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Supreme Court revises rules, creates new committees

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The Indiana Supreme Court has created two new committees to study issues relating to pro se litigants and child advocacy.

The Planning Committee on Self-Represented Litigants will provide a long-range strategy for improving access to justice for pro se litigations, including protocols for judges and clerks or general guidance to courts, legal service providers, and public organizations. This group will meet at least four times a year and recommend policy or procedure changes to the Supreme Court.

The number of members isn't outlined, but the committee will consist of judges, practicing attorneys, legal academia, state and local officials, and public organizations. All will be appointed by the high court and serve three-year terms.

Likewise, the Advisory Commission on Guardian ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocate will provide a similar long-range strategy for promoting, expanding, and training child advocacy programs. Recommendations will also be made to the Supreme Court.

This committee of 18 will be composed of judges and directors of certified, volunteer-based GAL/CASA programs throughout the state. The group will meet at least quarterly and act by a majority vote, according to the rules.

Prior to these committee additions, the Supreme Court oversaw the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee, Race and Gender Fairness Committee, and Records Management Committee.

Details of both newly formed committees are outlined in revisions to Indiana's Administrative Rules, which the court modified this week. The rules take effect Jan. 1. The order can be viewed online here. 

In addition to these administrative rule changes, the Supreme Court also revised other rules such as those governing appellate practice, jury pools, and evidence rules. Many included housekeeping and language revisions; others dealt with increasing the number of allowable print fonts for briefs from 6 to 16, adding a designation of attorney surrogate to disciplinary rules, and changing the hours requirement for specialty status from 33 percent to 25 percent of total practicing hours.

All of the rule changes can be found at the Indiana Supreme Court's Web site.
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  1. Please I need help with my class action lawsuits, im currently in pro-se and im having hard time findiNG A LAWYER TO ASSIST ME

  2. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  3. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

  4. I've been denied I appeal court date took a year my court date was Nov 9,2016 and have not received a answer yet

  5. Warsaw indiana dcs lying on our case. We already proved that in our first and most recent court appearance i need people to contact me who have evidence of dcs malpractice please email or facebook nathaniel hollett thank you

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