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Family Law Tip of the Week: Signature Lines - Family Law News

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Family Law News

Posted on: Mar 7, 2018

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

When you submit Proposed Orders, if you list the name of the elected judge of the court in which you are fling, then be absolutely certain that you have the most current information. We still get orders for Judge Oakes’ signature in Civil 13; he moved to D02 years ago! The list of current assignments is available on the website if you want to update your forms, but I’m also not aware of anyone who is offended by the simple blank line with the words JUDGE, Marion Superior Court under it. Do you remember seeing “KISS” written on your math homework?  It stands for “Keep It Simple S_______ .”
While we are Keeping It Simple, two signature lines (one for Magistrate/Commissioner and then one for Judge) are generally not needed on orders. If we do need an Elected Judge’s (btw, what will we call them under the new selection process? “Selecteds?”) countersignature, we’ll use our Recommended for Approval stamp next to or under the signature line for the Judge. Routine orders such as continuances, withdrawals, discovery orders, and the like never need to be countersigned. If a Decree or Agreement comes in that is signed by both sides, Mags/Comms have the authority to approve under their signature alone. All IWOs must be countersigned (unless signed by both parties and there is no space for that) as well as Decrees and other orders after a hearing. Here’s the problem with two signature lines: a pro se litigant might assume an order is invalid if one of the lines remains blank. Trust me, we do not need to give pro ses any more wiggle room when it comes to reading and following court orders!

Stay tuned for a new tip next week!

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