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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. Hello currently just withdrew from laporte county drug court and now I have lost the woman I love which also was in drugcourt and was put in jail without a,lawyer presentfor her own safety according to the judge and they told her she could have a hearing in two weeks and now going on 30days and still in jail no court date and her public defender talks like he,s bout to just sell her up the river.

  2. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  3. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  4. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  5. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

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