The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) recently submitted recommendations to the Marion County Small Claims Court. Details are below.
A national courts consultant recommends changes to the Marion County Small Claims Courts. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) submitted a report to Indiana outlining the need to transition the small claims courts into a unified section within the civil division of the superior courts.
The NCSC report is the second report in recent years recommending changes to the structure of the small claims system. The report is available online at http://www.in.gov/judiciary/3844.htm. In May 2012, the Task Force on the Marion County Small Claims Courts made similar recommendations. Those study results can also be found online.
This NCSC study was prepared at the request of the Marion County Circuit Court and funded by a grant from the Indiana Supreme Court. Marion County Circuit Court Judge Louis Rosenberg stated that the NCSC report together with the earlier task force study detail a “reliable factual basis for identifying the shortcomings of the present system.”
The NCSC report:
- Provides a statistical profile of the small claims system with charts and tables featuring how the system is financed and how it manages caseload
- Details a principal inefficiency of the current system in mismatching of resources with caseloads
- Notes that local revenues from filing fees have not kept pace with court expenditures
Court of Appeals Judge John G. Baker, co-chair of the Task Force on the Marion County Small Claims Court, said, “every organization or group studying this matter has come to the same conclusion. The flexibility and responsiveness of the proposed changes will better serve all of the people in Marion County.”
Incorporating the township courts into a Small Claims Division of the Marion County Superior Court requires new legislation. The Supreme Court has submitted the NCSC report to leadership in the General Assembly along with the Supreme Court’s recommendations for implementation of reforms to the system.