The online publication Indiana Court Times posted an article on a new rule, Indiana Rule 81.1, Family Procedures. I previously posted regarding this new rule, here.
The article, Trial Rule 81.1 Procedures for Cases Involving Family or Household Members, sums up the purpose of the new rule as follows:
Under certain conditions, Trial Rule 81.1 allows a judge to use “Family Procedures” and exercise jurisdiction over all cases involving the same family or household (as defined). Family Procedures are defined in the rule as the coordination of proceedings and processes, and information sharing among cases in a court or courts involving family or household members. The goal of the new rule is to avoid uninformed or inconsistent rulings in multiple cases involving one family or household and therefore better serve children and families in our courts.I think that this rule will help the problem of different courts/judges entering orders that affect the same family. For example, if a guardianship and a divorce proceeding were concurrently pending and involved the same family, this rule would provide procedure for the two (2) actions to be heard by the same court/judge. Having a more predictable procedure to follow in these circumstances will be a welcome change.
The Indiana Court Times article points out the use of the new rule comes with some anticipated concerns as well. Such as the potential to skew a court’s statistics, confusion as to the burden and proof, confusion parties on deadlines for when to file appeals and other pleadings, as well as confidentiality of the records in cases joined.
If this rule interests you I encourage you to review the Indiana Court Times article. I encourage you to follow the Indiana Court Times, in general. It is a great resource for Indiana legal news.
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