Southern District proposes new local rule, amendments

The Indiana Southern District Court is seeking public comment on proposed amendments that would both change the language of an existing rule while creating another rule.

The proposed new rule, Local Rule 5-12, relates to Social Security appeals. Under the proposed language, the rule would hold that when a complaint for administrative review for Social Security benefits is filed, an actual service of process will not be required. Instead, notification through the court’s Case Management and Electronic Filing System will be considered service.

Further, the language of proposed Rule 5-12 would require the Social Security Administration to respond to a complaint for review of an agency determination within 60 days of notice of the filing. In response, the SSA can either file a motion to dismiss or certify the administrative record, which must then be filed.

The district courts also proposed amendments to Local Rule 87, which, in amended form, would allow recruited counsel and indigent litigants to negotiate “fair and reasonable” fee agreements. If such an agreement is reached, then the attorney must file an ex part notice within 28 days. However, fee agreements that include attorney compensation would not be permitted in for limited appointments.

The full text of the proposed amendments can be read here.

Comments concerning the proposed rule and amendments can be submitted through Dec. 16 through the mail to Local Rule Comments, Office of the Clerk, 105 U.S. Courthouse, 46 E. Ohio St., Indianapolis, 46204. Comments can also be sent via email to [email protected]

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