Six Reasons Why Your Case Might Reach the Indiana Supreme Court

We've all heard someone mention taking their case to the Supreme Court, but that option may not always be available. Under Indiana law and the Indiana Supreme Court’s Rule of Appellate Procedure, there are six specific considerations that the Indiana Supreme Court takes into account for every case.

The first consideration involves cases that are eligible for direct appeal, meaning they do not go to the Indiana Court of Appeals first. These include criminal appeals where the sentence is life imprisonment without parole or a death sentence, decisions declaring a state or federal statute unconstitutional, waivers of parental consent to abortion, and mandates of funds.

For other cases from trial courts, which make up the majority of appealable orders, the process typically begins with an appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals. If a party is dissatisfied with the Court of Appeals' decision, they can file a Petition to Transfer requesting the Indiana Supreme Court to consider taking the case for one or more of six reasons:

  1. Conflict with other Indiana Court of Appeals decisions.
  2. Conflict with decisions made by the Indiana Supreme Court itself.
  3. Conflict with a federal appellate decision.
  4. Presentation of an undecided question of law.
  5. Outdated precedent due to societal changes.
  6. Departure from established laws, customs, or practices.

In most cases, if the Indiana Supreme Court considers or denies a case, there is a right to seek Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, typically on constitutional grounds.

We hope this breakdown helps you understand the Indiana appellate process better. This blog is intended for general educational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice or a solicitation for legal services. Ciyou & Associates, P.C. attorneys successfully handle appeals from all Indiana state trial courts.


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