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Civil Filing

The most common Civil Cases are Court Business (CB), Civil Tort (CT), Civil Plenary (CP), Mortgage Foreclosure (MF), Miscellaneous Civil (MI), Civil Plenary (PL), Protective Orders (PO), and Expungements (XP).

Civil Tort cases are usually those involving an allegation of injury to another including motor vehicle accidents, dangerous property, defective equipment, fraud, intentional acts, malpractice, slander, toxic substances, etc.  Civil Plenary cases are usually those based on contracts including buyer and seller disputes involving goods and services, employment contracts, rental/lease agreements, and real estate matters including eminent domain, condemnation, and title disputes.

Specialized License and Waiver of BMV fees cases are usually filed in Superior Court and Civil Name change cases are usually filed in circuit court.

Filing fees for Civil cases are as follows, subject to change annually on July 1:

  • $156.00 Initial Fee (one defendant)
  • $156.00 Initial fee plus $50.00 for mortgage foreclosure cases
  • $156.00 Initial Fee Civil Name Changes (plus fees the newspaper charges to publish, for 3 weeks)
  • $156.00 Initial Fee for Foreign Judgment Collection case (file as a miscellaneous case, MI)
  • $10.00 for each additional defendant
  • $25.00 sheriff service (one- time fee, first sheriff service before judgment)
  • $25.00 post judgment sheriff service (one-time fee, for first sheriff service after judgment)
  • $3.00 Recording a Foreign Judgment (file as a court business case, CB)

Service by Sheriff or Certified Mail

As of May 5, 2017, service of process is the responsibility of the filer.

To serve by Sheriff, hand-deliver or mail one original and three copies to the Sheriff of the county where the party is to be served.  For the Vanderburgh County Sheriff only, there is also a drop off location within the Clerk’s Office. For out-of-state Sheriff Service, you must contact the Sheriff’s Department of the county you will be serving the defendant in to determine their local cost for this service, as well as their full mailing address.

To serve by certified mail, the domestic return receipt (green card) must have the correct cause number listed along with the clerk's return address (Vanderburgh County Clerk, P.O. Box 3356, Evansville, IN 47732), so the clerk can enter the proper return of service information into the court system.  For more information regarding how to use certified mail (rates, supplies, instructions, etc.), contact the United States Postal Service. 

OTHER SERVICES

The requester is responsible for filing the certificate of service (proof of service) with the court. 

Appearance Forms: Appearance forms are to be provided in every lawsuit and must contain the attorney’s identification number, email address, a designation of the type of case filed and name of the party they represent. 

Complaint/Petition Forms: Petition forms are to be provided in every lawsuit.

Summons Forms: Summons forms are to be provided in every lawsuit and served to the defendant(s)/respondent(s) party on the case.

Self-Service Legal Center (Pro Se Litigants – no attorney representing)

Pro Se Litigants can go to http://www.in.gov/judiciary/selfservice/2333.htm for blank court forms for your use and help with getting you prepared for court.  Not all forms are listed on this website, if you cannot find the appropriate forms for your case, you may want to contact an attorney or go to the Getting Legal Help section on this website.

Self-Service Legal Center offers the following services:

  • Representing yourself in court (what you need to know)
  • Getting Legal Help (find an attorney)
  • Alternatives to court (Mediation)
  • Court Forms (with instructions)
  • Protective Order (Resources for requesting an order and getting shelter)
  • Legal Research (links to laws, rules, procedures and other online resources)