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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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