ILNews

Judges clarify late-filed amendment required reversal, not remand

Jennifer Nelson
December 18, 2013
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On a petition for rehearing, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed its decision to reverse a habitual offender enhancement because the amendment to the habitual offender allegation was made after the trial started and prejudiced the defendant’s rights.

In George A. Nunley v. State of Indiana, 10A04-1212-CR-630, the state argued that the proper remedy for a late-filed amendment would have been for the Court of Appeals to remand for proceedings on an habitual offender sentence enhancement, rather than the reversal that the court ordered. In support of its argument, the state cited Jaramillo v. State, 823 N.E.2d 1187 (Ind. 2005), in which the Supreme Court held that the “Double Jeopardy Clause does not prevent the state from re-prosecuting a habitual offender enhancement after conviction therefore has been reversed on appeal for insufficient evidence.”

But Jaramillo is based on an enhancement that was overturned for insufficient evidence; in George Nunley’s case, the state failed to timely and properly allege the habitual offender status.

“Because the State’s original habitual offender allegation failed to list appropriate predicate offenses, there would be nothing to address on remand without an amendment to the allegation. Were we to remand now and allow the State to amend its original allegation, Indiana Code section 35-4-1-5 and its timing requirements would be rendered pointless,” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote.

Judge Patricia Riley would deny the petition for rehearing.

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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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