Supreme Court of Indiana Decisions

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.

Browse Opinions From the Supreme Court of Indiana

Recent Decisions From the Supreme Court of Indiana
Humphrey v. Tuck  
Date: September 8, 2020
Docket Number: 20S-CT-548

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court awarding Plaintiff $40,000 in this personal injury action, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in giving a failure to mitigate instruction....

D.P. v. State  
Date: September 8, 2020
Docket Number: 20S-JV-443

Justia Opinion Summary: In these consolidated appeals, the Supreme Court held that under the clear and unambiguous language of several relevant statutes, a juvenile court did not have subject matter jurisdiction to waive two individuals into ad...

Smith v. Franklin Township Community School Corp.  
Date: August 25, 2020
Docket Number: 20S-CT-98

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court denying Appellant's motion requesting reinstatement of his lawsuit against Franklin Township Community School Corporation, holding that the court did not abuse i...

Wadle v. State  
Date: August 18, 2020
Docket Number: 19S-CR-340

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court expressly overruled the constitutional tests set forth in Richardson v. State, 717 N.E.2d 32 (Ind. 1999), in resolving claims of substantive double jeopardy and adopted an analytical framework that appl...

Powell v. State  
Date: August 18, 2020
Docket Number: 19S-CR-527

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions for two counts of attempted murder, holding that Defendant's actions, despite their proximity in space and time, amounted to two distinct, chargeable offenses. Defendan...

Battering v. State  
Date: August 5, 2020
Docket Number: 20S-CR-31

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the trial court denying Defendant's motion for discharge under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C), holding that, under the circumstances of this case, Defendant was entitled to discharg...

State v. Brake  
Date: August 4, 2020
Docket Number: 20S-CR-499

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of four felony counts and dismissing a firearm enhancement sua sponte, holding that the State failed to meet its burden to show that the tri...

Clark v. Mattar  
Date: July 9, 2020
Docket Number: 20S-CT-109

Justia Opinion Summary: In this negligence action, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court in favor of Defendant, holding that a juror should have been struck for cause based on bias and that there was prejudice because Plain...

Mullins v. State  
Date: July 6, 2020
Docket Number: 20S-CR-451

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court exercised its constitutional authority to revise Defendant's sentence, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when sentencing Defendant but that, in Defendant's circumstances, her sen...

McCain v. State  
Date: June 30, 2020
Docket Number: 20S-CR-281

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's sentence for voluntary manslaughter, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the sentence and that the sentence was not inappropriate given the nature...

State v. Ryder  
Date: June 29, 2020
Docket Number: 20S-CR-435

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court suppressing blood test results obtained the morning of a vehicle collision, holding that the blood-draw search warrant application satisfied the filing requireme...

Gammons v. State  
Date: June 26, 2020
Docket Number: 20S-CR-22

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed Defendant's conviction for attempted murder and carrying a handgun without a license, holding that the trial court erred in instructing the jury on self-defense, and the instructional error was...

Plaintiff v. Defendant  
Date: June 24, 2020
Docket Number: 19S-XP-673

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the trial court denying Appellant's petition to expunge a minor felony conviction that had been converted to a misdemeanor, holding that the amended statute, which took effect w...

Seo v. State  
Date: June 23, 2020
Docket Number: 18S-CR-595

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court reversed the order of the trial court holding Defendant in contempt when Defendant refused to unlock her iPhone for a detective, holding that forcing Defendant to unlock her iPhone would violate her Fif...

Hardin v. State  
Date: June 23, 2020
Docket Number: 20S-CR-418

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court overruling Defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained during the search of his vehicle, holding that law enforcement officers do not violate either the sta...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.