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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues one today

In Jedediah J. Haltom v. State of Indiana (8/16/05), Justice Sullivan writes:

Jedediah Haltom crashed his truck into a woman’s car while driving under the influence. He settled with her for his car insurance’s limits, and she executed a release from any future damages or compensation “of whatever nature.” In the collateral criminal prosecution, Haltom argued that the trial court’s award of cash restitution to the victim violated the release. The trial court had authority to award restitution: a private contract to which neither the State nor the court are parties cannot impinge upon the authority of the State to seek and the court to impose a criminal sanction. * * *

Conclusion. Having previously granted transfer, we hold that civil settlements have no preclusive ef-fect on the power of a criminal court to order restitution. The trial court’s order for restitution is affirmed.

Rucker, J., concurs.
Dickson, J., concurs with separate opinion.
Boehm, J., concurs in part and dissents in part with separate opinion.
Shepard, C.J., dissents with separate opinion.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 17, 2005 12:31 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions