Supreme Court committee seeks comment on amendments to ‘lazy judge’ rules

The Indiana Supreme Court is seeking comment on proposed changes to trial rules that govern what happens if a trial judge fails to timely rule on a motion and that would remove Supreme Court involvement in the appointment of a special judge.

The court’s Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure is considering amendments to Indiana Trial Rules 53.1 and 53.2. Those interested in providing feedback on the proposed changes may do so until Jan. 22.

Amendments proposed for the trial rules would include adding new language to Rule 53.1(E) requiring parties to file a Request for Ruling or Request for Hearing before filing a praecipe if the parties believe a judge has not complied with the time limitations in Section A.  If the judge still fails to act within 30 days after a request is filed, parties may then file a praecipe with the clerk seeking to withdraw the submission.

The proposed amendments would then require the chief administrative officer to withdraw the submission of the case from the judge upon receipt of the praecipe from the clerk. A special judge would be selected under Trial Rule 79, either by agreement of the parties, or failing to reach an agreement, by application of the county's local rules. The Supreme Court, generally, would not be involved in the selection of the special judge.

Comments on the proposed rule changes can be submitted online or through the mail to ATTN: Proposed Rules, Indiana Office of Judicial Administration, 251 N. Illinois St., Suite 1600, Indianapolis, 46204.

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