Judges affirm recommitment to DOC

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Ruling on a matter having no cases directly on point, the Indiana Court of Appeals held a trial court had personal jurisdiction over the defendant when it reordered him back to the Indiana Department of Corrections several years after discovering he was released prematurely.

In October 2010, the Delaware Circuit Court held a hearing on whether Eddie Vance Jr. had served his sentence relating to a plea bargain he made in October 2006 regarding a drug charge. His plea agreement required him to serve four years in the DOC, and that sentence was to be served consecutively to any sentence imposed in a separate case for his violation of probation because of the drug charge.

Vance served his revoked sentence in the probation violation case, but he never served his sentence under the drug plea and was released by the DOC to parole in 2007. After his release, he had other run-ins with the law which led to the discovery that Vance had not served his four-year sentence on the drug charge.

At the October 2010 hearing on the matter, Vance testified he told prison officials at the DOC that they were releasing him before he served the sentence on the drug charge and that his case manager told him the sentencing order on that charge wasn’t on file with the DOC. The trial judge found Vance didn’t serve his sentence on the drug charge and ordered him to the custody of the DOC to serve the four-year sentence imposed in 2006.

In Eddie Vance, Jr. v. State of Indiana, No. 18A04-1011-CR-701, Vance claimed the trial court didn’t have personal jurisdiction to order him to serve the four-year sentence after the DOC released him. The judges found he waived this argument on appeal, but the argument would fail regardless. The judges looked to Kindred v. State, 362 N.E.2d 168, 169 (Ind. Ct. App. 1977), and Woods v. State, 583 N.E.2d 1211 (Ind. 1992), to determine whether the trial court had personal jurisdiction over him.

They found Kindred and Woods to be distinguishable because Vance didn’t “surrender” himself as the defendant in Kindred did and he never contacted the trial court directly to inform it of his release. Unlike the defendant in Woods, who lived a law-abiding life while awaiting resolution of his case, Vance committed other crimes after his mistaken release from the DOC, wrote Judge Patricia Riley.
“Allowing Vance to be discharged now from the DOC or be credited with time against his sentence would create a windfall of a sentence shorter than the one he had bargained for under his plea agreement,” she wrote.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  2. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  3. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  4. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  5. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well