Small Claims task force meetings begin Wednesday

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The newly created task force formed by the Indiana Supreme Court to look into the practices and procedures used in Marion County Small Claims courts will hold its first of three hearings Wednesday.

Indiana Court of Appeals Judge John Baker and Senior Judge Betty Barteau – who both have experience with small claims cases – make up the task force. They will gather information by meeting with the judges and staff of the small claims courts and from public hearings. The goal is to get feedback from small claims litigants and attorneys.

The first meeting is at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Perry Township Small Claims Court, 4925 Shelby St., Indianapolis. Meetings will also be held Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. at the Pike Township Small Claims Court, 5665 Lafayette Rd., Suite B, Indianapolis; and at Marion Circuit Court at 6 p.m. on March 7 in the City-County Building.

The task force was created after allegations surfaced that large filers, such as property managers and collection companies, receive special treatment in the Marion County Small Claims courts, and that some parties “forum shop” by choosing to file in a particular small claims court with the thought that the defendant won’t be able to attend the hearing due to lack of reliable access to public transportation.

There have also been questions raised regarding the township trustees’ influence on court staff and operating budgets.

Once the task force has held the meetings and reviewed the practices and procedures, it will report to the Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure with any recommendations about adjustments that could be made. The Indiana Supreme Court has the final say as to what, if any, procedural rules need changed.

In response to allegations, Marion County Small Claims judges have formed a plan to post brochures in the courtrooms detailing litigants’ rights and responsibilities.



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.