Supreme Court updates rules for ‘Notice of Defect’ responses

May 11, 2017

The Indiana Supreme Court has updated the state’s appellate rules governing how attorneys and litigants must respond when the clerk of the state’s appellate courts return their timely filed documents that do not comply with Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure.

In a Wednesday order that supersedes the previous order put in place in February 2012, appellate attorneys or pro se litigants who receive a Notice of Defect from the clerk’s office related to the filing of any of their appellate documents must fix the defects in their documents within 10 business days. Pro se litigants who are incarcerated in a penitentiary, prison or jail will be given 20 business days to correct errors in their filings.

If attorneys or litigants return their correct documents to the clerk’s office within the appropriate timeframe, the clerk of the Indiana Supreme Court, Court of Appeals or Tax Court will note in the chronological case summary the document has been filed as of the date the corrected version was received in the clerk’s office. However, if the documents are not returned to the clerk’s office by the appropriate deadline, the documents will be returned without being filed, resulting in the possible dismissal of an appeal or petition or in the determination that a party has failed to respond.

The order notes that a Notice of Defect is not grounds to make “substantive changes or changes that are not responsive to the defect(s).” The full order can be read here.


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