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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.