Doxpop - Tools for Attorneys and Public Information Researchers: Reading An Indiana Cause Number

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Reading An Indiana Cause Number

Have you ever wondered where the numbers come from for an Indiana Cause Number? Allow us to break it down for you:

For example: 89C02-0512-IF-00016

89 is the county number (Wayne County)
C02 is the court in which the case is filed (Circuit 2)
05 is the year the case is filed (2005)
12 is the month the case is filed (December)
IF is the case type (Infraction) View a list of case type abbreviations here.
00016 is the annual sequence number. This is the 16th infraction cased of the year in Wayne County.

The annual sequence number is five digits with or without leading zeros. Some counties "pad" this number with leading zeros to make it exactly 5 digits long (see example above), while other counties leave out the leading zeros. (89C01-0512-IF-16)

When searching using Doxpop, adding the percent sign (wild card) in front of the annual sequence number ensures you a successful search result. (89C02-0512-IF-%16)


Ray Ontko said...

This format is mandated by Indiana Supreme Court Administrative Rule 8.

Anonymous said...

Is it normal to give each charge in a case its own cause number? If so, why or why not?

Nick Fankhauser said...
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Nick Fankhauser said...

The administrative rules specify that all charges connected with a single incident or arrest go on a single case. We don't know the principle behind this, but the rules of procedure are clear on the point.

This is outlined in Administrative Rule 1(B)(4)(b), which says in part: "Criminal Cases and Infractions. The clerk shall assign one case number to each defendant charged with one or more criminal offenses or infractions arising out of the same incident, or multiple incidents occurring on the same date, to be tried as one case, regardless of the number of counts or citations charged against the defendant..."

The complete rule can be found near the top of this page:

Anonymous said...

I have a case tried in 2000. i was found guilty. There were 3 charges, they gave each charge its own cause number so now it looks like i comitted 3 seprate crimes.
What can i do?

Nick Fankhauser said...

We can point you to the rules, but can't offer legal advice. The best advice we can offer is to consult an attorney.

As a general note, companies compiling employment screening checks are careful to note charges individually, so if you do manage to get these combined into a single case, it will still be clear that you were convicted of three distinct charges.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your time.
These were sex offences so because of the way they were filed i will have to register for life. This was recently brought to my attention and because of a heart condition it makes me sick.

Not me said...

What would this number mean in place of a cause # Case Number 02-T-04440

Not me said...

Forgot to notify myself

Nick Fankhauser said...

That's certainly not a valid case number for a current case, so if this is a case that was created within the last 20 years, it's simply not a case. It may be that someone was (is) using the case tracking system to track something other than cases. (Like for instance, a tax warrant.)

If this is for a very old case, it may be a number from the days prior to the adoption of the uniform numbering system. For some counties, we have history that goes back nearly 40 years, so people occasionally come across old case numbers.

If you'd like one of us to take a closer look, just give us a call at 866-369-7671 or email with some specifics on how to locate the record. We're happy to help.

Unknown said...

If the cause number is the same on two charges can the sentence for these run consecutive? People are advising me that they should run concurrent? Any ideas or law on this?

Nick Fankhauser said...

That's a question you'd need to consult an attorney on for an authoritative answer. We are not attorneys and can't provide legal advice.

I will note that I've seen sentencing orders that specify whether sentences are to run consecutively or concurrently, so from a common-sense standpoint, that suggest that in some cases, the court must have some room to decide. (If not, there would be no need to specify.)

Anonymous said...

Where would I find the cause number

Nick Fankhauser said...

The cause number is also known as the case number. It is a unique identifier for a court case in Indiana, and should appear on all documents for the case it identifies.