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Monday, July 14, 2014

Ind. Courts - More on "Judges call for an end to Marion County’s small claims court system"

Updating this ILB post from this morning, the ILB has now had a chance to talk with Indiana Court of Appeals Judge John Baker.

Judge Baker and Senior Judge Betty Barteau chaired the task force which over two years ago released this report.

Last week, in light of the 7th Circuit decision in Suesz, and a draft report from the National Center for State Courts on the Marion County small claims courts, Judges Baker and Barteau sent a memo to Chief Justice Dickson proposing legislative action to: (1) abolish the current Marion County township small claims courts; and (2) grant the Marion Superior Court jurisdiction over small claims cases, ensuring that Marion County's small claims litigants have the same access to justice as they would have in other counties.

The memo, according to Judge Baker, is quite specific in detailing the legislative changes that need to be made to accomplish this end. It concludes by pointing out that if small claims cases are moved to Marion Superior Court, creditors can file suit in one court, just as they now do in other Indiana counties, eliminating the problems discussed in Suesz.

Judge Baker told the ILB that the National Center for State Courts has produced a draft report on its study of Marion County, but that it is not yet finalized. However, that draft recommends that the small claims courts be transformed into a division of the Marion Civil Courts. The report will conclude that only such legislative change likely will provide a long-term solution to all the issues with the current small claims court system.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 14, 2014 12:47 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts