Anyone making after-hours filings in Indiana’s appeals courts will notice a change in procedure this week.
It’s back to the old way, or at least one that closely resembled how the process worked before security measures altered that system earlier this year.
Construction started Monday on the east doors of the Indiana Statehouse, which is where the legal community has been allowed to enter after hours for “Rotunda filing” of court documents for the Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Tax Court. Since June, the second-floor vestibule area has had a drop box to leave the documents, which are often submitted there to meet time-sensitive deadlines.
However, no plan was made to maintain this access by late last week, and the appellate clerk’s office has been working to make alternative rotunda filing arrangements, according to Kevin Smith, the Supreme Court Administrator and Appellate Courts Clerk.
Smith said he knows of one attorney who called his office today about her runner not being able to Rotunda file last night, but she was able to put those into a U.S. Postal Service box before midnight and they were still timely. That’s always an alternative to rotunda filing, Smith pointed out.
Construction is expected to last at least through the year’s end, and in the meantime the legal community can go back to how Rotunda filing used to function, Smith said. Materials can be left with a Capitol Police officer stationed at a desk just inside the north entrance of the Statehouse, which abuts the rear parking lot. However, this door requires a swipe card to enter so those wishing to file between 5 p.m. and midnight will need to knock for that officer to let them inside.
If the officer is temporarily away from the desk, that person will need to wait until the officer returns, according to Smith. Forms will be available at the desk to complete, and the officer will write the time and date on the form rather than having it stamped by a clock. The person filing will still need to attach the form’s top copy to the inside cover of the original document being filed, but that bundle will then be left with the officer.