Court opinions, orders online

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The Internet is now the main method for getting a look at any opinions, orders, and decisions from Indiana's appellate courts.

Starting today, the appellate clerk's office hopes to save money and be more environmentally friendly by discontinuing its practice of providing courtesy copies of published orders, opinions, and disciplinary actions. Traditionally, those have been available to media and news outlets free of charge. The office hasn't calculated the budget savings, but hopes to reduce the paper consumption by about 88,000 sheets a year, according to Supreme Court Administrator and Appellate Clerk Kevin Smith. Overall, with the double-sided documents, copiers produce about 176,000 images annually.

If the court or clerk's office makes an error and a correction must be issued, the original document will be vacated and a new, revised order will be posted with a new issue date, Smith said. Currently, the office republishes that opinion with a correction sheet attached to the front.

"The estimated reduction in the number of paper copies and copier images alone demonstrate obvious substantial fiscal and environmental benefit," Smith wrote in an e-mail to Indiana Lawyer. "Further, I really don't see any downside to this move, given the efforts and money we have already expended and continue to expend to make the courts' opinions available electronically to the media and public free of charge on our website."

While orders and opinions are posted online each day, the documents are still available for public inspection at the clerk's office, located in the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.

Opinions for the appellate courts are available online at, while disciplinary and other orders can be found at

Separately, the day's opinions are also included on the Indiana Lawyer Web site each afternoon and included in Indiana Lawyer Daily.

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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.