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Post-conviction claim allowed in DOC placement change

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Offenders may seek post-conviction relief from Department of Correction placement changes, the Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday after the state revised its view that a claim should be dismissed.

A panel ruled in Ritchie Hodges v. State of Indiana, 06A01-1210-CR-466, that the trial court erred in dismissing a PCR claim for an offender whose community corrections placement was revoked. The panel found Post-Conviction Rule 1(1)(a)(5) permits a claim such as Ritchie Hodges’ that he received ineffective assistance of counsel at his placement-revocation hearing. Hodges was reassigned to the Department of Correction to serve the balance of a sentence for convictions of three counts of Class D felony possession of child pornography and Class D felony voyeurism.

“Hodges’s allegation that he received ineffective assistance of counsel at the hearing to revoke his community corrections placement is a claim that his conditional release was unlawfully revoked. The trial court’s order dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief on the grounds that the post-conviction rules do not allow his claim is therefore reversed, and this case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings on the merits,” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote in an opinion joined by Judges James Kirsch and Patricia Riley.

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