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Indiana Appellate Decision

“What is a “Memorandum” versus “For Publication” decision and does it matter in my case?”

Under Indiana appellate law, along with those of a few other jurisdictions, the written decision of the Indiana Court of Appeals may be “Memorandum Decision” or those “For Publication.”

Common sense and a bit of logic easily paints the difference between the two types of decisions the Indiana Court of Appeals may issue. A “Memorandum Decision” is one that is available on-line and is as detailed and important as any other case. However, it presents no unique facts or application/development of the law.

For this reason, a “Memorandum Decision” may not be cited to in other cases. The difference, in fact, makes little or no difference to the parties. It is in all ways binding upon them. These do highlight that even in cases that are clearly correctly decided by a trial court, there is a constitutional right to appeal and the higher courts take this seriously.

However, as a practical matter, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. observes under the rules guiding the cases in which the Indiana Supreme Court grants transfer, it is more likely the Indiana Supreme Court will grant in “For Publication” decisions. This is obvious because it might conflict with other law and be “For Publication” or highlight new application in the law.

In any circumstance, the litigants to “For Publication” or “Memorandum Decision” have the same rights. Any party may seek rehearing or transfer. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys strive to frame each appeal such as to advocate the litigants more important issues and also obtain a “For Publication” decision.

Where cases nevertheless are important for any legal or public reason, there is a provision available to attorneys to make a motion to have “Memorandum Decisions” published and be “For Publication.” The Court of Appeals may grant this if it comports with the controlling appellate rules. If this is your case, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys may advise you to move “For Publication.”

Finally, in cases where the Indiana Supreme Court grants transfer or the case directly proceeds to this court, all its decisions are published. If this understanding and appellate approach comports with your expectations for counsel, perhaps Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. may be your appellate counsel. You may contact us for further information or to discuss our potential handling of your appeal.

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Dixon & Moseley, P.C., is a law firm located in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve clients in six core practice areas: family lawappellate practicefirearms lawgeneral practicepersonal injury and criminal law.

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