Timothy D. Martin, Appellant(s),
State Of Indiana, Appellee(s).
Court Case No. 29C01-0102-CF-5
Loretta H. Rush Chief Justice of Indiana.
matter has come before the Indiana Supreme Court on a
petition to transfer jurisdiction, filed pursuant to Indiana
Appellate Rules 56(B) and 57, following the issuance of a
decision by the Court of Appeals. The Court has reviewed the
decision of the Court of Appeals, and the submitted record on
appeal, all briefs filed in the Court of Appeals, and all
materials filed in connection with the request to transfer
jurisdiction have been made available to the Court for
review. Each participating member has had the opportunity to
voice that Justice's views on the case in conference with
the other Justices, and each participating member of the
Court has voted on the petition.
duly advised, the Court DENIES the petition to transfer.
J., Massa, J., and Slaughter, J., vote to deny transfer.
Chief Justice, dissenting.
additional procedural safeguards necessary to ensure that
indigent Hoosiers aren't incarcerated for probation
violations that result simply from their poverty? Yes-and
it's imperative that this Court explicitly establish
those protections. Today, however, this Court declines to do
so, and I thus respectfully dissent from the denial of
prevent indigent defendants from being imprisoned because of
their inability to pay," Garrett v. State, 680
N.E.2d 1, 2 (Ind.Ct.App. 1997), the Indiana General Assembly
enacted a statute mandating that "[p]robation may not be
revoked for failure to comply with conditions of a sentence
that imposes financial obligations on the person unless the
person recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally fails to
pay," Ind. Code § 35-38-2-3(g) (2018); see
Pub. L. No. 311, § 3(e), 1983 Ind. Acts 1861, 1877. But
this statutory requirement is not the only limit on probation
revocation for a person who is unable to pay. See Runyon
v. State, 939 N.E.2d 613, 616 (Ind. 2010) (recognizing
that "more may be required beyond satisfaction of
process and equal potection guarantees of the Federal
Constitution impose their own procedural and substantive
limits. See Black v. Romano, 471 U.S. 606, 610
(1983). The Supreme Court of the United States held in
Bearden v. Georgia that courts may not revoke a
defendant's probation for failure to pay a fine or
restitution without first making an inquiry into the reason
for that failure:
If the probationer could not pay despite sufficient bona fide
efforts to acquire the resources to do so, the court must
consider alternative measures of punishment other than
imprisonment. Only if alternative measures are not adequate
to meet the State's interests in punishment and
deterrence may the court imprison a probationer who has made
sufficient bona fide efforts to pay.
461 U.S. 660, 672 (1983). The Bearden Court reasoned
that "[t]o do otherwise would deprive the probationer of
his conditional freedom simply because, through no fault of
his own, he cannot pay the fine."461 U.S. at 672-73.
Bearden specifically addressed only fines and
restitution, its reasoning applies equally to other
"conditions of a sentence that imposes financial
obligations on the person," I.C. § 35-38-2-3(g).
This is because, whether the condition is a fine,
restitution, or some other financial obligation, to imprison
the probationer simply because he cannot pay "would be
contrary to the fundamental fairness required by the
Fourteenth Amendment." Bearden, 461 U.S. at
673; see United States v. Parks, 89 F.3d 570, 572-73
(9th Cir. 1996); People v. Souffrance, 94 A.D.3d
1024, 942 N.Y.S.2d 180 (N.Y.App.Div. 2012); State v.
Miller, 325 P.3d 230, 236-37 (Wash.Ct.App. 2014);
cf. Whedon v. State, 765 N.E.2d 1276, 1279 (Ind.
2002); Henderson v. State, 44 N.E.3d 811, 815
when a defendant is too poor to meet a probation condition
that imposes a financial obligation, Section 35-38-2-3(g) and
Bearden offer protection from revocation. In other
words, incarceration is reserved for those who
can pay, but won't-not for those who
merely can't pay.
do we ensure this is faithfully executed in Indiana courts?
By implementing simple procedural safeguards. Specifically,
before a trial court revokes probation and imposes
incarceration for failure to meet a ...