Brownsburg man waived right to appeal restitution in plea agreement, COA rules

A Brownsburg man waived his right to appeal a restitution order after he signed a plea agreement leaving all terms of his sentence to the trial court’s discretion, the Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed.

In July 2019, Jonathan Matthew Nolan and his pregnant wife, J.N., were discussing their separation when they began to argue.

During the argument, J.N. took Nolan’s phone, and Nolan responded by pulling J.N. off a couch and grabbing her by both of her wrists. Nolan twisted J.N.’s wrists with enough force for his nails to draw blood from J.N.’s forearms. During the struggle, Nolan also inadvertently struck H.N., their 4-year-old child, on the nose.

The state charged Nolan with Level 5 felony domestic battery resulting in bodily injury to a pregnant woman and Level 6 felony domestic battery. In December 2020, Nolan pleaded guilty to Level 6 felony domestic battery.

Nolan’s plea agreement stated “[t]otal sentence: All terms shall be open to the court” and provided that Nolan “hereby waives his right to appeal any discretionary portion of the sentence entered pursuant to and in accordance with this plea agreement and further acknowledges and affirms that this waiver is knowing and made voluntarily.” In addition, the plea agreement stated “[t]he defendant hereby waives his right to appeal the sentence so long as the Court sentences him within the terms of the plea agreement.”

In January, the Hamilton Superior Court sentenced Nolan to two years, with one year executed in Hamilton County Community Corrections and one year suspended to probation. The trial court also ordered Nolan to pay $10,680 in restitution to J.N., complete a batterer’s intervention course, complete his probation commitment and pay all costs, fines and fees.

On appeal, Nolan argued that the trial court abused its discretion when it ordered him to pay restitution for his wife’s lost wages, and that it erred when it failed to inquire into his ability to pay restitution.

But finding Nolan waived his right to appeal the restitution order per the plea agreement, the COA affirmed.

“Our review of the record shows us that Nolan clearly waived his right to appeal the restitution order,” Judge Rudolph Pyle wrote for the COA.

The case is Jonathan Matthew Nolan v. State of Indiana, 21A-CR-305.

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