Amended rules unveiled for Marion County Small Claims

The proposed amended rules for the Marion County Small Claims Courts have been publicly posted as part of the transition to becoming courts of record beginning July 1.

Offered for public comment May 30, the proposed rules detail the court reporter services for obtaining transcripts of the proceedings and provide a mechanism for the appointment of a special judge when a small claims judge recuses himself or herself. Comments on the proposed rules are due by noon June 29, 2018.

At the start of July, any appeal from the Marion County Small Claims Courts will go directly to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Currently, no record is kept of any small claims proceedings in Marion County, and appeals go the Marion Superior Court, where the case begins anew. The transition will align Marion County with Indiana’s other small claims courts, which already send disputes to the appellate court .

The proposed rules state that the court reporters shall type all transcripts outside of their regular work hours and will receive payment directly from the party ordering the document. Per page costs will range from $3 to $5.50 depending on who is ordering the transcript and how quickly it needs to be completed.

Also, in instances when small claims judges recuse themselves from a case, a clerk will assemble a striking panel of three Marion County Small Claims judges. Then the parties in the case will be able to cross out name from the panel.

Each small claims court must keep a supply of required forms and may charge a fee for the paper, but it cannot exceed the cost to the court. Although the clerks can assist pro se litigants with completing the forms, they cannot provide advice.

Marion Circuit Judge Sheryl Lynch co-wrote the amended rules and has been overseeing the process as Marion County Small Claims Courts transition to being courts of record. She has described the change as a “win for everyone.”

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