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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  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

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