Introduced Version






SENATE BILL No. 414

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DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 33-11.6-4.

Synopsis: Marion County small claims courts. Grants Marion County small claims courts equity jurisdiction. Specifies that the court need not rule on an untimely motion for change of venue. Allows an appeal from judgments of the court to be taken to the Marion circuit or superior court. Requires an appellant who files a request for an appeal to: (1) post a surety bond or cash deposit payable to the appellee in an amount sufficient to secure certain costs and penalties; and (2) pay all applicable filing fees; not more than ten days after the date that the appellant files the request for an appeal. Specifies that, in an appeal from a judgment of a small claims court, the circuit court or superior court: (1) must presume the judgment of the small claims court is correct; and (2) may reverse the judgment of the small claims court only if the appellant shows by clear and convincing evidence that the judgment is in error.

Effective: July 1, 2001.





Young M




    January 18, 2001, read first time and referred to Committee on Judiciary.







Introduced

First Regular Session 112th General Assembly (2001)


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SENATE BILL No. 414



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning courts and court officers.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

    SECTION 1. IC 33-11.6-4-1 , AS AMENDED BY P.L.95-1999, SECTION 7, IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001]: Sec. 1. (a) Except for a claim between landlord and tenant, any case within the jurisdiction of any small claims court may be venued, commenced, and decided in any township small claims court within the county. However, upon a motion for change of venue filed by the defendant within ten (10) days of service of the summons, the township small claims court shall determine in accordance with subsection (b) whether required venue lies with the court or with another small claims court in the county in which the small claims court in which the action was filed sits.
    (b) The venue determination to be made under subsection (a) must be made in the following order:
        (1) In an action upon a debt or account, venue is in the township where any defendant has consented to venue in a writing signed by the defendant.
        (2) Venue is in the township where a transaction or occurrence

giving rise to any part of the claim took place.
        (3) Venue is in the township (in a county of the small claims court) where the greater percentage of individual defendants included in the complaint resides, or, if there is no such greater percentage, the place where any individual defendant so named resides, owns real estate, or rents an apartment or real estate or where the principal office or place of business of any defendant is located.
        (4) Venue is in the township where the claim was filed if there is no other township in the county in which the small claims court sits in which required venue lies.
    (c) Venue of any claim between landlord and tenant shall be in the township where the real estate is located.
    (d) If a written motion challenging venue is timely received by the township small claims court within ten (10) days after service of the summons, the court shall rule whether required venue lies in the township of filing. If a motion for change of venue is not timely filed, the court need not rule on the motion for change of venue, which shall be treated as denied by operation of law.
    SECTION 2. IC 33-11.6-4-2 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001]: Sec. 2. Except as otherwise provided in section 4 of this chapter, the court shall have original and concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit and superior courts in all civil cases founded on equity, contract, or tort in which the debt or damage claimed does not exceed six thousand dollars ($6,000), not including interest or attorney fees.
    SECTION 3. IC 33-11.6-4-14 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2001]: Sec. 14. (a) All appeals from judgments of the small claims court shall be taken to the circuit court or superior court of the county. and tried de novo. Rules of procedure for appeals shall be in accordance with the rules established by the superior court. The appellant shall pay all costs necessary for the filing of the case in the superior court, as if the appeal were a case that had been filed initially in that court. An appeal is timely only if it is commenced not more than thirty (30) days after the date a judgment is rendered.
    (b) A party commences an appeal by filing a request for an appeal with the small claims court. The request must specify whether the appellant intends to appeal to the circuit court or to the superior court. In a request for an appeal under this section, the appellant must specifically and succinctly set forth the factual and legal reasons why the appellant believes the judgment of the

small claims court is in error.
    (c) An appellant who files a request for an appeal under this section must:
        (1) post with the clerk of the small claims court a surety bond or cash deposit payable to the appellee in an amount sufficient to secure:
            (A) the appellee's:
                (i) claims, interest, and court costs; and
                (ii) costs of undertaking the litigation of the appeal to a final judgment; and
            (B) the payment of any judgment entered against the appellant; and
        (2) pay all applicable filing fees;
not more than ten (10) days after the date the appellant files the request for an appeal. If an appellant fails to post a surety bond or cash deposit or pay applicable fees as required under this subsection not more than ten (10) days after the date the appellant files the request for an appeal, the appellant shall be considered to have withdrawn the appellant's request for an appeal.
    (d) Except as set forth in subsection (e), an appeal from a judgment of a small claims court:
        (1) shall be tried by the circuit court or superior court under the Indiana Rules of Civil Procedure; and
        (2) is not subject to the small claims court jurisdictional limitations established under this article.
    (e) In an appeal from a judgment of a small claims court, the circuit court or superior court:
        (1) shall presume the judgment of the small claims court is correct; and
        (2) may reverse the judgment of the small claims court only if the appellant shows by clear and convincing evidence that the judgment is in error.