as Taylor points out, this particular court has a documented history of failing to organize and keep abreast of its post-conviction relief files,” wrote the chief judge, pointing to the discipline imposed against Judge Hawkins in 2009 for not organizing post-conviction relief files and allowing delays in post-conviction relief cases. The judge had failed to ensure that defendant Harold Buntin’s post-conviction relief order was processed immediately and the parties were notified of the order.

“In sum, what transpired after Taylor filed his petition for post-conviction relief is confusing even to us; it is little wonder Taylor was confused about how to proceed,” she wrote.

They remanded to the post-conviction court to allow Taylor to file a notice of appeal from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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