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Criminal Procedure

Haste v. State (Ind. Ct. App. May 25, 2012)

In this case, a criminal defendant appealed a conviction and sentence for dealing methamphetamine following an order sentencing the defendant to 10 years. The order also took the issue of restitution under advisement. The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal sua sponte because, although a sentencing order is generally a final judgment pursuant to Appellate Rule 2(H), this particular order took the issue of restitution under advisement and, thus, did not completely dispose of all sentencing issues.

This case illustrates how seriously our appellate courts take the issue of appellate jurisdiction. The State did not move to dismiss the appeal, yet the Court of Appeals, on its own, realized it lacked jurisdiction and dismissed the appeal.

This case also demonstrates the ambiguity that can arise as to whether an order is appealable as a final order. Sentencing orders are usually final. The trial court’s decision to take the restitution issue under advisement left the defendant without the ability to appeal his conviction and sentence as a final order until after the court decided the restitution issue. The defendant was therefore left with the choice f either waiting until after the court ruled or appealing his conviction and sentence on an interlocutory basis.

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