Amendments handed down Thursday make a variety of changes to Indiana’s appellate, administrative and Tax Court rules, including amendments related to use of technology in the courts.
First, an amendment to Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure 14 will require all Notices of Appeal to be filed electronically, rather than conventionally, within 15 days of the Court of Appeals accepting jurisdiction over an interlocutory appeal. Further, the language of Appellate Rule 49 has been amended to hold that either party, whether appellant or appellee, must file its appendix on or before the date on which they file their brief.
Rules related specifically to the filing of appendices and electronic transcripts were also amended in the Thursday order. Such documents are now required to be the lesser of 250 pages or 50 megabytes, up from the previous benchmark of 20 megabytes. Finally, a certificate of service will be added to Form #App. R. 40-1.
Next, an amendment to Indiana Administrative Rule 1(F) adds language allowing judges of courts with jurisdiction over children in need of services and termination of parental rights cases to require their court staff to submit the court’s quarterly performance measures reports electronically in a format established by the Indiana Office of Judicial Administration. The amendment also includes a provision that the IOJA, as recommended by the Juvenile Justice Improvement Committee, can request that courts collect additional performance measures as needed.
The amended version of Rule 1(F) further provides that all CHINS and TPR judges are responsible for the accuracy, completion and filing of all reports through a process established by IOJA, and calls for the IOJA to distribute procedures and assist courts in gathering and submitting the required information for the reports.
Finally, several Indiana Tax Court rules were amended Thursday. First, an amendment to Tax Court Rule 3 will require petitioners to file a certified copy of the agency record with the Tax Court within 30 days of the Indiana Board of Tax Review or the Department of Local Government Finance filing notice with the court that the record has been prepared. New language also requires petitioners to file the record simultaneously with their briefs. Respondent briefs are due no later than 30 days after the deadline for a petitioner’s brief, and a petitioner’s reply must be filed 15 days after that.
Next, an amendment to Tax Rule 5 strips the rule of its current language and instead gives the Indiana Department of State Revenue 30 days from the time the Tax Court clerk mails the transmittal letter to file a response to an appeal of a final department determination. The amended language does not require a response from the DLGF or Board of Tax Review in appeals of their decisions.
However, if the DLGF believes a response is necessary, it must file it within 30 days of the transmittal letter being mailed, while the Board will have 30 days after the date of service of the petition and summons to respond. All deadlines included in Rule 5 may be extended for good cause, per the amended language.
The heading of Tax Court Rule 7 will be renamed to “Discovery,” and several subsections related to disclosure, limitations, non-compliance and other discovery-related matters are inserted into the rule. Additionally, amendments to Rule 12 allow the Tax Court to hold hearings by audio or audio/video teleconferencing if all attorneys can participate. Additionally, new language is added to Rule 12 giving parties 30 minutes for oral argument and allowing the parties to request additional time by filing a motion within 15 days of the issuance of the order setting oral argument.
Finally, the language of Tax Rule 18 was amended slightly to allow tax appeals “or any issue(s) presented therein” to be referred to mediation. Amendments to all rules will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.