Anthony G. Taylor, Appellant-Defendant,
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff
from the Hamilton Superior Court The Honorable David K.
Najjar, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 29D05-1702-IF-1451
APPELLANT Anthony G. Taylor Lafayette, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Ian McLean Supervising Deputy Attorney General
VAIDIK, CHIEF JUDGE.
Taylor was charged with speeding in a work zone, and the case
was filed in Carmel City Court. Those events implicated two
rights under Indiana law: (1) the right to a jury trial and
(2) the right to a trial de novo in county court if found
guilty in city court. Taylor did not request a jury trial in
city court and was found guilty by the judge. He did,
however, demand a jury trial when he filed his request for a
trial de novo with the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts. The
Hamilton Superior Court initially scheduled a jury trial but
later found Taylor guilty in a bench trial, having determined
that Taylor waived his right to a jury in the trial de novo
by failing to request a jury trial in city court. We reverse.
Our Supreme Court has made clear that a defendant can request
a jury for a trial de novo regardless of whether they
requested a jury in the city-court proceeding.
and Procedural History
On October 7, 2016, Taylor was driving on I-69 in Fishers
when he was pulled over by an Indiana State Police trooper.
The trooper issued Taylor a citation for speeding in a work
zone, alleging that the posted speed limit was 50 mph and
that Taylor had been driving 64 mph. A few days later, the
matter was filed in Carmel City Court, and an initial hearing
was set for December 15, 2016. Taylor appeared on that date
and entered a denial, and trial was set for February 6, 2017.
Taylor never requested a jury trial, and a bench trial was
held on the scheduled date. The Carmel City Court judge found
in favor of the State and ordered Taylor to pay a $300 fine
and $158.50 in court costs.
Under Indiana Trial De Novo Rule 2(B), Taylor had fifteen
days to file a request for a trial de novo with the Hamilton
County Clerk of Courts. Taylor did so on or about February
18, 2017, also demanding a jury trial "pursuant to Rule
38 of the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure."
Appellant's App. Vol. II p. 32. In accordance with Trial
De Novo Rule 2(F), the city court vacated its judgment
against Taylor. In accordance with Trial De Novo Rule
2(E), the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office filed a new
complaint against Taylor.Hamilton Superior Court 6 scheduled a
jury trial for May 9, 2017. After Taylor filed a motion for
change of judge, the case was sent to Hamilton Superior Court
5, which ultimately rescheduled the jury trial for February
However, the day before the jury trial was to be held,
Superior Court 5 called a hearing at which it announced that
Taylor's demand for a jury trial had been untimely and
should not have been granted. The court relied on Trial Rule
38(B), which provides, in part:
Any party may demand a trial by jury of any issue triable of
right by a jury by filing with the court and serving upon the
other parties a demand therefor in writing at any time after
the commencement of the action and not later than ten (10)
days after the first responsive pleading to the complaint, or
to a counterclaim, crossclaim or other claim if one properly
is pleaded; and if no responsive pleading is filed or
required, within ten (10) days after the time such pleading
otherwise would have been required.
court read this rule to mean that if Taylor wanted a jury
trial, he should have filed his demand at some point in late
2016, shortly after the original case was filed in Carmel
City Court. The court vacated the jury-trial setting, held a
bench trial on March 26, 2018, and entered judgment in favor
of the State and ordered Taylor to pay a $300 fine and
$160.50 in court costs.