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Family Law Tip of the Week: Comply with Trial Rule 3.1, Telephonic Hearings and FREE Forms - Family Law News

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Family Law News

Posted on: Nov 21, 2017

Welcome to Tip of the Week! Judicial officers will offer a tip each week for members of the Family Law Section. Feel free to send suggestions to Mag. Kim Mattingly at

By Mag. Kimberly Dean Mattingly, Marion Superior Court

Let us all be thankful for our own (mostly) stable families, as well as the families in crisis that help us put the Thanksgiving feast on our collective table. That said, here are tips to last you through the rest of the month of November:

  1. Another tip copied verbatim from a judicial officer: Attorneys must comply with Trial Rule 3.1(H) and local rule regarding notice of intent to withdraw. I have seen several recently where the motion recites that the client requested the withdrawal, but does not include either a notice to the client or a written copy of a letter or email from the client making the request. Those will not be granted. I’ve also seen several motions, without notice of intent included, that recite the client has retained new counsel. If that is so, I will grant them. But often, a new appearance has not yet been filed, so the motion cannot be granted. Finally, I have seen several where the notice of intent to withdraw letter to the client states that there are no upcoming hearings, when there is in fact an upcoming hearing date. I send those back requiring they submit an accurate notice to the client so the Court can be assured that the client had notice of the hearing date.
  2. Do not assume your client (or a witness) may appear by telephone for a hearing. Furthermore, do not assume your court is set up for CourtCall, as CourtCall has (rightly) removed the equipment from those courts that did not use the service frequently enough to be profitable. Asking in advance assures that you’ll have permission as well as the procedure to follow.
  3. Recycled tip: Remember, the clerk does not strike from a panel if one side fails to do so. The moving party strikes first, and if the nonmoving party fails to do so, generally the moving party strikes on their behalf.
  4. Finally, a tip from our "bloggiest" member, Rick Mann (including free forms!): I regularly receive appearances on e-file cases using the wrong appearance form. The old form is not valid for e-file cases. Also, some lawyers not agreeing to email service. Under the rules you are required to accept service through the IEFS system and are now required in e-file cases to use a different appearance. Other documents that the rules require but are not provided are addressed in my blog from June of 2016. I am including a link to the blog that also has a link to the e-file forms I have developed as well as e-file manual etc. Feel free to use my forms or not. I also recently have a case where the attorney has appeared but is not on the service contact and is not is system so make sure you are signed up or you may not be served. Here is the link to the article with forms.

Please do not email to tell me that "bloggiest" is not an actual word!
I believe I speak for all of us in Marion County when I say we are thankful for all of you and thankful for the opportunity to serve our community.

Stay tuned for a new tip next week!

If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Family Law Section page, please email Kara Sikorski at


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