A series of proposed rule amendments would expand the use of electronic filing in appellate cases and strengthen the right to a jury trial for some misdemeanor offenses, among other proposed changes to Indiana trial and appellate rules.
The Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure posted the proposed amendments for public comment Tuesday. The amendments would alter 23 court rules, including:
• Criminal Rules 2.1, 22
• Trial Rules 3, 3.1, 5(H), 64, 69, 86
• Appellate Rules 9, 14, 14.1, 16, 29, 43, 44, 49, 50, 57, 63, 67, 69
• Small Claims Rules 2, 8
Among the most significant amendments would be a proposal for Criminal Rule 22. Under that amendment, the right to a jury trial in Class A misdemeanors must be recognized unless the defendant makes a personal, knowing, voluntary and intelligent waiver of their right. Defendants charged with Class B and C misdemeanors could file a written demand for a jury trial.
In regard to appellate rules, the ISBA’s Appellate Practice Section has proposed extending the time limit for filing a petition to transfer from 30 to 45 days after an adverse decision if rehearing is not sought. Additionally, briefs in response could be filed up to 30 days after a transfer petition is served — a period 10 days longer than the current time, and reply briefs could then be filed 15 days after the response is served rather than the current 10-day window. Those changes would come about through an amendment to Appellate Rule 57.
The amendments also propose a new Appellate Rule 69, a new rule dealing with Notices of Defect that may be issued on filings that fail to comport with Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure.
Further, amendments to Appellate Rules 9, 14, 14.1, 16 and 63 would allow notices of appeal to be filed electronically.
The amendments are proposed by six groups: the Office of Judicial Administration, Rules Committee, Indiana State Bar Association Appellate Practice Section, Appellate Technology Section, Personnel Committee and clerk of the appellate courts.
Members of the bench, bar and public who wish to comment on any of the proposed amendments must do so in writing no later than April 27. Comments can be submitted via email to RulesComments@courts.in.gov or via mail to Hon. Mary Willis, Indiana Office of Judicial Administration, 251 N. Illinois St., Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46204.