FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Why can’t I speak to the Judge directly?
A: Because in order for the Judge to remain impartial, he cannot hear one side of the case without the other side present.

Q: What should I do if I’m the victim in a case?
A: Keep in contact with the Prosecutor’s Office and the Victim’s Advocate. They will keep you informed of how the case is progressing.

Q: If I have an attorney, can I file motions on my own?
A: If you have an attorney, private or court appointed, the filings presented to the Court must come from your attorney. That is their job and that is why they are hired or appointed to represent you.

Q: I have written a letter to the Judge, but I haven’t received a response?
A: Many of the letters the Court receives are from family members of defendants and cannot be addressed by the Court. Those that are received from defendant’s themselves are addressed either by the Court setting a hearing, or if the defendant is represented by counsel, the letter will be referred to counsel.

Q: What should I do if I can’t make it to a hearing?
A: If you know you are going to be late for a hearing because of traffic or transportation issues, or other problems, call the court and tell them when you expect to arrive. If you know ahead of time that you will be unable to attend a scheduled hearing and need to request a continuance, you must do so in writing, and you must notify the opposing party of your intention to request a continuance. Motions to continue are available in the Downloads section of this website. Phone calls for continuances are not accepted unless it is an emergency situation.

Q: What if I can’t afford to hire an attorney?
A: If you find that you are unable to hire an attorney and need the Court to appoint an attorney to represent you, you must make that request in writing. The Court will then set a hearing to determine if you are indigent for purposes of appointing counsel.

Q: My license has been suspended, how do I get it back?
A: If you are suspended because of non-payment of a traffic infraction, you must pay the outstanding ticket before the Bureau will reinstate your driving privileges. If you have been suspended for driving while suspended, you will not be able to reinstate your driving privileges until you have cleared up whatever was suspending your license in the first place. If you have been suspended for operating while intoxicated, you must wait until the court imposed suspension expires. There are some instances when a probationary license may be issued to allow you to drive to and from work and for the necessities of life. These types of licenses may be requested only in operating while intoxicated cases, and only after a conviction has been entered. If you don’t know why you are suspended, contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and they should be able to help you. (317)-232-2840

Q: If my license is suspended for non-payment of a ticket, and I pay the ticket, how long will it take to get my license back?
A: If you are an Indiana licensed driver, it will be a matter of days. The Clerk’s office will send the information to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles electronically. If you are an out-of-state licensed driver, you need to take the paperwork directly to your licensing authority. The Clerk will send the information to the Bureau in Indianapolis, and Indianapolis will then forward the information to your home state. This can be a lengthy process, so the Clerk’s office will provide you with a copy to help speed it up.

Q: What if I want to check on the status of a case?
A: There is a public terminal located in the Voter’s Registration Office of the Courthouse. If you have access to the internet, you may log on to www.doxpop.com and search for a case. Basic searches are free. If you need a more detailed search, you will be charged a fee for that service. Please see the website for more information.

Q: I think I missed a court date and there may be a warrant out for my arrest. What should I do?
A: If you think there is a warrant out for your arrest, you should turn yourself in to the Sheriff’s Department as soon as possible. If it is a civil case, i.e. small claims, and a body attachment has been issued, you should turn yourself in to the Sheriff’s Department. You may also contact the Plaintiff to arrange to pay the debt.

Q: Do I need to appear in person for a misdemeanor case or can I just pay the fine?
A: You must appear in person in all misdemeanor and felony cases unless the Court instructs otherwise. Fines are not imposed unless and until a determination of guilt has been entered.

Q: Can’t I just call in for my hearing?
A: No. Hearings can not be held over the telephone.

Q: Can I file for divorce without an attorney?
A: Yes. The Clerk’s office has the forms needed to file for divorce. However, in situations where there are children involved and/or property that needs to be divided, the Court strongly encourages you to seek the advice of an attorney.

Q: What if I have been sued, or I have sued someone and we have settled the case outside of Court?
A: If you have reached an agreement without the necessity of a hearing, you must notify the Court, in writing, of such an agreement as soon as possible so that the hearing date can be removed from the calendar.

Q: What if I am called for Jury Duty and I don’t want to serve?
A: The rules have changed this year for jury service. In the past you were exempt from serving if you were over 65 years of age, a veterinarian, a dentist, a law enforcement officer, a legislator, in the armed services, an elected or appointed government official, an Indianapolis Public School Board Member, a firefighter, a corrections officer, or a ferry boat operator. That is no longer the case. On March 9, 2006, Senate Bill 232 was approved unanimously by the Indiana General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Mitch Daniels. It took effect on July 1, 2006. For more information on jury service, you can contact the Clerk’s Office -Voter Registration- at 260-499-6392.

Q: What if I have questions about my case?
A: Procedural questions may be answered by either the Clerk’s Office or the Court. At no time can any member of the Clerk’s office or the Court give you legal advice. Only an attorney may advise you. If you are told to contact an attorney regarding your questions, you should do so.

Q: What if I need extra time to –
*pay my probation user’s fee
*pay my restitution
*pay my ticket
*pay my fines and costs
*complete my community service work
A: If you are on probation, you should contact your probation officer and let them know what the problem is. They can give you an extension. If you’ve already had an extension from the probation officer, they may tell you to contact the Judge. Do so in writing. Tell him what the problem is and how much extra time you think you will need. If you need extra time to pay a ticket, you can contact the Clerk’s office for an extension at 260-499-6374.