HOUSE BILL No. 1987
DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL
Synopsis: Indigent parties in civil actions. Allows a court the option
of appointing an attorney at no expense to an indigent person for the
purpose of prosecuting or defending the person's interests in a civil
action when the court determines exceptional circumstances exist that
justify the appointment. Requires the court to pay reasonable attorney's
fees and litigation expenses incurred by the appointed attorney.
Effective: Upon passage.
January 17, 2001, read first time and referred to Committee on Ways and Means.
First Regular Session 112th General Assembly (2001)
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HOUSE BILL No. 1987
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning civil
law and procedure.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:
SOURCE: IC 34-10-1-2; (01)IN1987.1.1. -->
IS AMENDED TO READ AS
FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE UPON PASSAGE]: Sec. 2. (a) This section
shall not be construed to prohibit a court from participating in a
pro bono legal services program or any other program that
provides legal services to litigants without charge or at a reduced
(b) If the court is satisfied that a person who makes an application
described in section 1 of this chapter does not have sufficient means to
prosecute or defend the action, the court:
(1) shall admit the applicant to prosecute or defend as an indigent
(2) may, under exceptional circumstances, assign an attorney
to defend or prosecute the cause.
(c) The factors that a court may consider under subsection
(b)(2) include the following:
(1) The likelihood that the applicant will prevail on the merits
of the applicant's claim or defense.
(2) The applicant's ability to investigate and present the
applicant's claims or defenses without an attorney given the
type and the complexity of the facts and legal issues in the
(d) The court shall deny an application made under subsection
(b)(2) if the court determines any of the following:
(1) The applicant failed to make a diligent effort to obtain an
attorney before filing an application.
(2) The applicant is unlikely to prevail on the applicant's
claim or defense.
(e) All officers required to prosecute or defend the action shall do
their duty in the case without taking any fee or reward from the
(f) The reasonable attorney's fees and expenses of an attorney
appointed to represent an applicant under section 1 of this chapter
shall be paid from the money appropriated to the court:
(1) appointing the attorney, if the action was not transferred
from another county; or
(2) from which the action was transferred, if the action was
transferred from another county.
SOURCE: ; (01)IN1987.1.2. -->
SECTION 2. An emergency is declared for this act.