Indiana Northern District Court seeking comment on proposed rule amendments

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana is requesting feedback for proposed local rule changes.

Rules under review include 5-3, 6-1, 7-1, 7-6 (replaces 8-1) and 56-1.

Rule 56-1, which deals with summary judgment, has the most proposed changes.

The amendments aim to assist the court with identifying genuinely disputed facts by requiring facts to be presented in separately numbered paragraphs and for responses to be in correspondingly numbered paragraphs, the Local Rules Advisory Committee wrote in comments on the proposed amendments.

“Normally, a fact will either be admitted or denied with a citation to evidence supporting the dispute unless the fact can be judicially noticed. The Committee recognized that pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 56(c)(1)(B), a party need not always point to specific record materials,” the committee commented, pointing to Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). “Thus, 56‐1(a)(3)(b) only requires a moving party to provide a citation for each fact, not for allegations of the absence of a fact.”

The amendment removes the provision that disputes about admissibility be addressed in a separate motion. Consistent with the 2010 amendment to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c)(2), disputes about inadmissibility and immateriality must be presented in a brief.

Also, the amendment to 56-1 does not require a verbatim restatement in cases with an unrepresented party, but such cases still require responses with correspondingly numbered paragraphs. The amendment clarifies there is no provision for briefing other than a supporting brief, a response brief and a reply brief without leave of court.

In the comments, the committee wrote that it considered whether the rule should provide for cases with cross‐motions for summary judgment, but concluded they would be better addressed in individualized case management plans.

The text of Rule 5‐3(c)(2)(C) was amended to remove text indicating that sealed criminal filings should be made on paper. It further clarifies that sealed criminal filings must now be made electronically, consistent with the Court’s General Order No. 2013‐8 and the CM/ECF User Manual. Rule 5‐3(c)(2)(A) was also revised to reflect that motions for fees and expenses under 18 U.S.C. § 3006A can appropriately be filed under seal without motion.

For Rule 6‐1, according to the committee, the text created some confusion as to what was required to obtain an extension of time in cases with a pro se party, so edits were made to 6‐1(a)(3), 6‐1(b)(3)(C) and 6‐1(c) to clarify.

Rule 7‐1 also created some confusion, the committee wrote, specifically as to whether reply briefs were permitted without leave of court for motions made pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12. Language was added in Rule 7‐1(d)(2) to clarify that reply briefs are permitted for such motions, which reflects existing practice.

Finally, under the proposed amendments, Local Rule 7-6 would abrogate Local Rule 8-1 to include any pleading, motion or other paper. Local Rule 7‐6 encompasses locally adopted complaints as well as any other form the court may choose to supply. It also permits the use of non‐clerk‐supplied forms when appropriate.

All proposed amendments can be viewed online.

Comments must be submitted on or before Dec. 13 on the court’s website or in writing to Local Rules Comments, Office of the Clerk, 5400 Federal Plaza, Suite 2300, Hammond, IN, 46320.

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