Friday, May 2, 2008

Trial Rule 60.5, Procedure for Mandate of Funds

The courts, as the third branch of government, are dependent upon the legislative branch for funding. If the legislative body fails in its duty to provide adequate funding, then the court through a mandate can require the legislative body to do so. A mandate is not immediately effective. There are safeguards in place. The mandate must first be approved at a trial by a special judge. The special judges' order must then be reviewed and approved the Supreme Court before the mandate take effect. The Indiana Supreme Court has provided the procedures for a mandate action in Trial Rule 60.5. Mandate of funds:

(A) Scope of mandate Courts shall limit their requests for funds to those which are reasonably necessary for the operation of the court or court-related functions. Mandate will not lie for extravagant, arbitrary or unwarranted expenditures nor for personal expenditures ( e.g., personal telephone bills, bar association memberships, disciplinary fees).

(B) Procedure Whenever a court, except the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals, desires to order either a municipality, a political subdivision of the state, or an officer of either to appropriate or to pay unappropriated funds for the operation of the court or court-related functions, such court shall issue and cause to be served upon such municipality, political subdivision or officer an order to show cause why such appropriation or payment should not be made. Such order to show cause shall be captioned "Order for Mandate of Funds". The matter shall be set for trial on the merits of such order to show cause unless the legislative body, the chief executive officer or the affected officer files a waiver in writing of such a trial and agrees to make such appropriation or payment.

Unless expressly waived by the respondent in writing within thirty (30) days after the entering of the trial judge's decree, a decree or order mandating the payment of funds for the operation of the court or court-related functions shall be automatically reviewed by the Supreme Court. Promptly on expiration of such thirty (30) day period, the trial judge shall certify such decree together with either a stipulation of facts or an electronic transcription of the evidence to the Supreme Court. No motion to correct error nor notice of appeal shall be filed.

No mandate order for appropriation or payment of funds made by any court other than the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals shall be effective unless it is entered after trial as herein provided and until the order has been reviewed by the Supreme Court or such review is expressly waived as herein provided.

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