Article 7 of the Indiana Constitution provides the authority for the Indiana Supreme Court, which consists of five justices. The Indiana General Assembly may increase the size of the Court to nine justices. The Court reviews direct appeals of cases in which the defendant was sentenced to death or life in prison, as well as cases in which a trial court has determined that a statute is unconstitutional. The Court also reviews decisions by the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Indiana Tax Court, and it can review sentencing decisions in lower courts. It holds exclusive jurisdiction over matters related to the legal profession in Indiana, such as sanctions issued to lawyers and judges. The Court also holds exclusive jurisdiction over certain other matters, such as post-conviction relief in cases involving a death sentence.
When a new justice needs to be chosen, the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission will provide the Governor of Indiana with a list of three nominees. To be eligible for consideration, a candidate must have practiced law in Indiana for at least 10 years or have served as a trial court judge for at least five years. The Commission uses guidelines provided in Public Law 427 to develop the list. The Governor then has 60 days to choose the new justice. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will choose the new justice if the Governor fails to decide within 60 days. Each justice must go through a retention election in the first general election after two years have passed since their appointment. If they secure retention, they will serve a full 10-year term before seeking retention again. Each justice must retire when they reach the age of 75.
The Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court serves a renewable five-year term. The Judicial Nominating Commission fills this position as well. If there is a vacancy, the most senior justice currently serving on the Court will become the Acting Chief Justice until the appointment of a new Chief Justice.
Cutchin v. Beard
Date: June 30, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court accepted a question certified by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and answered that the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act applies when a plaintiff alleges that a qualified health...
Isom v. State
Date: June 30, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the post-conviction court denying Appellant's petition for post-conviction relief raising challenges to the effectiveness or his trial and appellate counsel, holding that Appell...
Berg v. Berg
Date: June 29, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court finding that Husband had breached a provision of the parties' settlement agreement entered into during their dissolution of marriage action, holding that the tri...
State v. Jones
Date: June 22, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the trial court directing the State to produce a confidential informant (CI) for a face-to-face interview with Defendant's counsel, holding that because the trial court did not app...
Temme v. State
Date: June 21, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court denying Defendant's motion arguing that he should receive credit time from the date of his erroneous release through his readmission to the Department of Correct...
City of Marion v. London Witte Group, LLC
Date: June 17, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed in part and affirmed in part the judgment of an appellate panel finding that the City of Marion's claims alleging corruption in the old City administration were time barred, holding that, under...
In the Matter of Robert Dale Cheesebourough
Date: June 10, 2021
State v. Timbs
Date: June 10, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court ruled that the forfeiture of Tyson Timbs's his white Land Rover was unconstitutional, holding that Timbs met his high burden to show that the harshness of his Land Rover's forfeiture was grossly disprop...
State v. Diego
Date: June 9, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the trial court suppressing statements made by Defendant during a police interview, holding that the circumstances did not amount to a custodial interrogation.
At issue was whethe...
Combs v. State
Date: June 3, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying Defendant's motion to suppress the fruits of an inventory search of the company van he was driving, holding that the van's seizure and search were lawful...
Wright v. State
Date: May 4, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the trial court denying Defendant's request to represent himself during trial, holding that the trial court did not err in denying Defendant's request to self-represent.
State v. Ellis
Date: April 23, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court granting Defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized during the search of his home, holding that a waiver of the "right against search and seizure" clearly in...
New Nello Operating Co., Inc. v. CompressAir
Date: April 22, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court for CompressAir and thus rejected CompressAir's claim that a certain transfer was fraudulent and remanded with instructions to enter judgment for New Nello Opera...
Branscomb v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P.
Date: April 7, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court answered in the negative a certified question as to whether a store manager can be held liable for negligence when he is not directly involved in the accident at issue.
In the underlying personal injur...
Harris v. State
Date: March 24, 2021
Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of attempted murder, holding that the trial court did not err in not allowing Defendant's mother as a witness to stay in the courtroom durin...