The Indiana Supreme Court has increased the number of members required for its Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure while also amending the process for recommending and adopting a rule change in a series of amendments to Trial Rule 80 that took effect Friday.
The court’s first amendment to Trial Rule 80 changes the makeup of the Rules Committee from nine to 13 members, all of which are members of the Indiana state bar and appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court. The amendment to Section A further removes the requirement for the committee to consist of one judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals and one trial court judge. The existing five-year term limits will remain in place.
An amendment to Section B of Rule 80 removes the position of Rules Committee executive secretary and the requirement for the committee to annually elect a secretary to keep meeting minutes and prepare meeting agendas. Instead, “The Court shall assign such staff as it deems necessary for the Rules Committee to conduct its work, including preparing meeting agendas, taking the minutes of meetings, and maintaining the records of the Rules Committee.”
Further, the amendment to Section B raises the number of required committee members to form a quorum from five to seven, given the increase in membership from nine to 13 members.
The most extensive revisions to Rule 80 were made to Section D, which lays out the procedure for amending rules. Under the amended version, the committee must present any proposed rule amendments to the Supreme Court’s Chief Administrative Officer, currently Mary Willis, who, in turn, will report to the chief justice regarding the proposed amendments. The CAO will also be tasked with referring the amendments to the appropriate committee or other entity for further study.
Additionally, Section D now holds proposed rule amendments must be published on or before Jan. 2, April 1, July 1 and Oct. 1 of each year, “and at such other times as are necessary.” Comments from the bench, bar and public will be confidential unless otherwise ordered, will be accepted for 30 days after publication and must be received by the Rules Committee in writing. After review, the Supreme Court will publish each adopted rule amendment, which will take effect the following Jan. 1 unless otherwise noted.
The full text of the amended version of Rule 80 can be read here.