S.E.A. 523, P.L. 170-2015
Effective: 1-4, 7-8, 13, 15 effective July 1, 2015; §§5-6, 9-12, 14, 16-17 effective May 5, 2015
Makes the township small claims courts in Marion County courts of record as of July 1, 2018. Permits a part-time small claims court to become a full-time court on January 1, 2016, by submitting to the township board a notice of intent to become a full-time court, approved by the township trustee, before August 1, 2015. Makes all small claims courts full-time courts after December 31, 2016. Provides that a court which was a full-time court on January 1, 2015, will remain a full-time court. Sets the annual salary of a full-time small claims court judge at 75% of the salary of a Marion County circuit court judge. Provides that the judge of a small claims court has the authority to employ staff, and that staff serve at the pleasure of the judge. Increases the jurisdictional amount to $8,000.
Requires the courts to use a centralized case management system approved by the division of state court administration. Defines “low caseload court” and requires certain fees to be transferred to low caseload courts. Requires the judge of a low caseload court to identify five days during each month in which the judge will be available to assist the other judges with their judicial duties, and establishes a process by which the small claims presiding judge may assign the judge of a low caseload court to assist other judges.
The full law is available at: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/senate/523