LaPorte County Superior Court 1

Kathleen B. Lang

Michael S. Bergerson, Judge
300 Washington Street
Michigan City, IN 46360
Phone: 219-809-0517
Fax: 219-873-3021

Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM (unavailable 12:00PM - 1:00PM for lunch)


Staff

Jill E. Krachinski
Court Administrator
Extension: 7710 E-mail: jkrachinski@laportecounty.org

Sylvia M. Papineau
Court Reporter
Extension: 7712 E-mail: spapineau@laportecounty.org

Angela M. Pearce
Bailiff/Paralegal
Extension: 7711 E-mail: apearce@laportecounty.org


Court Schedule

Monday:
Jury Trial. If there are no jury trials scheduled, any type of case can be scheduled and heard.

Tuesday:
Initial hearings for criminal cases starting at 8:30AM by video conference

Wednesday:
Jury Trial. If there are no jury trials scheduled, any type of case can be scheduled and heard.

Thursday:
Criminal call from 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM. If there is no jury trial scheduled, any type of case can be scheduled and heard in the afternoon.

Friday:
If there is no jury trial scheduled, any type of case can be scheduled and heard.


Court Procedures

  • The Court retains all original filings. As well as the original and one copy of all orders. Envelopes must be provided for return copies and for all service copies unless the submitting party is affecting service. Service by the Sheriff’s Office, requires three (3) additional copies of everything to be served.
  • Fillings, Proposed Orders, Briefs and Memorandums of Law should be submitted to the Court by filing a hard copy or by e-mailing the Court Administrator, Jill Krachinski at jkrachinski@laportecounty.org
  • If the Judge's signature is required on any submission, please flag all pages requiring a signature (except the CCS).
  • If a hearing is required or requested, you must contact the Court for available dates and times. Then you can coordinate the hearing with opposing counsel.
  • Participation in any court proceeding May be done telephonically only with prior approval by the Court.
  • If a court filing schedules or cancels a hearing date, the CCS should reflect the hearing date/time or that the hearing was vacated. (For example: a Final Decree that negates a final hearing date; a Settlement agreement, etc.)
  • All exhibits must be shown to opposing counsel/parties prior to the start of a hearing/trial. If more than ten (10) exhibits are to be submitted in a hearing/trial, an Exhibit List is to be filed with the Court and opposing counsel prior to the hearing/trial.
  • “Hallway” hearings such as Rule to Show Cause and Proceedings Supplemental not requiring court time must be documented the day of the hearing (appearances, dispositions, etc.), other paperwork may be filed at a later date.
  • A Motion to Continue is required for any hearing being removed from the Court’s calendar that has not settled or reached an agreement. It should be noted on the Motion whether or not opposing counsel/parties agree to the continuance.

Criminal

Criminal cases are heard on Thursday mornings from 8:30 AM until 12:00 PM.

Initial hearings for defendants in custody will be held on Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m., by way of video conferencing. Initial hearings for defendants not in custody typically will take place on Thursdays during the regularly scheduled Criminal Call.

For questions on criminal matter including scheduling please contact the Bailiff, Angela Pearce at extension 219-874-5611 ext: 7711 or preferably by e-mail at apearce@laportecounty.org

Adding/Continuing a case for Thursday Criminal Call, Counsel should contact the Bailiff for the next available date and submit a minute sheet no later than noon on the preceding Tuesday. The minute sheet must reflect that opposing counsel has been contacted and does not object to the case being continued. If an addition/continuance is requested after noon on Tuesday, a Motion must be filed and approved by the Court. A proposed form of order must indicate that opposing counsel has been contacted and does not object.

Attorney Mailboxes are encouraged to be checked prior to criminal call for pertinent filings.

Bond Reduction Requests must be made in open court or by a Motion. If a written Motion is filed, a copy of the Motion must be included for the Probation Department. A minimum of 2 weeks is required for completion of the investigation. Typically, a bond investigation needs to be completed prior to a reduction/adjustment will be granted.

Transport Orders are the responsibility of the Defendant's attorney to provide, if needed.

Only the Court can waive the appearance of a defendant for a scheduled court hearing.

On request of the Court, a defendant seeking a Public Defender must complete this form.


Family Law

A Pre-Trial Statement of Facts & Issues must be filed with the Court and opposing counsel/party one week prior to final dissolution of marriage hearings. This form must be filled out completely with supporting documents attached.

If the Judge's signature is required on any submission, please flag all pages requiring a signature (except the CCS).

For any hearing involving child support, a Child Support Obligation Worksheet must be filed with the Court. The worksheet must be filled out completely and signed by parties. Electronically produced Worksheets are preferred. Any Petitions for Modification of Child Support must include a Child Support obligation Worksheet and supporting documents as to income for at least the past 4 months, if available.

If an agreement, a Dissolution Decree, or any other Order cancels or schedules a hearing date, it should be noted on the CCS upon filing.

For Pro Se documents and forms, please visit http://www.in.gov/judiciary/selfservice/ For additional assistance please contact the Family Court Project Coordinator, Rebecca Spevak at 219-326-6808 ext. 2651 or by e-mail: rspevak@laportecounty.org. Please note: her office is located in the LaPorte Courthouse, 813 Lincolnway Suite 301, LaPorte IN 46350.


Miscellaneous

The following can be submitted to the Court electronically. If a secondary hearing becomes primary, it is expected that it will take place. If the parties wish to continue or vacate the hearing, a Motion along with a Proposed Order are required.


Motions for Summary Judgment
Motions to Dismiss
Findings of Fact
Conclusions of Law


Transcripts

To request a transcript, you must contact the Official Court Reporter, Sylvia Papineau at 219-874-5611 ext. 7712 or by e-mail at spapineau@laportecounty.org. You will need to have the person’s name (and/or caption), cause number, date of hearing requested, and a contact number for yourself. Please contact the Official Court Reporter for the cost per page.


Jury Trial Preparations

Criminal Trials

Proposed final instructions are due no later than 10 days before trial, by 4:00 p.m., submitted by email to apearce@laportecounty.org or on a compact disc (CD) compatible with Microsoft Office Word. Instructions (other than pattern) submitted to the Court by the parties shall have copies of any law which counsel is relying upon attached to the proposed instruction, with appropriate section highlighted. Each side is initially limited to ten (10) proposed final instructions.

Civil Trials

Proposed preliminary and final instructions are due on or before the Pre-Trial Conference date. Also to be included are: Issue Instructions that concisely frames the issues before the Court, as agreed upon by the parties, and each party’s proposed Verdict Form(s). Parties are to provide the Court with an additional copy of instructions submitted by e-mail apearce@laportecounty.org or jkrachinski@laportecounty.org or on a compact disc (CD) compatible with Microsoft Office Word. Instructions (other than pattern) submitted to the Court by the parties shall have copies of any law which counsel is relying upon attached to the proposed instruction, with appropriate section highlighted. Each side is initially limited to ten (10) proposed final instructions.

General Information Regarding Jury Service

LaPorte Superior Court #1 is located in Michigan City, Indiana on the 2nd floor of the Courthouse located at 300 Washington Street. The courthouse sits between two (2) Michigan City landmarks–the Michigan City Post Office and the Library.

Directions To The Courthouse
Via Highway 35 (Michigan Blvd.): Turn left on 4th Street, go past two (2) stop signs; the courthouse parking lot is on the right-hand side after the library.
Via Highway 421: 421 becomes Franklin Street; follow Franklin Street through the downtown area where it dead-ends at 4th Street; turn left on 4th Street; the courthouse parking lot is on the right-hand side after the library.

Parking: If space remains, you may park in the courthouse parking lot in areas not designated with “reserved”, which are reserved for courthouse employees. DO NOT PARK IN THE POST OFFICE PARKING LOT; your car may be towed. You may park on Washington Street in front of the post office, on 4th Street, or in the News-Dispatch’s parking lot. Handicapped parking is available directly in front of the courthouse on Washington Street.

Security: You will be required to go through a metal detector upon entering the Courthouse. Cell phones, pagers, electronic devices, etc. are NOT allowed in the Courthouse.

Physical Accommodations: Enter the courthouse via the Washington Street entrance. An elevator is available on the first floor–down the main hallway and to the right.

Time Commitment: The selection of the jury normally is completed within the first day. Our jury trials can last anywhere from two (2) to ten (10) days. Generally speaking, court is in session from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., with a one (1) hour break for lunch. You will be allowed to return to your homes each evening, unless sequestered.

Pay: You will receive $15.00 a day plus .44 cents per mile if you are not chosen as a juror. If you are chosen to serve as a juror, you will receive $40.00 per day plus .44 cents per mile.

Meals: You will receive a per diem of $5.15 per day of jury service for lunch expenses.