ILNews

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 www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions, while disciplinary and other orders can be found at www.in.gov/judiciary/orders.

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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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