56 N.E.3d 71 (Ind.App. 2016), 08A02-1508-CR-1278, Arion v. State

Docket Nº08A02-1508-CR-1278
Citation56 N.E.3d 71
Opinion JudgeBaker, Judge.
Party NameRicky E. Arion, Appellant-Defendant, v. State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff
AttorneyATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Steven Knecht, Vonderheide & Knecht, P.C., Lafayette, Indiana. ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Ian McLean, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Judge PanelBaker, Judge. May, J., and Brown, J., concur. May, J., and Brown, J., concur.
Case DateJune 22, 2016
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 71

56 N.E.3d 71 (Ind.App. 2016)

Ricky E. Arion, Appellant-Defendant,

v.

State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

No. 08A02-1508-CR-1278

Court of Appeals of Indiana

June 22, 2016

Appeal from the Carroll Circuit Court. The Honorable Benjamin A. Diener, Judge. Trial Court Cause No. 08C01-1309-FB-5.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: Steven Knecht, Vonderheide & Knecht, P.C., Lafayette, Indiana.

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE: Gregory F. Zoeller, Attorney General of Indiana; Ian McLean, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Baker, Judge. May, J., and Brown, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 72

Baker, Judge.

[¶1] Ricky Arion appeals the trial court's denial of his motion for discharge. Arion was serving a prison sentence for unrelated convictions when he was served with a warrant informing him of the present charges. He requested a speedy trial on multiple occasions, but the State made no attempt to try him for well over a year. The State now contends that because one of its officers failed to return the warrant to the trial court after serving it upon Arion, it was absolved of its responsibility to bring Arion to trial in a timely fashion in accordance with Indiana Criminal Rule 4. The State's position is contrary to both the text and the purpose of the rule, which places an " imperative duty upon the state and its officers, the trial courts and prosecuting attorneys." Zehrlaut v. State, 230 Ind. 175, 183-84, 102 N.E.2d 203, 207 (1951). Because we find that the delay in bringing Arion to trial was unjustifiable and that it exceeded the length of time allowable under Indiana Criminal Rules 4(B) and 4(C), we reverse and remand with instructions to dismiss the charges.

Facts1

[¶2] On September 5, 2013, the State filed charges of burglary, sexual battery, and criminal confinement against Arion in the Carroll Circuit Court. The next day, the court issued a warrant instructing the Sheriff of Carroll County to arrest Arion on those charges. Arion was incarcerated in Miami County for prior convictions at the time, and the warrant listed the Miami Correctional Facility as his address. On September 10, 2013, a law enforcement officer at the Miami Correctional Facility served the warrant on Arion and gave him a copy. For unknown reasons, no law enforcement officer returned the served warrant to the trial court.[2]

[¶3] A few days later, on September 13, 2013, Arion filed a pro se motion for speedy trial under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(B) in the trial court. He did not serve a copy of this motion on the State, but wrote on the bottom of the motion " please forward a copy to the prosecutor's office of said motion." Appellant's App. p. 18. On December 16, 2013, after ninety-four days had passed with no trial date set, Arion filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him, arguing that he had not been brought to trial within seventy days of his filing of a Rule 4(B) motion. The trial court denied the motion, holding that because the arrest warrant had not been returned as served, Arion was " not being held on the above entitled cause" and, therefore, " Rule 4 does not apply." Id. at 23.

Page 73

[¶4] On January 27, 2014, Arion filed a pro se motion to reconsider, arguing that he had been served with the warrant and it was not his duty to ensure that the warrant was returned as served to the trial court. This time, he made sure to serve the State with a copy. He also attached to the motion a copy of the warrant that had been served on him. The trial court summarily denied the motion later that day.

[¶5] Following this, over a year passed in which the State made no attempt to try Arion. On March 26, 2015, Arion sent a letter to the Carrol County Sheriff's Department with a copy of his arrest warrant in an effort to prove that it had been served on him. The Sheriff's Department forwarded this letter to the trial court the same day. On April 7, 2015, the trial court issued an order to transport Arion to the trial court for an initial hearing to be held on May 22, 2015.

[¶6] At the hearing, counsel was appointed and trial was set for October 5, 2015. Arion objected to the trial date, citing Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C). The trial court noted the objection. It then issued an order on the initial hearing, acknowledging that Arion's March 26, 2015, letter showed that the warrant had been served on Arion on September 10, 2013, but noting that it had still not received a return of the warrant.

[¶7] On July 10, 2015, Arion, this time by counsel, filed a motion for discharge under Rule 4(B), 4(C), and the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The trial court denied the motion on August 17, 2015. The trial court found that Arion " likely became aware of his arrest, in this cause of action, on September 10, 2013." Id. at 98. However, the trial court also found that it was not aware of the arrest until March 26, 2015, and that it had not seen the copy of the warrant that was attached to Arion's earlier motion. It held: From this Court's perspective, temporal restrictions imposed on the Court by Indiana Criminal Rule 4 and the U.S. Constitution begin when Defendant is arrested. In circumstances where Defendant is arrested and the Court is never made aware of the arrest, arrest occurs when the Court has actual knowledge that Defendant has been arrested on this Court's warrant.

Id. at 99-100. The trial court went on to hold that...

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2 practice notes
  • Harrison v. Knight, 062719 INCA, 18A-MI-2918
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 27, 2019
    ...A defendant has no duty to bring himself to trial; rather, the primary burden is on the courts and prosecutors. Arion v. State, 56 N.E.3d 71, 74 (Ind.Ct.App. 2016) (citing Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 527 (1972)). "Indiana Criminal Rule 4 seeks to ensure that......
  • 66 N.E.3d 1007 (Ind.App. 2016), 17A04-1510-CR-1688, Myers v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • November 4, 2016
    ...of the appropriate standard of review in Criminal Rule 4 cases. [3] We acknowledge the very recent decision in Arion v. State, 56 N.E.3d 71, 72 (Ind.Ct.App. 2016), in which another panel of this Court reversed the trial court's denial of the defendant's motion for d......
2 cases
  • Harrison v. Knight, 062719 INCA, 18A-MI-2918
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • June 27, 2019
    ...A defendant has no duty to bring himself to trial; rather, the primary burden is on the courts and prosecutors. Arion v. State, 56 N.E.3d 71, 74 (Ind.Ct.App. 2016) (citing Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 527 (1972)). "Indiana Criminal Rule 4 seeks to ensure that......
  • 66 N.E.3d 1007 (Ind.App. 2016), 17A04-1510-CR-1688, Myers v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • November 4, 2016
    ...of the appropriate standard of review in Criminal Rule 4 cases. [3] We acknowledge the very recent decision in Arion v. State, 56 N.E.3d 71, 72 (Ind.Ct.App. 2016), in which another panel of this Court reversed the trial court's denial of the defendant's motion for d......

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