Post Conviction

COA: Trial Rule 41(E) requires hearing on PCR petition

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court should have followed Indiana Trial Rule 41(E) and held a hearing before dismissing an inmate’s petition for post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Court orders reconsideration of petition for credit time

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Because the post-conviction court denied an inmate’s petition for credit time without considering whether he had exhausted administrative remedies, the Indiana Court of Appeals sent the case back for reconsideration.
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Murder defendant’s trial attorney ineffective, COA rules

June 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the denial of a man’s post-conviction relief petition, finding his trial counsel was ineffective and his petition was not barred by laches.
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COA upholds denial of post-conviction relief petition

May 12, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of a man’s post-conviction relief petition after it found any ineffectiveness of counsel the man received did not affect the outcome of his case in his decision to plead guilty to Class A felony neglect of a dependent.
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Justices: Murderer should be able to file belated notice of appeal

April 27, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in a per curiam decision a man who pleaded guilty to two counts of murder among other charges can file a belated notice of appeal after the justices found “unique circumstances” in his case that did not allow him to file an appeal of his sentence when it was decided in 1987.
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COA: Man’s habeas petition should be dismissed

April 20, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals remanded a man’s petition for habeas corpus and ordered the trial court to dismiss his claims after the judges said he improperly filed his petition without permission from the court.
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COA: Man should have met with state public defender’s office

February 29, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the grant of the state’s motion for summary denial of man’s request for post-conviction relief because his case was not forwarded to the State Public Defender’s Office.
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Decision against trying to bifurcate did not prejudice jury

February 8, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Refusing to second-guess trial strategy, the Indiana Court of Appeals found an East Chicago man did not meet his burden to prove he had ineffective counsel.
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COA declines to extend civil ruling to PCR case

January 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected an inmate’s request that In re Adoption of O.R. provides him an option for filing a belated notice of appeal.
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Man convicted in swordfight death loses PCR appeal

January 12, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of killing his great-uncle in a 2009 swordfight that also took the life of his grandmother failed Tuesday in his pro se post-conviction relief appeal.
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Split COA finds attorney did not provide adequate counsel

December 29, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
Two typewritten letters and handwritten notes between a now-deceased defense attorney and a former prosecutor have divided the Indiana Court of Appeals over whether a plea agreement had actually been negotiated.
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Woman sentenced to 215 years for crash deaths loses PCR appeal

December 10, 2015
Dave Stafford
A woman who drove the wrong way on State Road 67 near Martinsville and collided with a minivan killing a man and six children in 2000 lost her post-conviction relief appeal Thursday.
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Post-conviction relief unavailable for traffic infractions

June 22, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man ticketed for a traffic violation and speeding is not entitled to post-conviction relief or relief from judgment, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday. Post-conviction relief is only available when someone has committed a crime.
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Murderer’s writ for relief denied by 7th Circuit

April 15, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
For the fourth time, a northern Indiana man’s appeal of his death sentence for four murders has come before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. This time, the judges affirmed the denial of his writ for habeas corpus.
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Convicted murderer who claims innocence loses PCR appeal

April 7, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man convicted of a 1993 murder in southern Indiana was not wrongly denied post-conviction relief on his argument that his lawyer was ineffective for failing to recommend he take a plea deal, among other things.
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COA judge: Parole board 'should do better'

March 20, 2015
Dave Stafford
A man who killed no one but who’s been in prison for almost 40 years for a felony murder conviction was entitled to a more thorough parole board review than one based on a 13-year-old psychological evaluation, a Court of Appeals judge wrote Friday.
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No new trial for Indiana woman convicted in deadly crash

March 5, 2015
 Associated Press
An Indianapolis woman convicted of killing six children and a man in a wrong-way, head-on collision along a state highway will not get a new trial, a judge has ruled.
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No advice from counsel leads to post-conviction relief

December 2, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A mother’s refusal to convey her son’s threats of harm possibly saved the man from violating Indiana’s intimidation statute.
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Woman convicted in deadly wrong-way crash appears in court

October 31, 2014
 Associated Press
Attorneys for an Indianapolis woman convicted of killing six children and a 40-year-old man in a head-on traffic collision asked a judge for a new trial Thursday, arguing in part she had inadequate legal counsel.
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Man didn’t prove ineffective assistance of counsel

October 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief for a man who charged his attorney was ineffective for not doing a better job arguing the sufficiency of the evidence to prove the defendant conspired to commit dealing cocaine.
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Woman convicted in deadly crash returning to court

October 30, 2014
 Associated Press
A woman convicted 13 years ago of killing seven people in a head-on collision that prosecutors said was a suicide attempt is headed back to court.
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Judges affirm denial of child molester's PCR petition

October 15, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided Wednesday that it did have jurisdiction to hear a prisoner’s petition for post-conviction relief that was filed 31 days after the trial court denied him relief. But the man was unsuccessful before the appellate court.
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Justices reverse grant of post-conviction relief

September 18, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a defendant’s claim that his attorneys were ineffective for not arguing that, based on a Supreme Court case, his conviction for Class B felony criminal confinement should be reversed or reduced. But the man inappropriately relies on the case, and what he claims his attorneys should have argued is not the law.
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Defendant loses on ineffective counsel claim

September 4, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant did not show that he was denied the effective assistance of appellate counsel, so the court correctly denied his petition for post-conviction relief, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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Justices reverse conviction and sentence enhancement related to handgun

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s firearm enhancement is based on the same behavior used to convict and sentence him for carrying a handgun without a permit, the Indiana Supreme Court vacated the conviction and five-year enhancement.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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