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'Rotunda filing' to change with Statehouse security

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Those needing to make after-hour filings for Indiana's two highest appellate courts will have to alter their routine as soon as June 1.

New security measures closing most doors for public access is expected to start next month and will change how the legal community goes about its "rotunda filing" between 5 p.m. and midnight.

Currently, attorneys can go inside the north door before midnight and tender a filing with the capitol police guard stationed there, according to Supreme Court Administrator and Clerk of the Appellate Courts Kevin Smith.

Once security measures are implemented, only two doors will be open during regular business hours for the general public. Both will have security and metal detectors, much like the current security structure at the federal courthouses. Court and state employees will have identification cards to access the other doors and underground tunnels running between Circle Centre Mall and the state government centers.

For attorneys, briefs, motions, and other documents will be filed in a post office-style drop box on the building's east side, using an existing second-floor vestibule area. The container drawer will be large enough to accommodate larger filings, Smith said. Attorneys will need to complete a form to attach to the filing and use a time stamp machine to mark the documents - similar to how capitol police currently stamp the documents. A camera will monitor the area, he said.

A specific time for locking the Statehouse hasn't been established and could fall anywhere between 5 and 7 p.m., Smith said.

Court officials view that as a short-term solution. They are considering a long-term remedy on the west side of the building, which is supposed to be the eventual main public entrance to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. There, court officials want a vestibule area constructed to allow for the "rotunda filing," he said.

Typically, two to four documents are filed each night and received the following morning, Smith said.

"Sometimes, you're getting there at 11:55 p.m., and that walk around the Statehouse could make a difference in being able to file that day or not," he said.

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  1. Paul Ogden doing a fine job of remembering his peer Gary Welsh with the post below and a call for an Indy gettogether to celebrate Gary .... http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2016/05/indiana-loses-citizen-journalist-giant.html Castaways of Indiana, unite!

  2. It's unfortunate that someone has attempted to hijack the comments to promote his own business. This is not an article discussing the means of preserving the record; no matter how it's accomplished, ethics and impartiality are paramount concerns. When a party to litigation contracts directly with a reporting firm, it creates, at the very least, the appearance of a conflict of interest. Court reporters, attorneys and judges are officers of the court and must abide by court rules as well as state and federal laws. Parties to litigation have no such ethical responsibilities. Would we accept insurance companies contracting with judges? This practice effectively shifts costs to the party who can least afford it while reducing costs for the party with the most resources. The success of our justice system depends on equal access for all, not just for those who have the deepest pockets.

  3. As a licensed court reporter in California, I have to say that I'm sure that at some point we will be replaced by speech recognition. However, from what I've seen of it so far, it's a lot farther away than three years. It doesn't sound like Mr. Hubbard has ever sat in a courtroom or a deposition room where testimony is being given. Not all procedures are the same, and often they become quite heated with the ends of question and beginning of answers overlapping. The human mind can discern the words to a certain extent in those cases, but I doubt very much that a computer can yet. There is also the issue of very heavy accents and mumbling. People speak very fast nowadays, and in order to do that, they generally slur everything together, they drop or swallow words like "the" and "and." Voice recognition might be able to produce some form of a transcript, but I'd be very surprised if it produces an accurate or verbatim transcript, as is required in the legal world.

  4. Really enjoyed the profile. Congratulations to Craig on living the dream, and kudos to the pros who got involved to help him realize the vision.

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