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Court must consider man’s motion to prohibit release of criminal record

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Because a man filed his motion to prohibit the release of his criminal record before the Indiana Legislature repealed the relevant statute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered the Hancock Superior Court to consider the motion.

Hancock Superior Judge Dan E. Marshall denied John Alden’s motion on two grounds: Alden failed to provide notice to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General and the Indiana State Police Central Repository; and the Legislature had repealed I.C. 35-38-8-5.

Alden filed his motion to prohibit the release of his criminal record June 4, 2013, and served his motion only on the Hancock County prosecutor. Shortly after he filed the motion, the General Assembly repealed the statute.

Alden argued he met the requirements of the statute, which at the time allowed courts to restrict access to the conviction records of qualifying offenders eight years after they completed their sentences.

The Court of Appeals reiterated its April 30 ruling in Pittman v. State, that I.C. 35-38-8-3 does not require petitioners to serve notice on either the attorney general or the ISPCR.  Alden fulfilled the notice requirements of Indiana Criminal Rule 18 by serving the prosecutor, the adverse party “of record” under the rule. The petition is an additional filing in the criminal case and not a new, free-standing cause of action.

The judges also found I.C. 1-1-5-6 dispositive; the statute applies to the repeal of a statute or part of a statute that has expired and provides that the repeal does not affect the validity of an action taken before the statute has expired.

“While Indiana courts have never interpreted this provision of the Indiana Code, its plain language indicates that a party has a right to pursue an action allowed by statute even if that statute is later repealed, as long as the party undertakes the action prior to the repeal. Accordingly, because Alden filed his motion before the Legislature repealed Indiana Code § 35-38-8-3, we conclude that the repeal did not affect the validity of his action,” Judge Rudolph Pyle III wrote in John Alden v. State of Indiana, 30A05-1309-MI-463.
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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