ILNews

Appellate docket offers more public access

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Docket entries for more than 200 juvenile-related cases are now publicly available online through the Indiana Appellate Clerk's Office.

Working to comply with a new administrative rule regarding public access to certain case records, the clerk's office has updated its online docket to allow public access to entries for juvenile, paternity, parental rights terminations, and adoption cases that are deemed confidential by state statute.

The Indiana Supreme Court amended Administrative Rule 9 governing public access to court records late last year, after a court committee studied the issue during 2008. Rule 9(G)(4)(a)(i) took effect in January, allowing the Appellate Clerk's Office to post the chronological case summaries for those types of cases online for public view, though names and any identifying information about parties remains unavailable.

Prior to the rule change, there was no publicly accessible record for some cases that the legal community knew existed - such as those that had gone through oral arguments and the webcast could be found online. Anyone searching by name or case number couldn't find any results on the docket, and non-parties couldn't call to get information as simple as whether an appeal existed, who the attorneys were, or what the status was.

Now, the docket entries exist for any case pending in 2008 or before - about 210 cases were entered on Saturday, according to Appellate Clerk Kevin Smith. In order to update the docket system to reflect this change, a Clerk's Office employee had to manually go through the database to distinguish between cases open or closed as of Jan. 1, 2009, and update those dockets accordingly to comply with the rule.

Appeals filed after Jan. 1, 2009, are automatically entered into the system with limited information, but the review included about 450 cases, Smith said.

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  1. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  2. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  3. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

  4. Baer filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on April 30 2015. When will this be decided? How many more appeals does this guy have? Unbelievable this is dragging on like this.

  5. They ruled there is no absolute right to keep a license, whether it be for a lifetime or a short period of time. So with that being said, this state taught me at the age of 15 how to obtain that license. I am actually doing something that I was taught to do, I'm not breaking the law breaking the rules and according to the Interstate Compact the National Interstate Compact...driving while suspended is a minor offense. So, do with that what you will..Indiana sucks when it comes to the driving laws, they really and truly need to reevaluate their priorities and honestly put the good of the community first... I mean, what's more important the pedophile drug dealer or wasting time and money to keep us off the streets?

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