Supreme Court amends trial procedure rules 

Amendments have been made to Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure regarding child paternity cases, as well as e-filing processes and procedures for filing probate and guardianship cases, according to an order from the Indiana Supreme Court.

Supreme Court justices in a Dec. 17 order amended Trial Rules 81.1 and 86, adding Rules 87 and 88. The high court first amended Rule 81.1 by adding Section H concerning the consolidation of juvenile paternity cases. According to the changes, when juvenile paternity cases involving multiple children of the same two parents have been created pursuant to Administrative Rule 1(B)(4)(c), “the court shall consolidate all those related cases into a single juvenile paternity case for the shared children.”

Additionally, the change states that all children of the same two parents should be combined into the first filed case and orders regarding the consolidation must be entered into each of the cases. Those orders, it reads, should include a requirement that after the consolidation date, all filings, orders, and hearings shall be filed within the primary case and all of the secondary cases will be closed.

As to Rule 86, concerning general electronic filing and electronic service, the high court included new definitions for the purpose of Trial Rules 86, 87 and 88, striking several previous sections in their entirety.

With the addition of Rule 87, titled “Electronic Filing,” the high court included new language about the commencement of an action, the electronic filing of documents, and proof of filing, among other things. The rule also includes new language for the filing of probate and guardianship cases and the handling of wills.

It similarly introduced Rule 88, titled “Court and Clerk Electronic Filing Review,” which inserted information concerning clerk processing of e-filed documents and court processing of non-conforming documents.

The amendments take effect on Jan. 1, 2021. All justices concurred in the order, signed by Chief Justice Loretta Rush.

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