IN Supreme Court seeking comments on proposed trial rule amendments

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The Indiana Supreme Court is seeking public comment on several proposed amendments to the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure.

According to the high court, the Civil Litigation Taskforce recommended several amendments to the Trial Rules in the areas of service of process and discovery to reduce costs and delays, plus improve service to litigants, attorneys and trial courts.

There is new proposed language laid out in sections of Rules 4.1, 4.6, 4.14, 5, 16, 26, 30, 33, 34, 36, 37, 53, 81 and 86.

Also, earlier this year, the high court directed the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure to review county local rules of court to ensure they are consistent with the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure, as recommended by the taskforce.

The committee recommended several amendments in the areas of withdrawal of appearance, filing and response deadlines, form of pleadings and judicial officer authority to sit in other courts.

The proposed amendments would incorporate several local rules into the Trial Rules for uniform statewide application and delete an obsolete rule, according to the court.

Finally, proposed amendments to Trial Rule 77 gives basic guidance to clerks and court staff for the creation and management of court records.

According to the Supreme Court, the rule was promulgated in 1991 when court records were exclusively paper documents and each case had a physical case file. Now that most court records are maintained electronically, some required procedures are no longer necessary.

Comments on the proposed amendments are due by noon on Dec. 15.

Comments can be submitted online or via U.S. Mail to Proposed Rule Changes, Indiana Office of Court Services, 251 N. Illinois St., Suite 800, Indianapolis, 46204.

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