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Increased bail is abuse of discretion, panel rules

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A trial court abused its discretion when it raised a defendant’s bail in a meth possession case, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

In Charles Cole v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1308-CR-680, Marion Superior Judge Jose Salinas initially set Charles Cole’s bond at $2,500 surety on the Class D felony charge, and the state did not object. Cole’s public defender, though, asked the court to reduce the bond to $1,500, to which the state did object.

Salinas responded to the request by giving Cole a copy of his criminal record and questioning him about his more than a dozen felony and misdemeanor convictions between 1987 and 2010, after which bond was raised to $10,000 surety.

Cole since has pleaded guilty to the charge, but the court in a footnote wrote that it granted his request to proceed with the appeal as a matter of great public interest. Judge Elaine Brown noted in the unanimous opinion reversing the increased bond that Cole argued no new evidence supported the increase and that the unusually high bail was twice as high as the maximum provided by Marion County’s local rules.

“The State does not point to any other statutory authority which would support the trial court’s order increasing Cole’s bail. The requirements for increasing bail under Ind. Code § 35-33-8-5 were not satisfied, and the trial court abused its discretion in increasing Cole’s bail,” Brown wrote for the panel that also included Judges Edward Najam and Paul Mathias.
 

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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