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Logan v. State

Supreme Court of Indiana

September 24, 2014

SCOTT LOGAN, Appellant (Defendant below),
v.
STATE OF INDIANA, Appellee (Plaintiff below)

Page 954

Appeal from the Elkhart Superior Court, No. 20D03-0907-FC-00018. The Honorable George W. Biddlecome, Judge. On Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No. 20A05-1304-CR-192.

David, Justice. Rush, C.J., Dickson, Rucker, and Massa, J.J., concur.

OPINION

Page 955

David, Justice.

" To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice." MAGNA CARTA, § XXIX. First articulated in the Magna Carta, the right to a speedy trial is fundamental in our jurisprudence.[1] Klopfer v. North Carolina, 386 U.S. 213, 223, 87 S.Ct. 988, 18 L.Ed.2d 1 (1967). Together with Indiana Criminal Rule 4(C), the right to a speedy trial, as guaranteed by the United States and Indiana Constitutions, ensures those accused of criminal charges speedy administration of justice. In this case, appellant Scott Logan challenges the 1,291-day delay that elapsed between the State's filing of a class C felony child molestation charge against him and the beginning of his trial as a violation of both Rule 4(C) and his constitutional right to a

Page 956

speedy trial. Ultimately, Logan was convicted and sentenced to six years executed--a sentence that, when his earned good-time credit is considered, Logan essentially served before his trial even began.

Though Rule 4(C) implements a defendant's right to a speedy trial, our analysis of an alleged Rule 4(C) violation is distinct from that of a claimed constitutional violation, as both constitutions provide a defendant with broader protection of this fundamental right. Illustrating why Indiana affords defendants dual means of securing a speedy trial, here we conclude that despite the trial court's technical compliance with Rule 4(C), Logan's unduly long delay violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial.

Facts and Procedural History

On July 31, 2009, the State charged Logan with class C felony child molestation[2] after his sixteen-year-old daughter accused him of fondling her earlier that year. He was arrested on August 7, 2009, and his bond was set at $50,000. The trial court held Logan's initial hearing on August 11, 2009. There, the trial court scheduled a pre-trial conference for October 22, 2009, and set an omnibus hearing for November 5, 2009. Logan requested a bond reduction, and the trial court ordered the Probation Department to prepare a Bail Review Pre-trial Release Report. Although in their report the Probation Department noted that Logan could post a $10,000 bond and in fact recommended that his bond be reduced to $5,000, the trial court denied Logan's request on September 3, 2009.

At his October 22 pre-trial conference, Logan requested a continuance of his pre-trial conference until November 12, 2009, and the trial court granted his request. Then on November 12, Logan filed a motion for a continuance, and the trial court continued his pre-trial conference to December 10, 2009. On December 11, pursuant to Logan's motion, the trial court again continued his pre-trial conference to January 14, 2010. Similarly, on January 13, the trial court granted Logan's motion to continue his pre-trial conference and re-scheduled the matter for February 11, 2010. Once more, on February 11, Logan filed a motion to continue, the trial court granted his motion, and his pre-trial conference was continued until March 25, 2010.

After five continuances, the trial court held Logan's pre-trial conference on March 25, and the parties agreed to a November 8, 2010 jury trial date. But on October 28, the State filed a motion to continue Logan's jury trial due to court congestion. Six days later, the trial court granted the State's motion, vacated the November 8 trial date, and scheduled a pre-trial conference for December 16, 2010.

On December 7, 2010, Logan filed a motion to be released from jail on his own recognizance. As such, on December 16, the trial court held both Logan's scheduled pre-trial conference and a hearing on his motion for release. Pursuant to the parties' agreement, the trial court set Logan's jury trial for January 24, 2011. Additionally, the parties agreed that the trial court would rule on Logan's motion within fifty days.

Then on January 18, 2011, the State filed a second motion to continue Logan's trial due to court congestion. Granting the State a continuance, the trial court vacated the January 24 trial date and

Page 957

scheduled a pre-trial conference for February 24, 2011.

Subsequently, on February 22, 2011, the trial court denied Logan's motion for release on his own recognizance. At his February 24 pre-trial conference, Logan filed a motion for discharge pursuant to Ind. Crim. Rule 4(C). By agreement of the parties, his jury trial was set for June 20, 2011. On March 9, 2011, the trial court denied Logan's motion for discharge.

Three months later, on June 8, 2011, the State filed another motion to continue Logan's trial due to court congestion. The trial court granted the State's motion on June 10 and accordingly scheduled a pre-trial conference for July 14, 2011. At the July 14 pre-trial conference, the trial court yet again denied Logan's request to be released on his own recognizance. Both parties advised the trial court that discovery was complete and that no other issues needed to be addressed before trial. Consequently, the trial court set Logan's jury trial for August 22, 2011.

But on August 15, 2011, the trial court, on its own motion, vacated the August 22 trial date due to court congestion, specifically another jury trial, and scheduled a pre-trial conference in this case for September 15, 2011. On September 15, Logan filed a motion to dismiss the charge against him based on an alleged violation of his constitutional right to a speedy trial. His pre-trial conference was also held as scheduled on September 15, and there he once again requested to be released on his own recognizance pursuant to Rule 4(C). The trial court set a hearing for October 6, 2011, for arguments on Logan's motion to dismiss and his oral motion for discharge, and it also set Logan's jury trial for February 6, 2012. Following the October 6 hearing, the trial court denied both motions on November 1, 2011.

Due to another scheduled jury trial causing court congestion on February 6, the trial court vacated Logan's scheduled jury trial for that date on January 30, 2012, and scheduled a pre-trial conference for February 23, 2012. At the February 23 pre-trial conference, the trial court set Logan's jury trial for July 9, 2012, and Logan maintained that his continued incarceration violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial. In response, the trial court indicated that he should file a written motion.

Next, on May 1, 2012, Logan filed a petition for writ of mandamus and prohibition with this Court. While that was pending, on May 14 the trial court reset Logan's jury trial for June 4, 2012, and scheduled a corresponding pre-trial conference for May 24, 2012. At the May 24 pre-trial conference, the trial court confirmed the June 4, 2012 jury trial date.

Also on May 24, this Court granted in part Logan's writ of mandamus and prohibition and ordered that Logan be immediately released on his own recognizance but denied his request for discharge from prosecution under Rule 4(C) and for dismissal based on an alleged violation of his constitutional right to a speedy trial. State ex rel. Logan v. Elkhart Superior Court No. 3, 969 N.E.2d 590, 591 (Ind. 2012). Accordingly, the trial court ordered Logan released from jail the following day.

On May 30, 2012, the trial court scheduled a pre-trial conference for the next day; there, as a result of a previously scheduled trial set for June 24, the trial court continued Logan's jury trial to September 17, 2012. By its own motion, on September 11, 2012, the trial court again continued Logan's September 17 trial date due to court congestion. The following day, the trial court set Logan's pre-trial conference for September 27, 2012. Then at the September 27 pre-trial conference, the trial court scheduled Logan's jury trial for February 11, 2013.

Page 958

Logan filed a motion for discharge on February 5, 2013. In his motion, he renewed his February 24, 2011 motion for discharge and his September 15, 2011 motion to dismiss. Following a hearing held on February 7, 2013, the trial court denied Logan's motion.

Over three-and-one-half years after he was taken into custody, Logan's jury trial for class C felony child molestation began on February 11, 2013. The next day, the jury found him guilty as charged. On March 7, 2013, the trial court ...


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