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Frequently Asked Questions - Public Safety Law & Justice
You can mail your child support payment in the form of check or money order to Randolph County Clerk's Office, PO Box 230, Winchester IN 47394. Please write your cause number and "Child Support" on the memo line of you check or money order.
You may also come in to our office to make a payment in person. We will accept cash, check or money order.
Yes, visitation is an entirely different issue than child support. A non-custodial parent can file a contempt citation for refusal of the custodian to permit or arrange visitation, just like a custodial parent can file a contempt citation for non-payment of child support. If you have a good reason for not wanting visitation to occur, you should talk to a private attorney about filing a motion to modify the visitation order.
It is difficult to track down and enforce against such an irresponsible parent. However, it is not impossible. We use all means possible to get that person into court on a contempt citation. The courts can punish a payor for contempt in various ways, including incarceration. When punishments are ordered, we often see the payor change his attitude. They may even start taking a greater interest in their child(ren) when they accept the responsibility for assisting with their support.
You can call or stop by the office and sign a document that will be sent to the State Child Support Bureau. The Prosecutor's Office will then withdraw from your case as an attorney of record. At that time all IV-D services stop. If you need future enforcement of your child support order, you will have to use a private attorney, or reapply for IV-D services.
There is no specific time frame within which the IV-D office will be successful in collecting child support for you. It depends on the circumstances of the non-custodial parent and the information that you are able to provide for the office. If you know of an employer, and there is an existing child support order, it can be a fairly quick process. If you have very little information about the non-custodial parent, we may not be able to locate or enforce your order. We need as much information as possible, including address, social security number, and identifiers, such as height, weight, hair color, eye color, date of birth, and picture (if possible). Also, if the non-custodian has other children, we need to know their approximate ages and whether or not there is a child support order for those children.
Any custodial parent who is receiving TANF benefits (formerly AFDC payments) from the State of Indiana has assigned their child support rights to the State of Indiana, and must cooperate in trying to establish, enforce or modify a child support order for their children. The child support payments in these cases reimburses the State for benefits received by the children. The parent will receive letters and notifications from the child support division concerning their case, and may have to make an appointment to discuss their case. When the custodial parent is no longer receiving TANF benefits, the child support amount for current child support will be directed to him/her.
As a general rule a landlord has no duty to make repairs to leased premises unless the landlord agrees to
Landlords are entitled to come onto or enter the premises at reasonable times and with reasonable notice and to make repairs and inspections; they are entitled to immediate access to make emergency repairs and inspections. Otherwise, the tenant is entitled to peaceful enjoyment and if the landlord wrongfully violates the peaceful enjoyment the landlord is in violation of the lease.
Photographs of the premises and of the damages claimed are very helpful if the dispute goes to trial, whether the damages are claimed by the tenant to have been there when he or she moved in, or claimed by the landlord to be due to the negligence of the tenant.
The landlord may not keep any portion of a damage or security deposit unless there is back rent due or damages to the premises.
Reasonable charges for late rent payments may be assessed by the landlord but ONLY if agreed to in advance.
Oral lease agreements are enforceable, but there are fewer disputes about the terms of the lease when it is written and when all parties have read it carefully before signing.
An eviction can only be filed if it is on a rental basis only. If the case involves a land contract you must hire an attorney to file the case for you.
You need to give them a written 10 day Notice to Quit that is dated. You need to keep a copy of the dated Notice to Quit in order to show the Judge in court. The Clerk’s Office DOES NOT have a copy of this form available.
If it is shown to the court that the debtor has filed bankruptcy and your judgment is listed in the bankruptcy petition, the court is required by Federal law to stop collection proceedings. In that case, your only remedy is in Bankruptcy Court.
To collect the judgment if the debtor dies before the judgment is paid, you must file a claim against the deceased’s estate.
Only one garnishment can be applied at one time; garnishment orders are paid in the order that they are received by the employer.
Collecting the judgement is your responsibility. The length of time it will take to collect will depend upon both your diligence and the debtor’s ability to pay. Filing a Proceedings Supplemental is the first step. These forms are available in the Clerk’s Office.
Once you have received full payment of your judgment, you will be required to release the judgment. This is accomplished by filing a release of judgment with the clerk of the court.
The law allows interest to accrue on a judgment from the date of the judgment.
The judge may make a decision at the end of the trial or take the matter under advisement and make a decision at a later date. Notice of the small claim judgment will be sent either to the attorneys of record if the parties are represented or to the parties.
It is often important to the case that the proper documents or other exhibits be brought to the trial and shown to the judge during the trial. Exhibits become a part of the court record and cannot be returned. If for any reason you must keep the original documents, bring copies also.
A party should try to get all witnesses to attend the trial. If a witness does not want to appear and testify voluntarily a party may request subpoena forms ordering the witness to appear at the trial. Requests for subpoenas should be made at the earliest possible date.
If you are the Defendant and you believe that another person who is not a party to the suit may be responsible to you for all or part of the Plaintiff’s claim, before the trial you may file a third-party notice of claim against the person. To do this you should request a notice of claim form from the Clerk and fill it out naming the person whom you believe responsible as the “Third Party Defendant” and explain on the form why you believe this person should be responsible to you for the Plaintiff’s claim. Adding a Third Party Defendant costs $10.00 per defendant.
If you are the Defendant and have received notice that you have been sued in Small claims Court and you believe that you have any claim against the Plaintiff, you may file a counterclaim against the Plaintiff. An Answer/Counterclaim form is available in the Clerk’s Office.
A Plaintiff must file a Small Claim within two years for Personal Injury (that is, injury to a person as opposed to damage to property) and damage to personal property.
A Plaintiff must file a Small Claim within six years for things such as accounts, contracts not in writing (other than a contract for sale of goods), rents and use of real estate (landlord-tenant disputes), damage to real estate, and recovery of personal property. (That was a listing of the most common statutes of limitations. This is not an exhaustive listing of the statutes of limitations in the Indiana Code.)
As a general rule an unincorporated business must be represented by the owner of the business or an attorney. Small Claims Rule 8 provides a limited exception for certain claims filed in small claims court. A business, operated as a sole proprietorship or partnership may be represented by an employee who is not an attorney if the following conditions exist: (1) The claim is not more than $1,500.00, (2) The claim is not an assignment; and (3) The business has on file with the Clerk an employee affidavit and certificate of compliance designating a full-time employee to represent the business.
No, as a general rule, a corporation must appear by counsel. Small Claims Rule 8 provides an exception for certain claims. A corporation may be represented by an employee who is not an attorney if the following conditions exist (1) The claim is not more than $1,500.00 and; (2) The claim is not an assignment (such as a claim that has been assigned to a collection agency); and (3) There is a corporate resolution and employee affidavit on filed with the clerk authorizing a full-time employee to represent the corporation. The Clerk’s Office has resolution forms that can be formed for this reason
You must give the Clerk the correct name, address and telephone number of the Defendant.
You must pay the cost of filing the suit regardless of whether you choose to have the Notice of Claim delivered by certified mail, or to have the sheriff deliver it. If you win your suit, the Defendant will be ordered to repay this money to you. You will not be repaid if you lose.
It costs $89.00 to file against one defendant and $10 for each additional defendant.
You can sue for up to $6000 in Small Claims Court.
You should contact Prevail at 773-6942 and schedule a time to meet with them.
You should immediately contact your local law enforcement agency and advise them that you have a protective order/no contact order and that the defendant is violating it. An officer should investigate the complaint and the defendant may be arrested or issued a citation and summonsed to court.
You should always carry a copy of the protective order/no contact order with you. If the defendant would happen to violate the protective order/no contact order and the police are called to respond, you will have your copy to show the police officer.
A civil protective order is valid for one year from the date it is issued. The order may be renewed for up to one additional year if proved necessary.
A no contact order issued as a result of criminal proceedings is valid during the pendency of the case. Once the case is closed (either by conviction or acquittal) the no contact order as a condition of pre-trial release must be terminated. However, if the defendant is convicted, a new no contact order as a condition of sentencing may be issued. This no contact order is valid for the duration of the defendant’s sentence. Once the defendant is no longer serving his/her sentence, the no contact order must be terminated. At this time, if you still desire a protective order against the defendant, you must request a civil protective order.
There are two types of orders - a civil protective order and a no contact order issued through a criminal case.
A civil protective order can be obtained from the Randolph County Clerk’s Office. A no contact order issued through a criminal case. This order is prepared by the Prosecutor’s Office and is issued as a condition of the defendant’s pre-trial release or sentence. Once the protective/no contact orders have been filed, a copy will be distributed to the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department and any other municipalities which need to be aware of the protective/no contact order.
It is not necessary to have an attorney to get a protective order, but you can if you wish.
A protective order/no contact order is a court order which instructs the defendant to have no contact, direct or indirect, with a victim.
You should contact the Randolph County Probation Department and advise the defendant’s probation officer of the defendant’s failure to pay. If the defendant has not paid restitution in full by the time the defendant is off probation, the restitution order becomes a judgment lien. You should contact a private attorney for advice on collecting on the judgment.
All restitution payments are to be made through the Randolph County Clerk’s Office. The Clerk will then issue a check to the victim(s). It is the victim’s responsibility to notify the Clerk’s Office of any change in address.
The Court has the final say as to whether or not restitution will be ordered in a case. If you have insurance, you may want to submit your claim for any losses to your insurance carrier. Any uninsured expenses may then be requested as restitution.
Once a defendant has either entered into a guilty plea or been convicted at a trial the case moves on to a sentencing hearing. Your Victim Impact Statement MUST be received prior to the sentencing hearing. If you wish to be present at the sentencing hearing to orally present your statement, please contact the Victim/Witness Coordinator and/or the Prosecutor assigned to your case so that the Prosecutor is aware of your desire to address the Court.
You have a right to make an oral or written statement to the Court after the defendant is convicted but before the defendant is sentenced about how you were affected by this crime - emotionally, physically and financially. The statement may also include your feelings as to what punishment you think is appropriate for the crime committed, including restitution.
You should submit all documentation of uninsured expenses relating to the crime to the Prosecutor’s Office as soon as possible. The Prosecutor must have the documentation prior to the defendant being sentenced.
Requests for restitution should be documented with receipts and/or estimates. For lost wages a wage loss letter is required from the victim’s employer and should be on the employer’s letterhead.
The court may consider property damages; medical and hospital expenses; lost earnings and funeral, burial or cremation costs.
The court may order a person convicted of a crime to make restitution to the victim, the victim’s estate, or to the family of a victim who is deceased for certain expenses related to the crime.
The case will be set for sentencing, usually about thirty days from the date of the guilty plea. Sometimes a defendant will waive the thirty day period. During this time the probation department will prepare a Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (PSI Report). The probation officer assigned to the case should contact all victims and ask for their input and feelings about the defendant.
You cannot drop charges - only the prosecutor may do so. You may forward a written statement to the prosecutor handling your case stating the reasons for wanting the charges dropped for the prosecutor’s review and consideration. If you choose not to testify, you may jeopardize the case which could ultimately result in the defendant going free.
These individuals have the right to contact you; however, you also have the right not to talk with them. We request that you contact the prosecutor handling your case prior to talking with anyone acting on behalf of the defendant. We prefer that you only do so in our presence. You should also always ask for identification from the individual(s) wanting to talk to you.
Intimidating, threatening and/or harassing a state’s witness is a criminal offense. You should immediately contact the police officer or detective in charge of your case. An arrest warrant may be issued and the defendant’s bail could be revoked. The defendant would then remain incarcerated during the pendency of the trial.
We will attempt to notify you as soon as we become aware of any changes. However, your subpoena provides you with a contact person and telephone number to call the day before you are scheduled to appear in court. At that time you will be informed if the trial date has changed.
Only if there is no "separation of witness order." Usually witnesses are not allowed to be in the courtroom until after they have finished testifying. You should ask the prosecutor handling your case if a separation order has been filed.
The court may issue a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear.
A subpoena is a court order which instructs the recipient to appear in court at a designated date and time.
Yes. Approximately two to three weeks prior to the scheduled trial date you should receive a subpoena to appear in court.
A bench trial is a trial before a Judge without a jury. A jury trial is a trial before a Judge with a jury consisting of either six or twelve jurors (with alternates).
A pre-trial conference is held to determine if there are any motions which need to be ruled on; make sure the prosecutor and the defense attorney have exchanged appropriate documents; and basically make sure that everyone is on track for the trial. Many times pre-trial conferences are handled by conference calls; however, some Judges require a formal pre-trial conference at which the defendant is required to appear. The victim does not need to appear.
The defendant is brought before the court for an initial hearing. The defendant is given a copy of the charging information. The charge is read out loud by the Judge. Normally, the Judge automatically enters a plea of "not guilty." A bond is then set; a determination is made as to the defendant’s ability to pay for an attorney. If the defendant is unable to pay for an attorney, the court will appoint one. Finally, the court will set pre-trial conference and jury trial dates.
A warrant is an order signed by a Judge authorizing the police to arrest a person believed to have committed a crime.
The office of the Prosecuting Attorney will give legal advice on criminal matters to police agencies. Although the Prosecuting Attorney can give general advice on whether certain facts would constitute the commission of a crime, our office is generally reluctant to do so on individual cases to private citizens. Often people seeking a favorable opinion will give a distorted version of the facts; a full investigation by a police agency may reveal grounds for prosecution which were not disclosed to our office. In addition, no opinion given can be construed as immunity from prosecution. The Randolph County Prosecutor's Office cannot give legal advice on civil matters; all civil legal questions should be referred to a competent private attorney.
That depends. Are you a victim or a defendant? Prosecuting attorneys are ethically forbidden to speak with defendants about their cases; the only exception is in the Courtroom when the Judge is presiding over the case. If you are a victim, you are entitled to, and should be able to speak to the Prosecuting Attorney handling the case. However, Prosecutors have many other cases to handle, and while your case is important to our office, you should keep in mind that the Prosecuting Attorney's time is his or her most cherished asset. Please keep your inquiries brief and to the point.
Witnesses to crimes are required to appear personally in Court to tell what happened. Although it may be inconvenient, the cornerstone of a free society is the willingness of persons to appear in Court so that the truth about a crime can be known. Witnesses are not compensated for lost wages or other incidental expenses involved in testifying.
Your best source of information regarding future Court dates is your attorney, or the Court itself. Court schedules are created by the Court staff, and are subject to change; the Court possesses the most current information on its own calendar.
Once a person contacts a police agency regarding the commission of the crime, and causes another person to be arrested and charged, the case becomes the property of the Randolph County Prosecutor's Office. Our office policy is that once a person is charged, they are prosecuted, regardless of whether the victim has changed his/her mind.
The Randolph County Prosecutor's Office may obtain a Restraining or Protective Order for the victims of violent crime as part of filing charges. Where appropriate, witnesses will also be covered by protective orders. Without the filing of charges, or where no crime of violence is involved, a private citizen can obtain a Restraining Order through the Randolph County Clerk, whose offices are located in the Courthouse in Winchester. The Clerk has an information packet which will assist a person to obtain a Restraining Order. There is a Court cost which must be paid as part of filing for a Restraining Order through the Clerk.
The child support division is also called the IV-D Office, because the rules and regulations governing the office were enacted by Congress and are incorporated in Title IV-D of the Social Security Act.
Criminal charges generally begin with an investigation by a police agency. The Randolph County Prosecutor's Office will conduct investigations regarding Bad Checks through our Bad Check Program. However, most other criminal activity will be referred to a police agency. Our victim's advocate office, will assist persons in determining the appropriate agency to make a report.
If an individual violates the protective order, the person who is protected by the order may file for contempt of court (civil proceeding), or seek the filing of criminal charges ranging from Invasion of Privacy to major felony charges, depending on the severity of the offense.
The most recent studies indicate that filing for protective orders actually decreases violence in the overwhelming majority of cases. Although protective orders are extremely helpful in curbing many forms of violence and preliminary stalking behavior, they are not bulletproof shields. Therefore, it is EXTREMELY important that when obtaining a protective order, that a petitioner seek the advice of an advocate regarding safety planning and other resources within the community that will be able to provide assistance, just in case.
It depends. The duration period of a protective order is usually two years. However, the judge has the discretion to issue a protective order for as little time or as much time as he or she determines is appropriate. The petitioner can renew the protective order near the time that the order is scheduled to expire. Please note there is a one-month grace period to renew and if more time than this passes the petitioner will have to start the entire application process over again. A protective order may only be renewed one time. After the one renewal, the petitioner may reapply for a new protective order.
Anyone may request a protective order if they have been physically hurt or threatened. A parent or guardian must file on behalf of anyone under 18 years of age as long as he or she lives in the same household. Under certain circumstances a protective order may be issued against a juvenile. There are no hard and fast rules regarding protective orders against juveniles and it will be up to a judge to decide if one is needed.
Upon request, the judge may make additions to a protective order. Depending upon the circumstances involved, the judge may stipulate any of the following:
Eviction of the respondent from a residence shared by the petitioner. Unless the protective order specifically calls for an eviction, it is not an eviction notice. If both are listed on a lease or mortgage, the respondent cannot be evicted until the permanent protective order hearing.
An order may be issued for the Sheriff's Department to accompany the petitioner to the shared residence to collect emergency belongings.
An order may be issued for the respondent to pay child support or maintenance payments to the petitioner if the petitioner and respondent are married and have not filed for divorce.
The petitioner, respondent or both may be required to attend counseling, including domestic violence education.
Protective orders enable law enforcement agencies to intervene at the earliest indications of threatening, harassing or otherwise violent behavior occurs. Unfortunately, isolated, threatening acts, such as walking in front of an ex-spouse's home at three o'clock in the morning, dressed in black and carrying a knife, or walking up to an ex-girlfriend at her job and stating an intent to kill her, are not offenses which individually constitute crimes in the State of Indiana. Therefore, absent a protective order, if someone were to report such conduct to the police, no legal recourse would be available. However, were such threatening acts to occur in the face of an active protective order prohibiting all contact, abuse and harassment, then law enforcement officers would be able to make an arrest.
If a divorce is pending, the application for the protective order should be applied for by the petitioner, and evaluated by the judge, in the court in which the divorce is pending.
Protective orders are cost-free to anyone who is a victim of domestic or family violence, stalking or a sex offense. Because this is a civil proceeding, the Prosecutor's Office is not involved in the issuance of such orders. Rather, a person must go to Randolph County Clerk's office, where he or she will fill out the paperwork to be review and ruled on by a judge.
For the judge to approve a protective order, the petitioner must allege that the respondent has attempted to cause, threatened to cause or is causing physical harm to the petitioner, or that the respondent is actually placing the petitioner in fear of physical harm.
The federal Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA) became law in 1986. Title III of these SARA provisions is also known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). SARA Title III requires states to:
- Promote outreach for developing local emergency preparedness programs to respond to chemical releases.
- Receive reports from the regulated community.
- Organize, analyze and disseminate the resulting information on hazardous chemicals to local governments and the public.
Specifically, this has required the establishment of state emergency response commissions and local emergency planning committees.
The nationwide regulated community of manufacturers and non-manufacturers of hazardous chemicals must report concerning their emergency chemical releases; their Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS); their facility hazardous chemical inventories (Tier I and Tier II reports); and their toxic chemical releases to the air, land or water (Toxics Release Inventory).
Because of this activity, businesses have reassessed their chemical inventories and their manufacturing processes. In addition, more businesses are working cooperatively with local governments to plan for and try to prevent an accidental chemical release.
Businesses are also pursuing waste minimization and pollution prevention programs and realizing monetary savings.