EHB 1158 does several things, but the only one I am concerned with at the moment is the amendment to IC 33-37-5-15. It states:
The sheriff shall collect a service of process fee of thirteen dollars ($13) from a party requesting service of a writ, an order, a process, a notice, a tax warrant, or any other paper completed by the sheriff.
The first thing this is going to do is to cost courts a lot more in the form of certified mail costs. IC 33-37-3-6 provides:
Court costs fees under this chapter include service of process by certified mail, unless service by the sheriff is requested by the person who institutes the action.
So, as a plaintiff’s attorney, it is in my client’s best interest for me to serve by certified mail anything that is able to be served that way.
The next thing it is going to do is raise the question of whether a plaintiff is the “requesting party” when a court finds a defendant in contempt of court for failing to appear for a hearing by virtue of the fact that it was the plaintiff that requested the defendant’s appearance. My guess is that the answer is “yes” and, consequently, there will be fewer consequences for failing to obey a court’s order to appear because it will be too expensive for plaintiffs requesting a defendant’s appearance.
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