State v. Hicks

Decision Date07 July 1988
Docket NumberNo. 45S03-8807-PC-611,45S03-8807-PC-611
PartiesSTATE of Indiana, Appellant, v. Garland HICKS, Appellee.
CourtIndiana Supreme Court

Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen., Michael Gene Worden, Deputy Atty. Gen., Indianapolis, for appellant.

Susan K. Carpenter, Public Defender, Pamela Beck, Hope Fey, Deputy Public Defenders, for appellee.


GIVAN, Justice.

Although we agree with the majority opinion of the Court of Appeals, we also note that the law stated in the dissenting opinion is correct as far as the general application of the law regarding judicial notice is concerned. State v. Hicks (1988), Ind.App., 519 N.E.2d 1276. We therefore write this opinion for the sole purpose of clarifying the application of the law as far as the unusual circumstances of this case are concerned.

The statement of facts as set out in the majority opinion of the Court of Appeals is reproduced verbatim, as follows:

"On September 22, 1978, appellee Garland Hicks was indicted for two counts of murder, along with co-defendants Aurelius J. Allen, Dirk Webster, and O.D. Webster. All were named on one indictment. Although Allen's statements supplied the basis for the indictment, Allen had made five (5) different statements, only naming Hicks as an accomplice in his last two statements.

In exchange for a consolidated sentence of six years, Allen agreed to testify against Hicks. Later he was told he must testify against Webster as well. At Hicks' trial in December of 1978, Allen's statements provided the evidence necessary for conviction, and, under cause number 4CR-202-978-865, Hicks was convicted of one count of murder and acquitted of the second count. He received a sentence of fifty years. Hicks appealed his conviction directly to the Indiana Supreme Court; they affirmed it, 426 N.E.2d 411.

Hicks then filed a petition for post-conviction relief consisting of two paragraphs: (1) ineffective counsel, and, (2) the denial of due process because he did not receive a copy of the grand jury minutes, which, according to Hicks, would have assured him of his right to cross-examination. The post-conviction relief court granted Hicks' petition.

The PCR court took judicial notice of Allen's testimony in the subsequent trial of Webster, Hicks' co-defendant. Although Webster's trial took place in March of 1979, its cause number was identical to Hicks'--4CR-202-978-865, and the trial occurred before the same judge and in the same courtroom. At Webster's trial, Allen testified that he had no recollection of the murders nor of making any statements which implicated any of the co-defendants. Webster was convicted, but the Indiana Supreme Court reversed, finding that Allen's prior statements implicating his co-defendants were to be admitted only for impeachment purposes. At Webster's retrial, Allen testified as he did at Hicks': a conviction resulted which the Indiana Supreme Court affirmed. However, the Seventh Circuit reversed on the grounds of double jeopardy and Webster was released."

The dissenting opinion was correct when it stated:

"[I]t is a well-settled rule of law that a trial court may not take judicial notice of its own records before the court even on a related subject with related parties. (Emphasis added.) Hutchinson v. State (1985), Ind., 477 N.E.2d 850, 854; Szymenski v. State (1986), Ind.App., 500 N.E.2d 213, 215." Hicks, supra, 519 N.E.2d 1282.

The State is also correct in its memorandum in support of its petition for transfer when it states that in a...

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17 cases
  • Fisher v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 28 December 2007
    ...[F]or reasons apparent in each case the court is justified in noticing judicially the proceedings in other causes." State v. Hicks, 525 N.E.2d 316, 317 (Ind. 1988) (quoting 29 Am.Jur.2d Evidence § 59); see also Douglas v. State, 800 N.E.2d 599, 605 n. 4 (Ind.Ct.App.2003) (characterizing the......
  • Bonds v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court
    • 9 June 2000
    ...of its own records in another case previously before the court, even on a related subject and with related parties.3 State v. Hicks, 525 N.E.2d 316, 317 (Ind.1988); Hutchinson v. State, 477 N.E.2d 850, 854 (Ind.1985); Kennedy v. Jester, 700 N.E.2d 1170, 1173 (Ind.Ct.App.1998); Woods v. Stat......
  • Mitchell v. State
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 3 June 2011
    ...original trial transcript must be entered into evidence at the post-conviction hearing just like any other exhibit. See State v. Hicks, 525 N.E.2d 316, 317 (Ind.1988). Indiana courts have also maintained, at least until now, that “[a] post-conviction court may not take judicial notice of th......
  • Bahm v. State, 10A01-0208-PC-317.
    • United States
    • Indiana Appellate Court
    • 29 May 2003
    ...judicial notice of the transcript of the evidence from the original proceedings unless exceptional circumstances exist. State v. Hicks, 525 N.E.2d 316, 317 (Ind. 1988). The transcript must be admitted into evidence just like any other exhibit. Id. Consequently, the post-conviction court err......
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