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Monday, November 05, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court decides one late this afternoon

In State v. Holtsclaw, a 5-page, 4-0 opinion, Justice Massa writes:

This case presents a single question: does Appellate Rule 9, which tolls the thirty-day deadline for filing a notice of appeal when a party files a motion to correct error, apply to the State in a criminal case? We hold that it does. * * *

As this issue was not (and could not have been) raised in the trial court, and we have vacated the opinion of the Court of Appeals, App. R. 58(A), we address the issue de novo. * * *

In support of his argument that the State’s appeal is impermissible, Holtsclaw cites Indiana Code § 35-38-4-2, which states that in criminal cases the state may appeal only certain rulings, including “an order granting a motion to suppress evidence, if the ultimate effect of the order is to preclude further prosecution” or “an order granting a motion to correct errors.” Ind. Code § 35-38-4-2 (2008) (emphasis added). Holtsclaw argued that the State could not appeal under either of these provisions because it failed to appeal within thirty days of the order suppressing the evidence and had no statutory right to appeal the denial of its motion to correct error. In response, the State cited Appellate Rule 9, which provides that the thirty-day deadline to file a notice of appeal is tolled “if any party files a timely motion to correct error.” Ind. Appellate Rule 9(A)(1). The State contended that Appellate Rule 9 took precedence over Indiana Code § 35-38-4-2, and thus its appeal was timely. We agree. * * *

We remand this case to the Court of Appeals for consideration of the merits of the State’s appeal.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 5, 2012 04:50 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions