By Jennifer P. Harrison, Marion County Public Defender Agency
As attorneys, we all hope to be victorious for our clients the first time around at the trial level. However, we won’t always be. When that happens, we want our clients to be able to exercise their right to appeal. In those times, it is important for all of us to be aware of the changes to Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 9.
This rule states “[a] party initiates an appeal by filing a Notice of Appeal with the Clerk.” This now defines the Clerk in Rule 2 as “the Clerk of the Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Tax Court.”
Prior to this change, an attorney could file the Notice of Appeal in the trial level court. However, you may no longer file this notice of appeal with the trial court! Doing so could cost your client an effective right to the appeal. While you can still seek recourse through Indiana Post-Conviction Rule 2 for a belated notice of appeal, there is no guarantee the client will be given an opportunity to file one and/or that remedy may be moot for some clients who will have already completed their sentence.
So when you aren't the winner at the trial level, you must file your Notice of Appeal with the Clerk of the appropriate court, be it the Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals or Tax Court, in order to seek victory through appeals.
This post was written by Jennifer P. Harrison, Marion County Public Defender Agency. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Criminal Justice Section page, please email Mary Kay Price at email@example.com.