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Statute requires state to pay attorney fees on inmate’s appeal

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Indiana Code 33-37-2-4 requires the state to pay appellate attorney fees and expenses when an inmate commits a crime in a state correctional facility, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday.

The state appealed the order from Madison County that it pay $5,232.35 in attorney fees and expenses to Anthony Lawrence, who was appointed by the court to file an appeal on behalf of Jeffrey Cook. Cook, an inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility, was convicted of murdering another inmate who was a member of a rival gang. Cook was found to be indigent and appointed a public defender for trial. The state paid for the defender, but challenged the bill to pay Lawrence’s fees.

Madison Circuit Judge Dennis Carroll, when ordering the state to pay, noted it had been a longstanding practice for the state to pay the trial and appeal costs of inmates.

The state claimed that the burden of paying for appeals should fall on Madison County. The Court of Appeals held that I.C. 33-37-2-4, which recognizes the financial burden placed on counties containing state correctional facilities, shifts that burden to the state for trial and appellate costs.

“Not requiring the State to pay for the inmate’s appellate attorney fees and expenses—when it pays for the expenses at the trial-court level—would be inconsistent with the statute’s underlying policy and goals and would bring about an unjust result,” Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik wrote in In re the Order for the Payment of Attorney Fees and Reimbursement of Expenses, State of Indiana v. Jeffrey Cook, 48A02-1307-MI-615. “This is because the counties have no control if an offender is placed in a facility in its county.”

Vaidik pointed out that the state can dispute counsel’s requested attorney fees and expenses as unreasonable before the trial court orders it to pay those fees. The state could also hire a public defender at a salary to defend the inmates at trial and to file their appeals, she wrote.
 

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  1. 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)

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. Well, I agree with you that the people need to wake up and see what our judges and politicians have done to our rights and freedoms. This DNA loophole in the statute of limitations is clearly unconstitutional. Why should dna evidence be treated different than video tape evidence for example. So if you commit a crime and they catch you on tape or if you confess or leave prints behind: they only have five years to bring their case. However, if dna identifies someone they can still bring a case even fifty-years later. where is the common sense and reason. Members of congress are corrupt fools. They should all be kicked out of office and replaced by people who respect the constitution.

  5. If the AG could pick and choose which state statutes he defended from Constitutional challenge, wouldn't that make him more powerful than the Guv and General Assembly? In other words, the AG should have no choice in defending laws. He should defend all of them. If its a bad law, blame the General Assembly who presumably passed it with a majority (not the government lawyer). Also, why has there been no write up on the actual legislators who passed the law defining marriage? For all the fuss Democrats have made, it would be interesting to know if some Democrats voted in favor of it (or if some Republican's voted against it). Have a nice day.

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