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Indy attorney ID card fee to increase, but so should perks

Dave Stafford
September 27, 2013
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The fee lawyers pay for identification allowing them to avoid security checkpoint lines at the City-County Building in Indianapolis will increase, but so will the functionality of the cards, according to a proposal adopted Friday.

Attorneys will pay $35 for the ID effective Jan. 1, 2014, an increase from the current $25, according to the proposal adopted by the Marion Superior Court Executive Committee. The cards will continue to be issued on a two-year basis as they have been since they were instituted in 2002.

The courts’ chief technology officer Amitav Thamba said about 2,300 attorneys currently have ID cards, all of which expire Dec. 31. He told the committee that attorneys who have the cards should receive notices shortly, and attorneys in good standing will be able to renew with online payments. Attorneys who don’t have a card but want one must apply in person at the City-County Building.

Thamba and Court Administrator Andrea Newsom on Friday briefed the committee about a technological advance planned for the new cards.

The courts are testing technology that would allow an attorney with an ID card to print copies of documents from their tablet, smartphone or laptop device, Thamba said. A chip in the cards would allow the device to connect to a printer in one of the courts, then bill the attorney 4 cents per page.

“Our intent is to make it easier,” Thamba said. “It needs to be easy to use.”

He said the courts are in “test mode” on the upgrade and still determining which printers would best be suited to this kind of connectivity. He told the committee the wireless printer connection capability might not be accessible for about a year.

Executive Committee Chairman Judge David Certo advocated for a later expiration date for the new ID cards, but Newsom said the courts’ technology staff believed a two-year expiration cycle would be preferred. She noted that issuing the cards for a longer period might not allow the cards to be adapted to take advantage of technology as it evolves and becomes more accessible.

Thamba said the courts also were granted unprecedented access to the Indiana Roll of Attorneys. He said Indiana State Court Administration staff allowed the Marion Superior Court automated access to verify the good-standing status of all attorneys who ask for an ID card.
 

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