ILNews

Court sets drug-court termination requirements

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An Indiana Court of Appeals ruling today sets requirements for drug court terminations after a man’s participation was terminated without minimum due process.

In Robert L. Gosha v. State of Indiana, No. 48A02-0912-CR-1210, the panel reversed Madison Superior Judge Dennis D. Carroll’s denial of a motion to correct error and remanded to the trial court.

Robert Gosha pleaded guilty Nov. 20, 2007, to operating a motor vehicle while privileges are forfeited for life, a Class C felony. The trial court sentenced him to eight years, with four years suspended to probation. Gosha admitted during a June 9, 2009, hearing to violating probation, and the court ordered the previously suspended four years be executed at the Indiana Department of Correction. However, the judge stayed the sanctions pending successful completion of a drug court program. The judge also ordered that if Gosha was removed from the program for any reason, the balance of the executed sentence would be automatically transferred to the DOC.

After he was admitted to the drug court program, cocaine residue and drug paraphernalia were allegedly found at Gosha’s house during a home visit. The drug court conducted a hearing and – without notice and without any evidence presented – terminated Gosha’s participation.

Gosha’s request for an evidentiary hearing was denied, as was his motion to correct error.

He claimed he did not receive minimum due process during the drug court hearing, and even the state conceded he was denied his right to due process. The appellate panel agreed.

Both the state and Gosha urged the appellate court to adopt the same due process requirements afforded defendants in probation-revocation proceedings. The court found support for that argument in Hopper v. State, 546 N.E.2d 106 (Ind. Ct. App. 1989), trans. denied.

Judge Edward Najam wrote, “The due process rights afforded a defendant in probation revocation proceedings, and which we now require for defendants participating in a Drug Court Program, are described as follows: written notice of the claimed violations, disclosure of the evidence against him, an opportunity to be heard and present evidence, the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, and a neutral and detached hearing body …. Cox v. State, 706 N.E.2d 547, 549 (Ind. 1999).”

“We remand to the trial court with instructions to conduct an evidentiary hearing, with written notice to Gosha of the claimed violations, disclosure of the evidence against him, an opportunity to be heard and to present evidence, and the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses,” the court wrote.
 

 
 

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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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