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

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well