Friday, March 18, 2016
Ind. Courts - The appellate courts will make briefs filed in non-confidential appeals available online next month
Updating earlier ILB posts, the Supreme Court has today announced:
Free access to appellate briefs available online April 1ILB: Although the Task Force voted Feb. 26 to recommend to the Supreme Court that briefs be made accessible, the recommendation was not final until the Court itself, presumably at its weekly conference yesterday afternoon, voted to accept and announce it.
Indiana appellate courts will make briefs filed in non-confidential appeals available online next month. Briefs are legal arguments written by each side of a disputed matter. Appellate judges review briefs as part of their decision-making process. The Indiana Supreme Court authorized certain briefs filed on or after April 1 to be available to the public online at MyCase.in.gov and Appellate Case Search.
Briefs in non-confidential cases are currently available to the public through the Appellate Clerk for in person inspection or electronically for a fee. Briefs are not available in confidential case types (for example, mental health or juvenile termination of parental rights).
The online free access is being announced after recommendations from a Task Force on Remote Access To and Privacy of Electronic Court Records. The Task Force recommended standards for online publication. The Court considered the recommendations and unanimously approved the following:
The 21-member Task Force was created February 3 to study best practices and policies on Internet access to electronic court records. It is chaired by Chief Justice Loretta Rush and includes prominent members of the Indiana judicial and legislative branches as well as media and legal educators. The next Task Force meeting is April 8.
- Only briefs written by attorneys will be posted online, due to attorneys’ ethical requirements to follow court record confidentiality rules
- Briefs written by non-lawyers will not be posted online at this time
- Appendices will not be posted online
- Briefs filed after April 1 will be available; archived briefs will not be online
[More] The Task Force has a website. It includes handouts from the last meeting, but does not include minutes or a video archive. It also does not include an announcement or agenda and location of the next meeting; however, this morning's press release states the next Task Force meeting is April 8.