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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court files one opinion late this afternoon

In Iltzsch v. State, a 5-page, 4-1 per curiam opinion, the majority writes:

Following a bench trial, Carlin Iltzsch was found guilty of burglary, a class B felony, adjudicated an habitual offender, and sentenced to an executed term of twenty-two years. In addition, the trial court ordered Iltzsch to pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $711.95. At issue in this appeal is the restitution order. * * *

The Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the restitution order on grounds there was insufficient evidence to support the amount of restitution awarded. Iltzsch v. State, 972 N.E.2d 409, 412-14 (Ind. Ct. App. 2012), vacated. Without doubt, the better practice for the State would have been to present more substantial evidence about the nature and extent of the property damage, as outlined by the Court of Appeals. Similarly, the better practice for a defendant would have been to make contemporaneous objections (for example, hearsay and lack of foundation) as appropriate.

We grant transfer, though, to address whether the case can be remanded for a new restitution hearing. This question divided the Court of Appeals panel. * * *

[P]recedent supports remanding for additional evidence when appropriate. That has been the view of this Court and the Court of Appeals. [cites omitted] * * *

Accordingly, transfer of jurisdiction is granted pursuant to Appellate Rule 56(B). This case is remanded to the trial court with instructions to conduct a new restitution hearing at which the State will be permitted to present, and Iltzsch will be allowed to confront, any additional evidence supporting the victim’s property loss. The Court of Appeals opinion is vacated as to the remand; the remaining portions of the opinion are summarily affirmed. See Ind. Appellate Rule 58(A).

Rucker, David, Massa, and Rush, JJ., concur.

Dickson, C.J., dissents: I respectfully dissent, believing that we should not remand. As acknowledged by the per curiam opinion, Indiana statutory law requires that an order of restitution be "based on the actual cost of repair (or replacement if repair is inappropriate)." Ind. Code § 35-50-5-3(a). When on appeal the quantum of evidence presented by the State is found insufficient to satisfy its burden of proof on an issue, permitting the State a second opportunity to overcome its deficiency in proof is inconsistent with principles prohibiting double jeopardy. [cites omitted]

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 24, 2013 03:52 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions