'Rocket docket' now set for juvenile appeals

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New rules from the Indiana Supreme Court this week officially create an expedited "rocket docket" for certain juvenile cases going through the appellate system.

The court issued an order Tuesday amending the Indiana Trial Procedure Rule 59 and Rules of Appellate Procedure 14.1, which now read to specifically address those cases where state funding decisions for placement services are at issue. The amendments took effect Jan. 1, 2009.

These changes come after last year's legislative and state statute revisions contained in House Enrolled Act 1001, which as part of sweeping property-tax reform shifted funding of juvenile detention costs from counties to the state. The law gave the Indiana Department of Child Services more oversight authority of juvenile delinquency, status, and child welfare cases in a move designed to expand Indiana's ability to collect federal reimbursements and make the process more efficiently centralized through the state agency.

Courts and state officials have been working on this procedure since then to make sure those goals can be met while ensuring adequate appellate review.

Now, this expedited process will allow for the DCS and trial courts to get a quick review of any decisions about state funding with which they don't agree. The whole process is aimed at completing an appeal's procedural aspects within 30 days, without factoring in time for any court decision.

Rule 59 outlines how motions to correct error are handled, and this amendment adds a paragraph about orders relating to services, programs or placement of juvenile delinquents or those children in need of services. No motions to correct error will be allowed concerning various juvenile orders or decrees, the rule states.

Appeals of those orders and decrees are dealt with by Appellate Rule 14.1, which outlines the process for items including notice, transcript and records, memoranda, time extensions, rehearings, and petitions to transfer. Notice must be served and the clerk must complete the record within 15 days, and it must take priority over all other appeal transcripts and records, the rule says.

Each side is allowed five days to file a single memorandum, and no extensions are allowed. Rehearings following a court hearing are also prohibited by the rule. Any transfer petitions for the Indiana Supreme Court must be filed within five days after the Court of Appeals decision without any additional filings allowed.


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  1. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  2. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.

  3. maybe if some of the socia workers would treat the foster parents better, they would continue to fostr.

  4. We have been asked to take in a 2 no old baby because mother is in very unstable situation. We want to do this but will need help with expenses such as medical and formula... Do we have to have custody thru court?

  5. Very troubling. A competent public defender is very much the right of every indigent person in the US or the Fifth amendment becomes meaningless. And considering more and more of us are becoming poorer and poorer under this "system," the need for this are greater than ever.... maybe they should study the Federals and see how they manage their program? And here's to thanking all the PD attorneys out there who do a good job.