ILNews

'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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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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