Definition and interpretation
• [A judicial admission is] [a] formal waiver of proof that relieves an opposing party from having to prove the admitted fact and bars the party who made the admission from disputing it.
Black’s Law Dictionary ? (10th ed. 2014)
• A judicial admission is an admission made in court.
Conclusiveness of judicial admissions
• Admissions made in court for the purpose of the trial are conclusive.
See Wigaru v. State, 443 N.E.2d 327, 332 (Ind. Ct. App. 1982), reh’g denied, trans. denied(quoting Thompson v. Thompson, 9 Ind. 323, 333 (Ind. 1857))(“Further, it has long been the law that ‘[a]dmissions made in Court, for the purpose of the trial are conclusive.’”)
Whether judicial admissions need independent evidence of the corpus delicti in order to sustain a conviction
• Our courts have not . . . directly addressed the probative value of judicial, or in court, admissions. Other jurisdictions have considered the question and have concluded that a judicial admission requires no such support.
• For information about the corpus delicti, please review Corpus Delicti.
Examples from case law: Admissions of counsel
• A clear and unequivocal admission of fact by an attorney is a judicial admission which is binding on the client.
• [A]n inadvertent admission made by counsel in the heat of argument does not fill the void in the State's case. An admission must be an intentional act of waiver not merely assertion or concession made for some independent purpose. 9 J. Wigmore, A Treatise on Evidence § 2594 (3d ed. 1940). Improvident or erroneous statements or admissions resulting from unguarded expressions or mistake or mere casual remarks, statements or conversations are not generally treated as judicial admissions presented for the purpose of dispensing with testimony or facilitating the trial. 7 C.J.S. Attorney and Client § 100 (1937).
• [I]t is particularly important in a criminal case that the defendant be protected from inadvertent slips of the tongue of his attorney . . . .
Examples from case law: Other examples
• When a defendant pleads guilty, he makes a judicial admission of actual guilt.
See Patton v. State, 517 N.E.2d 374, 375 (Ind. 1987), reh’g denied(emphasis added)(“Because a guilty plea is a judicial admission that obviates the need for a trial, guilty pleas should be cautiously received.”)
• [W]hen voluntary manslaughter is the offense charged in the indictment or information and becomes the final pleading upon which the case is tried, the charging vehicle should be construed as a judicial admission that the mitigating factor of sudden heat exists and is sufficient to negate the inference of malice . . . . The charge of voluntary manslaughter prevents the State from showing malice, and thus satisfies that portion of the equation. In other words, the judicial admission precludes the State from proving second-degree murder.
• For more information about voluntary manslaughter, please review Voluntary Manslaughter.
• For more information about murder, please review Murder.
• The clear and unambiguous language of subsection (5) states that the State may appeal a suppression order only “if the ultimate effect of the order is to preclude further prosecution.” IC 35-38-4-2(5). It follows that the State's initiation of the appeal constitutes a “judicial admission” that prosecution cannot proceed without the suppressed evidence. State v. Williams, 445 N.E.2d 582, 584 (Ind. Ct. App. 1983).
• [W]e note with respect to [the defendant’s] testimony that a judicial admission by a defendant may be utilized as evidence of a substance's nature . . . .