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Friday, May 31, 2013

Ind. Courts - Ind. Courts - "Changes In Store For Marion County Small Claims Courts"?

The ILB had many entries in 2012 on the problems with the Marion County small claims courts and the work of the Marion County Small Claims Taskforce. The most recent entry, from Sept. 5, 2012, was headed "Changes In Store For Marion County Small Claims Courts." A Carrie Ritchie Indy Star story quoted in the Sept. 5th, 2012 post reported:

The [Marion County Small Claims Task Force] suggested that the state legislature consider making the small claims courts part of the Marion Superior Court system, or at least making the judges full-time so they won’t be able to serve as attorneys on the side.

The new rules, which don’t require legislative changes, could alleviate some of the committee’s concerns.

The public can send written feedback to Marion Circuit Judge Louis Rosenberg at 200 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, 46204. Comments can be sent via email to Rosenberg’s clerk, Aida Ramirez, at aida.ramirez@indy.gov.

Here are the proposed new local rules, filed Sept. 4, 2012.

But what has happened since? Have the changes to the local rules been finalized and approved by the Supreme Court? The last approval listed here is from May 15, 2012, re the caseload of the traffic court.

The "Notice of Proposed Rule Amendments by the Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure for Public Comment," for which comments are due April 2013, includes proposed amendments to Small Claims Rule 12, Venue.

Meanwhile, according to stories reported this month by Sandra Chapman, WTHR.com, changes would come none too soon. A long story, with video, last updated May 17, 2013, is headed "Small Claims: Big Injustice." The abuses detailed appear to be the same as were reported last year, before the Task Force.

A second story, from May 30th, is headed "Judge seeks changes to eliminate high small claims fees." It includes quotes from Marion County Circuit Judge Louis Rosenberg, who is charged with overseeing the small claims courts, re plans for improvement.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 31, 2013 10:06 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts