Sunday, January 25, 2009

Local Rules

I am writing a bit about local rules right now. Let me explain a bit about these local rules.

First, understand that most rules are not local. The Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, The Child Support Guidelines, and the Indiana Trial Rules are statewide. These come down from the Indiana Supreme Court which is the highest rule-making authority for Indiana courts. So if you are looking for Marion County child support rules or Orange County visitation rules, you are looking for something that generally does not exist.

Second, we have Title 31 of the Indiana Code to deal with this. In Title 31, the Indiana General Assembly has set out the statutes governing family law in Indiana. Think of the statutes as the general outline and the rules as providing the details on how do things.

Local rules are allowed by our Indiana Trial Rules. The local judges come up with them to deal with local concerns/problems/preferences. Until the Internet came along, I think they were mostly gotcha tools for out of county attorneys. Now the Indiana Supreme Court has an online site gathering the local rules. You can find that here.

Yes, you need to know all of these if you want to practice law but understand that local rules do not trump the statutes or statewide rules.

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