The Indiana Rules of Trial Procedures are the rules that govern the procedure and practice of every courtroom in Indiana. These guidelines help ensure a fair and speedy trial in all civil action cases and help promote justice across the state. That way, there are no differences within different cities or counties in the state of Indiana.

In Indiana, a civil action can be filed independently, or even in addition to, a ruling for a public offense. In order to start a civil action, a party, also known as a plaintiff, must file a complaint, pay the associated fee, or fill out a form waiving the filing fee. The plaintiff must provide their contact information, the contact information for their attorney, their case type and number, and any relevant forms regarding the case (for example, a Guardian Information Sheet if petitioning for guardianship).

Once this civil action is filed, the clerk of the court will send summons to the defendant. The manner of service will depend on the age and state of the defendant and the type of civil action being pursued. From here, the civil action will go into pleading, discovery, and then a trial court where there will be a trial by jury if necessary. This can be a small claims court like the one in Marion Country, a state court, or it can be taken all the way to the Indiana Supreme court. After trial, there will be a judgement.

The rules of trial procedure for an Indiana trial are dense and they can be incredibly complex. These rules are also updated frequently, with new amendments added to the civil procedure. Here are some sources that can help you make sense of the these Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure in effect as of January 2019:

Indiana Rules of Court Rules of Trial Procedure

This resource contains all of the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure and amendments in effect January 2019 as determined by the Indiana Supreme Court. From details about commencing a civil action to judgement, and all of the steps in between, this resource has everything you need to know about Indiana rules.

This resource is especially beneficial if you have a case with special circumstances. The Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure outlines what happens when a special judge needs to be summoned in the Indiana Supreme Court if a civil action is withdrawn from a trial court and trial judge using trial rule 53.1, or what to do while a case is pending in the Supreme Court. If you want a detailed outline of all of Indiana’s rules, this resource will be helpful.

Indiana Rules of Civil Procedure

This resource covers Indiana’s rules from Rule 4 all the way through Rule 5. These rules detail information about summons and subpoenas. If you are not sure how to proceed with a civil action based on the age or the current state of the defendant, this resource can serve as a basic guide. For instance, there are different summoning rules for infants or incompetents, institutionalized persons, and organizations.

Using this resource, you can discover exactly which methods and rules the clerk of the court must follow when serving summons or issuing a subpoena.

Orders Amending Rules of Court

This resource will allow you to search through all of the amendments to the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedures from 2001 through 2019. When you look at the orders, all of the new information is underlined, and rules or information that has been removed are shown with striking.

If you are not sure when a certain rule was established, or you have questions about an existing rule, looking through the Orders Amending Rules of Court can help you find the information you need.

For more information about the Indiana judicial system or for help with court reporting, visit

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