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Prosecutor/clerk agree on mailings

Prosecuting Attorney Greg Kenner and Circuit Court Clerk Bonnie Brown came to the county council meeting Monday in agreement on how to help solve a new problem brought about by new court rules.

Starting in February 2017, the Indiana State Supreme Court ordered that all courts in Indiana would need to start using the new e-file system. That means in most cases attorneys no longer take paper files to the courthouse for filing. They now file electronically from their own offices.

The question of the day centers around who is responsible for mailing certified copies of filings to persons affected. This has historically been a function of the county clerk, who would require that attorneys file multiple copies and the clerk would file stamp, assign court numbers, and mail copies of the filings to affected parties. With no paper copies, the clerk is no longer shouldering the responsibility of making the mailings.

The prosecuting attorney’s office did not budget for performing this duty in 2017, either personnel to perform the task or sufficient funds for the mailing costs (which oftentimes is $6 to $10 or more per case).

Clerk Bonnie Brown has agreed to ask for a reduction in appropriation for her postage account of $5,000 and Prosecutor Kenner will be seeking an additional appropriation of $5,000 for postage next month. This is expected to pretty well take care of the issue for 2017.

Going forward into 2018, the new budget will reflect the shift in effort needed to keep the system up and running.