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Circuit Court Probate Division Rules Table of Contents



    The Court shall schedule a structuring conference for each contested case entered on the docket. The structuring conference shall occur between sixty (60) and one hundred twenty (120) days after the Return Day or at such other time as the Court may order.

    The Pro Se Party or Attorney shall attend the structuring conference and shall be prepared and authorized to discuss the issues and set schedules for discovery and other case preparation, including additional conferences with the Court, Alternative Dispute Resolution, settlement or trial.

    Ten (10) days prior to the structuring conference all Pro Se Parties or Attorneys shall file summary statements necessary to support their respective claims, defenses or counterclaims. This summary statement shall be comprehensive and made in good faith, but shall not be admissible at trial. The purpose of this summary statement is to apprise the court of the nature of the claims, defenses, and legal issues likely to arise.

    At or immediately after the structuring conference, the Court shall issue a structuring conference order which may include discovery deadlines and dates for an additional conference with the Court, filing of pretrial statements, filing of Motions, filing of requests for findings of fact, rulings of law and memoranda of law, trial management conference, and trial.

    If a pretrial statement is ordered it shall include, by numbered paragraphs, a detailed, comprehensive, and good faith statement, setting forth, if applicable:

        1. Uncontested issues of fact.

        2. Contested issues of fact.

        3. Applicable law.

        4. Disputed issues of law.

        5. Specific claims, objections or position of the contestant.

        6. Specific defenses.

        7. A list of all exhibits to be offered in the case of each Party. The Pro Se Parties or Attorneys shall bring all exhibits or exact copies to the pretrial conference.

        8. A list of all depositions to be read into evidence.

        9. A waiver of claims, denials or objections.

        10. A list of the names and addresses of all witnesses who may be called.

        11. Whether there will be a request for a view and, if so, who shall pay the cost in the first instance.

        12. The names and addresses of the trial Attorneys.

    Except for good cause shown, only witnesses listed in the pretrial statement will be allowed to testify and only exhibits, so listed, will be received in evidence.

    In every case scheduled for trial, the Court may schedule such pretrial conferences as it deems necessary, at which counsel shall have their clients present or available for contact by telephone and shall be prepared to discuss and effectuate settlement and, if necessary, conduct of the trial.

    Failure to comply with this Rule shall constitute grounds for sanctions, in the discretion of the Court.

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Circuit Court Probate Division Rules Table of Contents