Indiana Judicial Center > Judicial Education > Education Library > Civil Law/Procedure Civil Law/Procedure

A Collection of Informative Materials for Judicial Officers

Best Practices in Small Claims, From Commencement to Collection


Materials submitted by Earl Penrod, Gibson Superior Court.

Session Presentation
50 pages | 371 kb

This interactive, practical course helped attendees to identify, analyze, and evaluate techniques and approaches that may benefit a judicial officer in meeting the small claims objective of dispensing speedy justice between the parties.  Although general statutory provisions and rules of practice, procedure, pleadings, or evidence are not binding in small claims courts, this discussion-oriented course focused on the multitude of procedural and substantive issues that arise in small claims cases, particularly with self-represented litigants unfamiliar with court procedures or applicable legal provisions.   A variety of topics was addressed including:

commencement of the small claim and the new affidavit requirement effective January 1, 2011, "S.C. Rule 8" docket management issues and the judge's proper role in supplementary proceedings for collection, with reference to the relevant Court of Appeals decisions from late 2010.  Additionally, there was consideration and analysis of some substantive areas that regularly arise in small claims courts including landlord-tenant relations and collection cases.

Say WHAT?! The New Plain English Civil Jury Instructions

Session Presentation
Session Presentation (Handout)

16 pages | 178 kb

Materials submitted by Julie C.S. McDonald, Education Attorney, Indiana Judicial Center. These materials focus on why plain English instructions are important, the process used to draft the model instructions, and how the new models are part of the overall jury reform in Indiana.

The Foreclosure Crisis in Indiana - The Judge's Role

Session Presentation
44 pages | 1.57 mb

Indiana is in the top five states for foreclosure rates, and was second overall (behind Ohio) for the 3rd quarter of 2007.  Foreclosure vests significant discretion in the judicial officer, which will tax the creativity of those hearing the cases.  The need to encourage negotiated resolutions and alternatives to foreclosures is huge, not just for the affected homeowners, but also for their neighbors whose property values are declining, and for the world financial system that is holding its breath to see how many U.S. mortgages will end in default. Topics to be covered in this round table discussion include: the effect and interplay of bankruptcy on a foreclosure action; pro bono resources for pro se defendants; the structure of the mortgage industry and relationships of the parties; and the regulation of mortgage lenders in Indiana.  Faculty:  Professor Alan White, Valparaiso University School of Law; Michael Feiwell & Douglas Hannoy, Feiwell & Hannoy; Chris Jackson, Chris Jackson Law Office.

A Judge's Guide to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

Session Presentation
52 pages | 546 kb

Spring Judicial College 2003. Presentation by Judge Christopher L. Burnham, Morgan Superior Court. This presentation and supporting materials are supplemental to the course, A Judge's Guide to Federal Laws Affecting Litigants and Employees Called to Active Duty.

Additional Resources

Resource Format Pages Size
Presentation Outline   18 61 kb
ABA Operation Enduring Lamp Web Site Web N/A N/A
ABA Lamp Brochure for Military Members   12 154 kb
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Web Site Web N/A N/A
Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) Web Site Web N/A N/A
Department of Labor, USERRA Advisor Web Site Web N/A N/A