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Comments welcomed for many court rule amendments

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A multitude of Indiana court rules are being examined for potential revision, and the legal community has a chance to offer comment about how those changes are made.

The Indiana Supreme Court’s Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure has issued a notice of proposed rule amendments and is seeking public comment until March 25.

Provisions that would set out requirements for telephone and audiovisual hearings to ensure attorney-client privilege and change how judges or clerks are removed from a case if they don’t rule in a timely manner are among those being considered for revision. Changes also attempt to bring statewide coordination to family court rules that have been implemented gradually during the past decade as individual counties have signed on to the state’s pilot project.

Also available online, the proposed rule amendments are:
--Indiana Administrative Rule 14: Changes set out requirements for conducting hearings by telephone and audiovisual telecommunications, in part focusing on ensuring the confidentiality of attorney-client communications. Revisions to Administrative Rule 9 would conform those rules to the proposed changes to the appellate rules.

--Appellate Rules 2, 9, 10, 11, 14, 14.1, 15, 16, 23, 24, 30, 46, 62, and 63; and Forms 9-1, 9-2, 14.1, 15-1, 16-1, and 16-2:  Changes would abolish the Appellant’s Case Summary and change the filing of the Notice of Appeal from the trial court clerk to the Clerk of the Indiana Appellate Courts. The specific contents of the Notice of Appeal are spelled out in the amendments, and they also seek to clarify the service of documents and running of time limits in appeals.

--Rules of Trial Procedure 3.1, 53.1, and 59:  Changes deal with procedures for withdrawal of representation and temporary or limited representation, and 53.1 concerns procedures for removing a case from a judge who has not acted or ruled in a timely manner as provided in the rule. It also suggests removing the local court clerk from the process.

--Post-conviction Relief Rules PC1 and PC2: Modifications would clarify the proper venue for filing PCR petitions and would conform the rules to the changes being proposed in the appellate rules.

--Rules of Evidence 501, 502, and 803: Revisions would include new language covering situations involving the inadvertent disclosure of privileged information and clarification of the hearsay exception related to statements made by individuals seeking medical diagnosis or treatment.

--Rules for Family Proceedings: Changes are part of an attempt by the court to bring the rules governing the Supreme Court’s Family Court Project to the rest of the state. The rules would follow the pilot that has been implemented in more than two dozen counties since 1999, and this would permit courts to exercise jurisdiction over multiple cases involving the same family or household members.

The public can submit comments on the proposed revisions to Executive Director Lilia G. Judson, with the Indiana Supreme Court’s Division of State Court Administration, 30 S. Meridian St., Suite 500, Indianapolis, IN 46204, or by e-mail to localrulescomments@courts.state.in.us.
 

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