ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE:
JOHN PINNOW STEVE CARTER
Special Assistant to the Attorney General of Indiana
NANDITA G. SHEPHERD
Deputy Attorney General
SUPREME COURT OF INDIANA
JAMI MARTIN, )
Appellant (Defendant ), ) Supreme Court Cause Number
) Court of Appeals Cause Number
STATE OF INDIANA, ) 03A01-0012-PC-412
Appellee (Plaintiff ). )
APPEAL FROM THE BARTHOLOMEW CIRCUIT COURT
The Honorable Stephen R. Heimann, Sr., Judge
Cause No. 03C01-8802-CF-175
August 28, 2002
We grant transfer and hold that the 2001 amendments to the Indiana Code
providing credit for time served on home detention as a condition of probation
should be applied retroactively to the defendant in this case.
Facts and Procedural History
After pleading guilty to two counts of dealing in cocaine, Jami Martin was
sentenced by the trial court to twenty years for each count, to be
served concurrently. The trial court later modified the sentence and placed Martin
on electronically monitored home detention as a condition of probation. When Martin
violated the conditions of his probation, the trial court revoked it and ordered
him to serve the balance of his sentence. Martin subsequently filed various
motions with the trial court to receive credit for the time he had
served on home detention, all of which the trial court denied. Martin
then initiated an appeal.
On May 22, 2001, while Martins appeal was pending before the Court of
Appeals, the General Assembly amended Indiana Code sections 35-38-2-3 and 35-38-2.5-5. Pub.L.
No. 166-2001, §§ 1, 2, 2001 Ind. Acts 1075-76, 1077. Effective July
1, 2001, the amendments provide that a person earns credit for time served
on home detention as a condition of probation. Ind. Code §§ 35-38-2-3(h)(2),
(j)(2), -2.5-5(e). Previously, the statutes were silent on this point. See
I.C. §§ 35-38-2-3, -2.5-5 (1998). Noting in passing that the amendments did
not apply to Martin, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court.
Martin v. State, 748 N.E.2d 428, 430 n.4 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001).
Martin seeks transfer contending that the amendments should be applied retroactively to him.
We previously granted transfer and now reverse the trial court.
The general rule is that unless there are strong and compelling reasons, statutes
will normally be applied prospectively. Metro Holding Co. v. Mitchell, 589 N.E.2d
217, 219 (Ind. 1992). An exception to this general rule exists for
remedial statutes, which are statutes intended to cure a defect or mischief that
existed in a prior statute. Bryarly v. State, 232 Ind. 47, 111
N.E.2d 277, 278-79 (1953); Ind. Dept of State Revenue v. Estate of Riggs,
735 N.E.2d 340, 344 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2000). When a remedial statute
is involved, a court must construe it to effect the evident purpose for
which it was enacted[.] Conn. Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Talbot, 113
Ind. 373, 14 N.E. 586, 589 (1887). Accordingly, remedial statutes will be
applied retroactively to carry out their legislative purpose unless to do so violates
a vested right or constitutional guaranty.
Prior to the amendments at issue here, there was a conflict of authority
in the Court of Appeals regarding the availability of credit for time served
on home detention as a condition of probation. One line of authority
held that a person was entitled to such credit. See Dishroon v.
State, 722 N.E.2d 385, 389 (Ind. Ct. App. 2000); cf. Purcell v. State,
721 N.E.2d 220, 222 n.4, 223 (Ind. 1999) (holding that a person is
entitled to credit for time served on home detention pursuant to a community
corrections program but expressing no opinion as to credit for time served on
home detention as a condition of probation). The other line of authority
held that a person was not entitled to such credit. See Palmer
v. State, 744 N.E.2d 525, 530 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001) (declining to follow
To highlight this conflict of authority, the Court of Appeals in
the General Assembly to address the issue of credit for time served on
home detention as a condition of probation because, as it stood, it was
a patchwork quilt of contradiction and confusion. Id.; see also id. at
531 (requesting the General Assembly to offer some much-needed clarification, consistency, and guidance
. . . .) (Brook, J., concurring). The General Assembly apparently responded
by amending Indiana Code sections 35-38-2-3 and 35-38-2.5-5 during the 2001 session to
provide credit for time served on home detention as a condition of probation.
In light of the General Assemblys response, we conclude that the amendments
are remedial in nature as they were intended to cure a defect that
existed in prior statutes, namely: silence concerning whether a defendant was entitled
to credit for time served on home detention as a condition of probation.
Therefore, because the amendments do not violate a vested right or constitutional
guaranty, we apply them retroactively to Martin in order to carry out their
legislative purpose of providing credit for time served on home detention as a
condition of probation.
We reverse the trial court.
SHEPARD, C.J., and DICKSON, SULLIVAN and BOEHM, JJ., concur.
We acknowledge that a number of decisions have stated that if
a remedial statute violates vested rights
or creates new rights, then it cannot
be applied retroactively. See, e.g., Samm v. Great Dane Trailers, 715 N.E.2d
420, 423 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999), trans. denied; Deasy-Leas v. Leas, 693 N.E.2d
90, 92 (Ind. Ct. App. 1998), trans. denied; Estate of Robinson v. C
& I Leasing, Inc., 691 N.E.2d 474, 476 (Ind. Ct. App. 1998), trans.
denied; R.L.G. v. T.L.E., 454 N.E.2d 1268, 1270 (Ind. Ct. App. 1983); McGill
v. Muddy Fork of Silver Creek Watershed Conservancy Dist., 175 Ind. App. 48,
370 N.E.2d 365, 370 (1977); Malone v. Conner, 135 Ind. App. 167, 189
N.E.2d 590, 591 (1963), trans. denied. However, this formulation is inconsistent with
this Courts precedent.
We grant transfer today in
Palmer and hold that the amendments
at issue here should also be applied retroactively to the defendant in that
We observe that since the amendments went into effect on July
1, 2001, the Court of Appeals has twice reached the same outcome as
reached here, albeit on different grounds. In
Senn v. State, 766 N.E.2d
1190 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002), the defendant, who had been sentenced before the
effective date of the amendments, filed a motion in the trial court seeking
credit for time served on home detention as a condition of probation.
The trial court denied the motion. On appeal, the Court of Appeals
held that the General Assemblys amendments to Indiana Code sections 35-38-2-3 and 35-38-2.5-5
represented an effort to clarify the law, not to change it. Id.
at 1199. As such, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court.
Similarly, in Stith v. State, 766 N.E.2d 1266 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002),
the Court of Appeals held:
We believe the 2001 amendment to the statute reflects the legislatures clarification of
its preexisting intent that probationers on home detention be entitled to credit time.
We accordingly choose to follow Dishroon as more accurately reflecting the legislative
intent to be gleaned from the patchwork quilt of contradiction and confusion that
existed prior to the July 2001 amendment to the statute.
Stith was entitled to credit time for the period when he was on
home detention as a condition of probation, and we therefore reverse.
Id. at 1268 (citation and footnote omitted), trans. not sought.