How Do I File an Appeal on My Parenting Time Case in Indiana?

How Do I File an Appeal on My Parenting Time Case in Indiana?

As a threshold matter, any party who loses any final order as to all issues may appeal to the Court of Appeals of Indiana located in Indianapolis, Indiana. This includes appeals of parenting time unless it is a preliminary order issued on a temporary basis in a divorce case. This in theory could be appealed, but would be an interlocutory appeal as a matter of discretion that requires certification by the trial court judge and acceptance by the trial court (likely the final order would issue before the appeal was completed, so this is a theoretical issue). This noted, this blog analyzes how to file an appeal from a final parenting time order in any given case.

The place to start with any legal query is the controlling law. In order to perfect a parenting time order appeal, he or she (called an Appellant) would have to properly file a Notice of Appeal within thirty (30) days. The notice of appeal is very important because it provides instructions to the court reporter on which transcripts to transcribe and notifies the court and Court of Appeals an appeal is being taken from the final order. Once filed, the Clerk of the court must file a Notice of Completion of Clerk’s Record within thirty (30) days.

Within forty-five (45) days, the Court Reporter must file the transcript. This then starts the briefing schedule. Within thirty (30) days, the Appellant must file his or her Appellant’s brief and make all of the arguments about how the trial court erred in its order. The appellee then has thirty (30) days to file the Appellant’s Brief. Because the Appellant perfected the appeal and alleged the trial court errored, the Appellee can file the Appellant’s Reply Brief no later than fifteen (15) days after service of the Appellee’s Brief. While these time deadlines may get extended, it is only in extraordinary circumstances.

Once all of the briefs are filed, the Clerk of Indiana Court of Appeals transmits all of the appellate material to the three (3) judges on the Court of Appeals who will decide the case. This is called the writing panel. None of these judges took part in the decision you are appealing, nor does any particular trial judge have influence over the judges on the writing panel. When the appellate judges have decided the case, they then issue a memorandum or published decision. A published decision means this case (your case) may be relied upon by other judges and lawyers in Indiana. If you do not prevail, you make ask the Court of Appeals for a rehearing (to redecide the case) or a party who does not prevail may ask the Indiana Supreme Court to accept transfer and decide their case.

Unlike the Court of Appeals, the Indiana Supreme Court doe does not have to take the case and decide it. In either court, there may be an oral argument set by the court whereby the appellate attorneys argue the case. Once the time passes for rehearing and/or transfer the case is certified back to the trial court—this resumes the trial court’s jurisdiction to decide matters in the case. The appeal is concluded at that time.

This blog was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Associates, P.C. who handle appeals of all final judgments. This blog is written for general educational purposes. The blog is not to be relied upon for any legal matter or issue. This blog is not legal advice. The blog is an advertisement.


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