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COA split on ability to review case

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The majority on a personal injury case has dismissed it for appellate review, finding the Indiana Court of Appeals doesn’t have jurisdiction. The majority believed the case was not timely appealed.

In Todd Walters and Matenia Walters v. Aaron Austin and Herman & Goetz, Inc., No. 20A04-1106-CT-342, Todd and Matenia Walters sued Aaron Austin and his employer, Herman & Goetz, after Austin’s company van lost control on black ice and hit Todd Walters. Walters had just hit a patch of black ice and was standing on the side of the road next to his car when he was hit.

A jury ruled in favor of Austin and his employer. The Walterses filed a motion to correct error May 20, 2011, which the trial court denied on May 23. Unaware of this ruling, that same day the couple filed an amended motion to correct error and a motion to relate the amended motion back to the filing date of the original motion to correct error. The trial court granted the motion to relate back May 24, but denied the amended motion to correct error. The Walterses then filed their notice of appeal June 23.

The defendants argue that the appeal should be dismissed for failure to timely file a notice of appeal because it was filed after 31 days. The majority agreed. Judges Edward Najam and Patricia Riley cited Indiana Trial Rule 53.4, which says that repetitive motions “shall not delay the trial or any proceedings in the case, or extend the time for any further required or permitted action, motion, or proceedings under these rules.” The amended motion to correct error was nearly identical to the original motion, except for typographical and grammatical corrections. The amended motion was also to relate back to the original motion.

“We conclude that the amended motion to correct error was a repetitive motion and, therefore, the filing of the amended motion did not change the date for filing the notice of appeal,” wrote Najam.

Judge Carr Darden dissented because he believed the couple did not file their amended motion in an effort to extend time to file their notice of appeal. He would review the case on the merits.

 

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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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