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Snow forces court, office closures

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Many people in Indiana may be enjoying an extra-long Christmas vacation thanks to blizzard-like conditions in parts of the state. Heavy snow and high winds have led to closures, including Indiana’s appellate courts.

The Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and Tax Court – located in Indianapolis – announced Wednesday morning that they would be closed. The Marion County Clerk’s Office announced Tuesday evening it would be closed; Marion Superior and Circuit courts are also closed.

Numerous courts around central and southern Indiana have shut down, including in Boone, Gibson, Henry, Knox, Rush, Vanderburgh and Vigo counties. Many town, city and county offices are closed.

The U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana originally was open Wednesday, but made the decision to close the District and Bankruptcy courts at 10 a.m.

State government offices are open, but non-essential employees who live in areas where snow emergencies have been declared and where roads are closed are not required to report to work, Jane Jankowski, Gov. Mitch Daniels’ spokeswoman, announced Tuesday evening.

Some law offices also are quieter today because of the storm. Barnes & Thornburg LLP decided to close its Indianapolis office and has a skeletal crew providing secretarial, office services and IT support as required, said Executive Director Ken Kobe in an email to Indiana Lawyer. Some attorneys are in the office, but many are working from home.

Jim Dimos, a member with Frost Brown Todd LLC in Indianapolis, said that firm office is also closed. While some attorneys are in the office, many are working remotely.

The majority of the state is under a blizzard warning through this evening, with snow totals projected anywhere from 6 to 12 inches, or more, depending on location. As of 10 a.m., several counties, including Daviess, Monroe and Owen counties, have issued travel warnings, which restrict travel to emergency personnel only. Many counties are also under either travel watches or advisories, warning motorists to stay off the roads unless necessary.

 

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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