Justices make amendments to appellate ‘Notice of Defect’ rules

The Indiana Supreme Court has made amendments to how attorneys and litigants are required to respond when their appellate filings do not comply with Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure.

A Nov. 29 order from the court inserts new language into Appellate Rule 23 and creates a new appendix to the rule. Among other new language, the order states that pro se litigants who are incarcerated in a penitentiary, prison or jail will be given 20 business days from the date of a Notice of Defect to correct errors in their filings, while all other persons will have 10 business days to do so within the date of the Notice of Defect.

A Notice of Defect may be issued if one or more aspects of the documents are missing, insufficient or incomplete. Under Appellate Rule 23’s new Appendix B, such defects can relate to certificates of service, word count certificates, filing fees and tables of contents, among other issues related to specific appellate filings.

Defect notices may also be issued if one or more prohibited items is included. This can include, for any brief, the inclusion of any additional documents other than the appealed judgment or order. Similarly, any document with information excluded from public access, when the document is not accompanied by a Notice to Maintain Exclusion from Public Access, may be found in defect if such documents are included.

Finally, the new appendix notes that documents that have production or page numbering issues or that are filed conventionally when electronic filing was required can result in the issuance of a Notice of Defect.  

The full order and amended rules can be read here. The amendments will take effect on Jan. 1.

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