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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Updating: One of the COA opinions today is not new, and what's wrong with that

Updating this ILB post from earlier today, with respect to the ILB's comments on the COA's corrected opinion in Taylor v. State, the ILB has received this note (posted with permission) from Chief Judge Nancy Vaidik:

Hi Marcia;

I don’t think that you have seen the full order in this case — it appears the clerk’s docket does not reflect the full order. Below is a copy of the order vacating the prior opinion, albeit unsigned (as I only have the unsigned version in my computer), where we ordered a copy sent to all parties and counsel, Lexis, West, the trial court, and all other sources to which decisions/opinions of our Court are sent. Also, the order indicates the change which was a change “to the effective date of PL 181-2014, which will not affect the substance of the decision.” Today the refiled (new) opinion was filed.





CAUSE NO. 45A03-1310-CR-406

On April 17, 2014, this Court issued its For Publication opinion. Thereafter, this Court determined that there was an error in the opinion.

Having reviewed the matter, the Court FINDS AND ORDERS AS FOLLOWS:

1. On its own motion, this Court has determined that the April 17, 2014 For Publication opinion is recalled, withdrawn, and vacated. Within ten (10) days of the date of this order, this Court will issue a substitute opinion with technical corrections to the effective date of P.L. 181-2014, which will not in any way affect the substance of the decision reached in this Court’s April 17, 2014 opinion. Accordingly, the time periods for filing rehearing or transfer shall commence as of the date of issuance of the later-filed (substitute) opinion.

2. The Clerk of this Court is directed to send a copy of this order to all parties and counsel of record, the trial court, West/Thomson/Reuters, Lexis, all other sources to which decisions/opinions of this Court are sent, and the Lake Circuit and Superior Courts Clerk.

3. The Lake Circuit and Superior Courts Clerk is directed to file a copy of this order under Lower Cause Number 45G01-0309-FB-49, and, pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 77(D), the Clerk shall place the contents of this order in the Record of Judgments and Orders.

ORDERED this __ day of April, 2014.

Vaidik, C.J., May, J., concur.

The ILB responded:
Dear Chief Judge Vaidik

Thanks for your note. No, I had not seen the full order; unfortunately those are not posted, all the public sees is what is included in the online docket. With your permission, I would like to post it now, along with your note.

The problem is that many people, including trial judges and lawyers, keep up with new cases as they are filed either from the online court website itself, or via the ILB and the Ind. Lawyer. Both publications rely on the courts' online opinions.

As I've written, I think the way these new opinions are corrected needs to be rethought. Labeling the face of the opinion with perhaps "Corrected opinion, replaces the version filed XX", plus attaching the full order to the newly filed version, would go a long way to solving the problem.

In my experience, the 7th Circuit does not post a corrected opinion, but does issue and post online an order indicating the changes. Here is a good example from last year.

I also pointed out to the CJ that the Indianapolis Star today has a story reporting on today's opinion as new (rather than simply corrected) [ILB at 8 PM: the Star has now corrected the story], while a number of other papers had stories on the opinion when it was initially filed a week ago. This April 17th story, from the NWI Times, includes a copy of the opinion.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 24, 2014 03:43 PM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions