Indiana Supreme Court
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian Street, Ste. 500
Indianapolis, IN  46204

Jasmine Parson
Staff Attorney
Pho: 317.234.1376
jasmine.parson@courts.in.gov

Leslie Rogers Dunn
GAL/CASA Director
Pho: 317.233.0224
leslie.dunn@courts.in.gov

Courts > Family Court Project > Family Court Rules Family Court Rules

The courts selected for the family court projects in the counties listed below are authorized to designate, by a written Local Rule, that they adopt the Family Court Project Rules as a whole.

  • Phase I projects - Johnson, Monroe, and Porter County Projects;
  • Phase II projects - LaPorte, Marion, Putnam and Owen County Projects;
  • Phase III projects - Henry, Lake, Tippecanoe, Vigo, and joint Brown-Bartholomew-Jackson-Lawrence County Projects.
  • Phase IV projects – Allen, St. Joseph, and a multiple county project for Crawford, Martin, Orange and Pike.
  • Phase V Projects – Clark and Vanderburgh County Projects.

The authorization to use the Family Court Project Rules is continued effective January 1, 2008, and expires December 31, 2008. See Indiana Supreme Court Order 2/14/08: In the Matter of Family Court Project Rules

Definitions

Family Court. "Family Court" is the court or courts before which cases involving a family or household are linked together for purposes of case coordination. The individual cases maintain their separate integrity and separate docket number, but may be given a common family court designation. The individual cases may all be transferred to one judge, or may remain in the separate courts in which they were originally filed.

Family Court Proceeding. A "Family Court Proceeding" is comprised of the individual cases of the family or household which have been assigned to Family Court.

Rule 1: Exercise Of Jurisdiction

The Family Court may exercise jurisdiction over any case involving the family at the same time it exercises jurisdiction over a juvenile case (Child In Need of Services, Delinquency, Status, and Paternity) involving the family.

Rule 2: Concurrent Hearings

The Family Court may, in the court's discretion, set hearings on related cases to be heard concurrently, take evidence on the related cases at these hearings, and rule on the admissibility of evidence for each cause separately as needed to adequately preserve the record for appeal. This rule applies only when the cases are pending before the same judicial officer.

Rule 3: Designation of Family Court and Change of Judge for Cause

Once notice is sent to the parties that a case has been selected for Family Court, no motion for change of venue from the judge may be granted except to the extent permitted by Indiana Trial Rule 76.

Within ten (10) days after notice is sent that a case has been selected for Family Court, a party may object for cause to the Family Court designation.

A motion for change of venue from the judge in any matters arising in the Family Court proceeding or any future cases joined in the Family Court proceeding after the initial selection of cases, shall be granted only for cause.

If a special judge is appointed, all current and future cases in the Family Court proceeding may be assigned to the special judge.

Rule 4: Judicial Notice and Access to Records

Notice of Case Assignment. Within a reasonable time after a case is assigned to Family Court, the court shall provide to all parties in the Family Court proceeding a list of all cases that have been assigned to that Family Court proceeding.

Judicial Notice. Any court having jurisdiction over a case assigned to Family Court may take judicial notice of any relevant orders or Chronological Case Summary (CCS) entry issued by any Indiana Circuit, Superior, County, or Probate Court.

If a court takes judicial notice of:

  1. a court order, the court shall provide a copy of that court order; or
  2. a CCS or CCS entry(s), the court shall provide a copy of the entire CCS.

The court shall provide copies of the order or CCS to the parties to the case at or before the time judicial notice is taken.

Access to Records. Parties to a Family Court proceeding shall have access to all cases within the Family Court proceeding, with the exception of confidential cases or records to which they are not a party. Parties may seek access to the confidential cases or records in another case within the Family Court proceeding in which they are not a party, by written petition based on relevancy and need. Confidential records shall retain their confidential status and the Family Court shall direct that confidential records not be included in the public record of the proceedings.