The Marion County Small Claims Court system has been in existence for decades. The Franklin Township division was established in 1994. Marion County Small Claims Courts were established to provide a forum for litigants to present their cases without an attorney. However the vast majority of cases have an attorney on at least one side of the case, Plaintiff or Defendant. Attorney’s are certainly allowed to practice in the system but are not required. The Small Claims Courts have (with exceptions) concurrent jurisdiction with the Marion County Circuit Court; however, Small Claims Court judgments must be limited to $8000.00 or less (exclusive of attorney fees, interest and court costs.)
The Franklin Township Division of the Marion County Small Claims Courts allows citizens to bring a lawsuit in an informal manner. The procedures are not complex and were created to provide speedy, inexpensive and an uncomplicated means of resolving disputes, claims and counter claims. In the Franklin Township Small Claims Court, typical cases involve, but are not limited to, auto accidents, property damage, landlord/tenant disputes and the collection of personal and business debts. Court staff is available to answer questions about court procedure, practice and policy. Court staff CANNOT provide legal advice. Corporations and LLC’s must appear with counsel on claims in excess of $1500.00. Those under $1500.00 require a resolution that can be provided by staff.
EXAMPLES OF CLAIMS THAT CAN BE FILED:
(a) Personal injury. (b) Damage to personal property or real estate. (c) Landlord/tenant disputes. (d) Money owed (bad checks, wages, services rendered, accounts receivable, etc. (e) Return of wrongfully taken property. (f) Emergency possessory actions between a landlord and tenant. (g) Contract disputes.
INFORMATION NEEDED TO FILE YOUR CLAIM:
Names, addresses and phone numbers of all parties, a description of the facts upon which the claim is based, the amount claimed and the $101.00 filing fee. Additional court costs may be assessed in certain cases and situations. No personal checks can be accepted. Cash, Cashier’s checks and money orders are accepted. Cashier’s checks and money orders should be made payable to the Franklin Township Small Claims Court.
Presiding Judge of Franklin Township Small Claims Court
Judge Kitley lives with his wife of 34 years, Donna, on the farm on which he was born. They have three children. Oldest son, John, is a Firefighter/EMT on IFD, daughter, Jessica, a teacher, and youngest son, Weston, a Medical Student at I.U. School of Medicine. Judge Kitley was an Honors graduate from the I.U. School of Law in 1983 and passed the bar exam prior to graduation. He began his judicial career as a Pro Tem in Superior Court (criminal and traffic) and in 1994 was elected to his current Judicial position. At the expiration of his present term he will have provided 24 years of service to our Court.
Judge Kitley has receive (2) American Jurisprudence Awards, graduated cum laude from I.U. Law School, was a member of the Indiana Trial Lawyer Association, is a member of the Indiana Bar Association, was elected to Who’s Who in American Universities, is admitted to practice in Indiana Supreme Court, Indiana Court of Appeals, United States District Court and United State 7th Circuit Court, Judge Kitley has an “exemplary rating” among his peers which is the highest that can be achieved. With limited exception, Judge Kitley has concurrent jurisdiction with Marion County Superior and Circuit Courts; however presently, the current jurisdictional cap is eight thousand dollars. By legislative action this year, Judge Kitley believes that the current cap will be increasing. Judge Kitley presides over all types of civil cases and is committed to treating litigants with fairness, civility and respect. He demands that all litigants (attorney and non-attorney) conduct themselves with civility and respect for one another.
Constable Jeff Duhamell
As the elected Constable of Franklin Township Small Claims Court, it is my duty to insure the service of civil claims, civil rights and body attachments issued by the courts. I have a staff of Deputy Constables who assist with the service of the civil claims as well as an acting bailiff during court proceedings. The Franklin Township Constable’s has implemented electronic mailing to improve tracking civil papers served. In addition, my office utilizes computerized tracking of all service rendered by each Deputy Constable.
I have worked as an IMPD Lieutenant for the past 33 years and have held the positions in Narcotic Investigations, Media Relations, Sex Crimes Investigator, SWAT Supervisor, Grand Jury Investigator Fire Arms Training Command as well as other Law Enforcement duties.
As the Constable of Franklin Township it’s my pleasure to serve the community. It is our goal to ensure the efficiency of the civil process is completed in a courteous and professional manner.