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Judges dismiss man’s appeal of protection order extension

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The Indiana Court of Appeals dismissed a Porter County man’s appeal of a judge’s decision to reset a hearing on a temporary protection order for six months after the victim had an anxiety attack while testifying. The judges held Douglas Allison had to seek a discretionary interlocutory appeal in the matter.

Heather Pepkowski petitioned for an ex parte protection order against Allison, her neighbor, alleging he harassed her and her mother, which constituted stalking. The trial court granted the order and set a hearing for 45 days later. Pepkowski was the first to testify at the hearing, but because she had an apparent anxiety attack while on the stand, Porter Superior Judge Julia Jent continued the hearing for six months. Jent also extended the temporary protection order until that time.

“It was certainly within the trial court’s discretion to continue the matter based on Pepkowski’s apparent anxiety attack at the hearing. A six-month delay, though, defeats the (Indiana Civil Protection Order) Act’s purpose of protecting victims in a fair, prompt, and effective manner. It also runs contrary to Section 34-26-5-10(a), which requires a hearing within thirty days after a request for a hearing is filed ‘unless continued by the court for good cause shown.’ The trial court made no record explaining why a delay of six months was necessary,” Senior Judge Carr Darden wrote in Douglas J. Allison v. Heather Pepkowski, 64A05-1311-PO-554.

Allison argued that the trial court’s Oct.10, 2013, order is appealable as a matter of right because it is an interlocutory order granting or refusing to dissolve a preliminary injunction. However, a preliminary injunction may not be granted without notice and an opportunity to be heard at a hearing, Darden pointed out. Allison appeared at the October hearing, but it ended before he had an opportunity to be heard. The court’s extension granted a temporary protection order, not a preliminary injunction.

The judges dismissed Allison’s appeal because temporary protection orders are not appealable as of right.

“To pursue this appeal, Allison was required to seek the trial court’s certification of the order for interlocutory appeal, and upon the court’s certification, to ask us to accept jurisdiction over the appeal,” Darden wrote.

 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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