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Justices: Belated appeals rule doesn’t apply to probation revocations

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The Indiana Supreme Court has put its stamp of approval on an intermediate appellate panel’s ruling last year, finding that the state’s existing Post-Conviction Rule 2 that allows for belated appeals on certain criminal cases doesn’t apply to probation revocations.

In a two-page per curiam opinion in Edward Dawson v. State of Indiana, No. 49S02-1103-CR-176, the justices unanimously granted transfer on a Marion County case the Indiana Court of Appeals had decided Dec. 17, 2010.

Marion Superior Judge Robert Altice had imposed an eight-year suspended sentence with three years probation for the defendant, who’d pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and carrying a handgun without a license. The judge later revoked his probation and sentenced him to six years after a probation violation, but he didn’t file a motion to correct error or any appeal notice within 30 days as required. Dawson said he later learned generally about his right to appeal after meeting a law clerk with the Indiana Youth Center, and eight months following the revocation order he asked for a belated appeal. Judge Altice allowed it “outright” and permitted a hearing, but confirmed the six-year sanction he’d ordered.

The Court of Appeals found that Post-Conviction Rule 2 is not available for belated appeals of probation revocation orders and dismissed the appeal, and now the justices have affirmed that decision.

“We agree with the Court of Appeals’ analysis that the sanction imposed when probation is revoked does not qualify as a ‘sentence’ under the Rule, and therefore Dawson is not an ‘eligible defendant,’” the per curiam opinion reads. ”Accordingly, we grant transfer and adopt and incorporate by reference the opinion of the Court of Appeals under Appellate Rule 58(A)(1).”

This is the first time the state’s highest court has explicitly determined whether and to what extent Post-Conviction Rule 2 applies to probation revocation orders, either by opinion or rule amendment even after the intermediate appellate court had decided that matter in Glover v. State, 684 N.E.2d 542, 543 (Ind. Ct. App. 1997).

Justices addressed PCR 2 and probation revocation hearings in Cooper v. State, 917 N.E.2d 667, 673 (Ind. 2009), but the court ruled that because Cooper didn’t petition for permission to file a belated notice of appeal, the case wasn’t an appropriate vehicle to resolve the question of whether probation revocation orders are appealable under PCR 2.

That question is now resolved.

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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