ILNews

Man waited too long to ask for return of cash bond

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Although the trial court was not statutorily authorized to retain a man’s cash bond in 2005, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of his motion to release the bond because he waived his argument.

Thomas Dillman was charged with three drunken-driving offenses and paid a $700 cash bond to be released from jail in September 2005. He pleaded guilty to one count two months later, and the trial court said Dillman would pay costs and fees out of the cash bond. Dillman never appealed that order. Then, in 2011, the trial court released the remainder of the cash bond for probation fees. Dillman also did not appeal this order.

In April 2013, he filed a motion to release the bond, which the trial court denied the same day.

The state conceded that the trial court did not have statutory authority to retain the bond to pay for court costs, but it argued that Dillman waived his claim when he failed to appeal the court’s orders. Dillman countered that the orders constituted an illegal sentence, which is a fundamental error he can raise at any time.

The Court of Appeals found Dillman should have filed a motion to correct error or notice of appeal within 30 days of the November 2005 order. He waited nearly eight years to dispute the release of his bond for court costs.

Dillman can’t bypass the waiver issue by arguing fundamental error because the error did not constitute an illegal sentence nor was it a fundamental error, Judge Rudolph Pyle III wrote in Thomas D. Dillman v. State of Indiana, 53A05-1306-CR-274.  

“Although the trial court made its statement regarding costs and fees at sentencing, the trial court’s order requiring Dillman to pay his costs and fees was not part of his sentence. In 2005, when Dillman was sentenced, INDIANA CODE§ 33-37-2-2(a) provided: “[c]osts in a criminal action are not a part of the sentence and may not be suspended.” In turn, “fees” . . . “are costs.” I.C. § 33-37-2-5 (2005). Therefore, the trial court’s order regarding Dillman’s costs and fees was not a part of his sentence, and his sentence was not illegal,” he wrote.

“Although the trial court should not have retained Dillman’s cash bond, it released the money to pay for Dillman’s costs and fees, which Dillman was required to pay regardless.”

 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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