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Friday, May 10, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 3 today (and 5 NFP)

For publication opinions today (3):

In Dwight L. Cobbs v. State of Indiana , a 10-page opinion, Judge Barnes writes:

Dwight Cobbs appeals his conviction for Class B felony dealing in cocaine. We affirm.

Cobbs raises one issue, which we restate as whether the trial court properly admitted the testimony of a confidential informant. * * *

The trial court properly admitted the confidential informant’s testimony. Even if the trial court erred by admitting the testimony, any error was harmless. We affirm.

In Bobby Alexander v. State of Indiana , a 7-page opinion, Judge Pyle writes:
[Issue] Whether this appeal should be dismissed because the order from which Alexander is attempting to appeal is not a final judgment. * * *

Here, the State was prepared at the sentencing hearing with its request for restitution. Specifically, the State introduced copies of the Seger’s medical bills and requested that that the trial court order Alexander to pay restitution in the amount of $96,674.53 for Seger’s medical costs. Alexander, however, requested the trial court to delay the entry of a restitution order so that he could investigate possible “discounts” for Seger’s medical bills. (Tr. 579). The trial court granted Alexander’s request to take restitution under advisement and to hold a restitution hearing at a later date.

Now, Alexander is attempting to appeal one of his two convictions, but we have nothing in the record to indicate that the trial court has ever entered a restitution order. Additionally, the parties have not indicated that any such order has been entered. Under these specific circumstances, we dismiss this appeal. * * *

Finally, we note that it is a common practice in trial courts throughout our state for a trial judge to impose a sentence upon a defendant while taking restitution under advisement for various reasons. This practice, however, can prove to be problematic—as it has in this case—because it delays a defendant’s ability to begin an appeal due to the fact that a final order has not been entered. Consequently, this practice would affect a trial judge’s ability to advise a defendant of his appellate rights. Furthermore, when a trial court enters a sentence but takes restitution under advisement, the trial court is still subject to the ninety (90) day time limitation in Indiana Trial Rule 53.2 (“the lazy judge rule”), which is applicable to criminal proceedings pursuant to Indiana Criminal Rule 15. Therefore, the best practice would be for trial courts to enter an order of restitution at the same time as sentencing.

In Roberto Barajas v. State of Indiana , an 11-page opinion, Judge Vaidik writes:
Roberto Barajas appeals the post-conviction court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. Barajas argues that his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to explain the deportation consequences of his guilty plea to Class D felony possession of cocaine. Concluding that Barajas has failed to demonstrate prejudice in light of the trial court’s advisements at his guilty-plea hearing, we affirm the post-conviction court.
NFP civil opinions today (3):

Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of C.T. and D.T., minor children, and C.T., biological father, and K.P., biological mother: C.T. and K.P. v. Indiana Dept. of Child Services (NFP)

Mr. Bults, Inc. D/B/A MBI v. Nathan Orlando (NFP)

In Re: The Paternity of V.A.; R.A. v. B.Y. (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (2):

Karina Wilson v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Daon L. Bellamy v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 10, 2013 12:42 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions