By Richard A. Mann, Richard A. Mann, P.C.
Effective July 1, 2016, the Indiana Supreme and Appellate Courts along with Hamilton County, Indiana Circuit and Superior Courts, go to mandatory e-filing for attorneys. Trial court filers should familiarize themselves with the new Rule 86 of the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure effective for filings after June 30, 2016.
At the trial court level, attorneys will now need a few more forms in their bank of forms. The new rule now calls for 4 additional forms. The first form identified is the Acknowledgement of Service under Rule 86(G)(2)(ii) which is similar to the form used in the US District Courts. This occurs if the filer personally serves the complaint and summons or mails the summons and complaint by first class mail. The filer prepares the summons and transmits the summons to the clerk. The clerk will then stamp, add the cause number, seal, and sign the summons and return it to the filer. The rule requires the filer to file the Acknowledgement of Service with the clerk. If the respondent or defendant refuses to sign the form, the filer shall then immediately file an Affidavit of Service with the clerk. If the filer files by copy service, the filer shall leave a copy at the proper address, mail a copy of the summons and file with the clerk the Affidavit of Service, similar to the method used by a sheriff in copy service.
Also, under Rule 86, now if the filer is serving the respondent or defendant by certified or registered mail, the filer prepares the summons and transmits the summons to the clerk. The clerk will then stamp, add the cause number, seal, and sign the summons and return it to the filer. The filer will then send the summons by certified or registered mail, and then promptly file with the clerk the Certificate of Issuance of Summons which must contain the method of service with respect to each party, the date of mailing, address of each party, and tracking or identifying number for each summons under Rule 86(G)(2)(c). Once service has occurred then the filer must file with the clerk an Affidavit of Service setting forth the date of service, the person served, and the address served. Since the name may not be legible on the receipt from the post office, we believe the best practice until directed otherwise would be to attach a copy of the receipt.
For service by publication under Rule 86(G)(2)(e), the filer prepares the summons and transmits the summons to the clerk along with an Affidavit for Service by Publication to the Clerk as provided in Trial Rule 4.13. The clerk will then stamp, add the cause number, seal, and sign the summons and Affidavit for Service by Publication and then return them to the filer. The filer shall deliver the summons to the publication authorized by Trial Rule 4.13(C), with instructions that after the completion of the period of publication the return shall be sent to the Clerk.
Another form you should add is the new E-Filing Appearance By Attorney In Civil Case. This has many changes.
If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Family Law Section page, please email Kara Sikorski at firstname.lastname@example.org.