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PCR 2 not available for probation revocation orders

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Post-Conviction Rule 2 is not available for belated appeals of probation revocation orders, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded.

The trial court allowed Edward Dawson leave to file a belated notice of appeal of the order revoking his probation. Dawson didn’t file a motion to correct error or a notice of appeal within 30 days of his revocation.

The Indiana Supreme Court addressed Post-Conviction Rule 2 and probation revocation hearings in Cooper v. State, 917 N.E.2d 667, 673 (Ind. 2009), in which Cooper didn’t petition for permission to file a belated notice of appeal, but later asked the court to reconsider its revocation decision. The justices ruled 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.

In Edward Dawson v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-1001-CR-155, the appellate judges delved into the history of PCR 2 and agreed with the state that Dawson isn’t an eligible defendant under the rule.

The issue in the instant case is whether the imposition of the sanction for revoking his probation qualifies as a sentence under PCR 2. The rule defines eligible defendants as those who possessed the right but failed to file a timely direct appeal of a conviction or sentence after a trial or guilty plea.

“We are not unsympathetic to the policy considerations attendant to permitting belated appeals of probation revocation orders where the diligence and fault criteria are met. Nevertheless, the Indiana Supreme Court has strictly construed Post-Conviction Rule 2 in Howard and Greer, and continues to limit its reach,” wrote Judge L. Mark Bailey.

Although the Indiana Supreme Court has never explicitly determined whether and to what extent Post-Conviction Rule 2 applies to probation revocation orders, the Court of Appeals decided that matter in Glover v. State, 684 N.E.2d 542, 543 (Ind. Ct. App. 1997), and the Indiana Supreme Court has never superseded that opinion by Rule amendment, he continued.  

Judge Bailey noted the appellate court is aware of the need for clarification and welcomes it, but the current rendering of PCR 2 doesn’t include probation revocation orders. They dismissed the appeal.

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