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Indiana E-filing and Proposed Change in Appellate Case Number Format - Appellate Practice News

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Appellate Practice News


Posted on: Oct 13, 2017

Dear Appellate Practice Section members:
 
Indiana’s statewide e-filing system is now live in 60 counties and in the appellate courts, and over 2.1 million documents had been e-filed as of June 30, 2017. E-filing has been mandatory for attorneys in the appellate courts since July 2016 for subsequent filings (i.e., in cases where a case number has already been assigned). E-filing has simplified work for many attorneys, clerks, and courts across the state. Feedback has been very positive, and many attorneys have asked when they will be able to e-file notices of appeal to open a new case.  
 
We are exploring options for e-filing notices of appeal, and one way to expedite the roll-out would be to simplify the format of the appellate case number, defined in Administrative Rule 8.1. Our current case number is based on the trial court county and requires custom programming. For example, case 49A05-1710-CR-01234 is comprised of: County of trial court, Court on appeal, Geographical district – Year, Month – Case Type – Sequence Number. We propose that this be replaced with the following format: 17A-CR-01234, comprised of: Year, Court on appeal – Case Type – Sequence Number. Adopting this change would allow e-filing of notices of appeal sooner than if we kept the current format. This also eliminates seven characters from the case number, which will be easier to read and easier to type. Here are some examples of case numbers in the current and proposed formats:
 
Current format                Proposed format
49A02-1704-MI-741       17A-MI-741
71A04-1703-CT-655      17A-CT-655
45A03-1703-MI-589       17A-MI-589
40A01-1705-JT-1106     17A-JT-1106
31S01-1710-CT-647      17S-CT-647
27S00-1703-DI-131       17S-DI-131
02S00-1604-LW-185      16S-LW-185
49T10-1607-TA-20         16T-TA-20
49T10-1605-TA-11         16T-TA-11
 
Several of us considering this change were initially hesitant to lose the county indicator; however, eliminating seven characters from every case number, on every document, may lead to fewer data entry errors when preparing or processing paperwork. The county will still appear in documents, and we can still search for cases by county at the appellate online docket.
 
Please consider this change and send any feedback you would like to share to RulesComments@courts.in.gov. (1) Do you support this change? (2) Would this cause you any issues if the format were effective January 1, 2018?
 
Thank you in advance for your consideration.
 
Regards,
 
Bob Rath
Director, Appellate Court Technology
Indiana Supreme Court, Office of Judicial Administration

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