FAQs

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Custodial Party FAQs
Non-Custodial Party FAQs
What steps do I need to follow to obtain a Full-Time or Part-Time Food Permit?
Print this Plan Review Application Packet and fill it out. Feel free to call with questions. Instructions are provided within the packet. See also:
  • Criteria for Newly Constructed or Renovated Establishments
  • Certified Food Handler FAQ
  • Certified Food Handler Training Classes
My ex is expecting a tax refund. Will I get that money, and when?
  • We’re sorry, but we probably don’t know, and we would not be permitted to disclose that information to you even if we did know. Federal tax information is protected by a very high level of security, and we are absolutely not permitted to discuss it with anyone other than the taxpayer.
  • What we can tell you is that, if the non-custodial parent owes past-due child support and is eligible for tax interception, we have requested the interception of State and Federal tax refunds. However, there are a number of reasons why our request may not be honored. For example, if the non-custodial owes back taxes, the tax refund will be applied to that debt first. If the non-custodial parent has another child support obligation, the refund may be applied to that case instead of yours. If you were (or are) receiving TANF benefits and the State has not been reimbursed for those benefits, the federal tax refund will be applied first to any amount owed to the State.
How do I get out of your program?
  • Only custodial parents who are receiving TANF or Medicaid benefits for themselves and their child(ren) are required to participate in the Title IV-D Program. If you received TANF benefits in the past and the State has not been reimbursed for those benefits, your case will remain open in the Title IV-D office until the State is repaid. So long as your case remains open, you are required to cooperate with our efforts to collect current and past-due child support.
  • In all other cases, however, participation in the Title IV-D Program is voluntary. If you would like to withdraw from the program and are eligible to do so, please send us a written request.
The other parent owes me a lot of past-due child support, and I know I will never see it. Can I just write that off, so he/she will quit giving me a hard time about it?
No. In Indiana, parents cannot make deals between themselves regarding child support. Only a court can decide how much child support is owed. Even a court normally cannot write off or modify the amount of past-due child support that is owed. The reason for this rule is that the right to receive support belongs to the child, not to the custodial parent, and it is not in the child’s best interest to let the non-custodial parent out of his or her current or past support obligation.
The other parent got a new job and is making a lot more money. Why aren’t I getting more child support?
A person’s child support obligation does not automatically increase or decrease when that person’s (or the other parent’s) income changes. If you wish to look into changing the amount of support the non-custodial parent is ordered to pay, please see our web page about modifying your child support.
The other parent lives in another state. Can you help me get child support?
Probably. Please see our web page about interstate cases.
Why can’t you find my ex?
Our office has access to information at local, state-wide, and national levels. That information includes prison and jail records; addresses; employment and wage reports; etc. However, it is still possible for a person to evade our search. Often the custodial parent is our best source of leads in locating someone. We welcome and appreciate any information you can provide.
I keep going to court and nothing ever happens. Why can’t you just throw the other parent in jail?
The Title IV-D Program has no authority to incarcerate someone. Only a court can do that. You have the right to attend every court hearing and speak to the court. You can make recommendations about appropriate sanctions for contempt, including a request that the non-custodial parent be incarcerated. We will also attend every court hearing and make our recommendations. Ultimately, however, it is up to the court alone to decide how to handle each case.
You sanctioned my TANF benefits. How do I get them back?
If we sanctioned your TANF or Medicaid benefits, it is because you failed to turn in required paperwork by the deadline, attend a court hearing, or provide us with information that we need to administer your child support case. We will explain what information or assistance we need from you. As soon as you cooperate with our request, we will ask that your benefits be restored.
How long does it take to get child support?
  • The answer to that question depends on a large number of factors, many of which our office has no control over, so we will provide just some very general answers here.
  • If a child support order has already been issued by a court in Morgan County, and you know where the other parent works, we should be able to get child support withheld from the other parent’s paycheck and sent to you.
  • If a court hearing has to be requested by our office for whatever reason, the hearings are based on the court schedule not our office.
  • There are lots of reasons why the process can take much longer s, including: the non-custodial parent’s whereabouts are unknown; the non-custodial parent resides in another state, is in the military, or is incarcerated; the non-custodial parent avoids service of summons or fails to appear at the court hearing; the non-custodial parent is unemployed, disabled, or works for cash under the table.
Why do I have to submit all my questions to your office in writing?
The short answer is: (1.) to protect your privacy, and (2.) to provide the highest level of customer service with the limited resources that we have. First, we need to make sure that we provide information only to the person who has the right to receive it. By requiring that you make your request in writing and provide proof of identity, we can be certain that we are communicating only with you. Second, we administer approximately 3,200 child support cases.

Although we do not provide case-specific information over the phone, you can discuss your case in person with a customer service representative by stopping by our office during regular business hours. You do not need an appointment.
If I need an attorney but can not afford one, what can I do?
For a criminal case, please contact the court your case is filed in and speak to the court staff. For civil issues, the Morgan County Legal Aid Clinic meets the first and third Monday of each month. Meetings take place in the County Courthouse, 2nd floor in the Superior Court 3 jury room. For divorce case, please obtain the paperwork from the clerks office on the 1st floor and bring with you.
How can I file charges against someone?
Criminal charges should begin with an investigation by a police agency. Our office can assist persons in determining the appropriate agency to make a report.
If I initially called the police but now do not want to pursue charges what can I do?
Once a person contacts a police agency regarding the commission of the crime, and causes another person to be arrested and charged, the decision to pursue the case is decided by the Morgan County Prosecutor’s Office. Our office policy is that once a person is charged, they are prosecuted, regardless of whether the victim has changed his/her mind.
How can I find out the status of a case?
Your best source of information regarding Court dates is the Court itself. Court schedules are created by the Court staff, and are subject to change; the Court possesses the most current information on its own calendar. Or go to mycase.in.gov
Can I talk to the Prosecutor about my case?
That depends. Are you a victim or a defendant? If you are the defendant, and you are represented by an attorney, Prosecuting attorneys are ethically forbidden to speak with defendants about their cases. If you are representing yourself and you have been advised of your right to proceed without an attorney then we may be able to speak with you about your case. If you are a victim, you are entitled to, and should be able to speak to the Prosecuting Attorney handling the case. If you need to speak to someone right away, you may want to first contact the victim assistant coordinator. Please note that Prosecutors have many cases to handle and are often in court and unavailable.
Can I get a Prosecutor’s explanation of a law or get legal advice from a Prosecutor?
The office of the Prosecuting Attorney will give legal advice on criminal matters to police agencies. Although the Prosecuting Attorney can give general advice on whether certain facts would constitute the commission of a crime, our office is generally reluctant to do so on individual cases to private citizens. Often people seeking a favorable opinion will give a distorted version of the facts; a full investigation by a police agency may reveal grounds for prosecution, which were not disclosed to our office. In addition, no opinion given can be construed as immunity from prosecution. The Morgan County Prosecutor’s Office will not give legal advice on civil matters; all civil legal questions should be referred to a competent private attorney.
What is a warrant?
A warrant is an order signed by a Judge authorizing the police to arrest a person believed to have committed a crime.
What happens after a person (the defendant) has been arrested?
The defendant is brought before the court for an initial hearing. The court will advise the defendant of the charges against him/her and their rights. Normally, the Judge automatically enters a plea of “not guilty.” A bond may or may not be set. The court will advise the defendant about the right to have an attorney represent him/her and if the defendant requests an appointed attorney, the court will make a determination about the defendant’s ability to pay for an attorney. Finally, the court will set and provide the defendant with future court hearing dates.
What is a pre-trial conference and do I need to attend?
A pre-trial conference is held to determine if there are any motions which need to be ruled on; make sure the prosecutor and the defense attorney have exchanged appropriate documents; and basically make sure that everyone is on track for the trial. Many times pre-trial conferences are handled informally, however, some Judges require a formal pre-trial conference at which the defendant is required to appear. The victim does not need to appear.
What is the difference between a bench trial and a jury trial?
A bench trial is a trial before a Judge without a jury. A jury trial is a trial before a Judge with a jury consisting of either six or twelve jurors (with alternates).
What is a subpoena?
A subpoena is a court order, which instructs the recipient to appear in court at a designated date and time.
What happens if I ignore the subpoena and/or otherwise fail to appear in court as ordered?
The court may issue a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear.
Why do I have to testify . . . this is really inconvenient for me . . . do I get paid?
Witnesses to crimes are required to appear personally in Court to tell what happened. Although it may be inconvenient, the cornerstone of a free society is the willingness of persons to appear in Court so that the truth about a crime can be known. Witnesses are generally not compensated for lost wages or other incidental expenses involved in testifying.
Can I be present in the courtroom during the trial?
Only if there is no “separation of witness order.” Usually witnesses are not allowed to be in the courtroom until after they have finished testifying. You should ask the prosecutor handling your case if a separation order has been filed.
How will I know if the trial date has changed?
We will attempt to notify you as soon as we become aware of any changes. However, your subpoena provides you with a contact person and telephone number to call the day before you are scheduled to appear in court. At that time you will be informed if the trial date has changed.
What happens if someone tries to intimidate me to drop the charges and/or not testify?
Intimidating, threatening and/or harassing a state’s witness is a criminal offense. You should immediately contact the police officer or detective in charge of your case. An arrest warrant may be issued and the defendant’s bail could be revoked. The defendant would then remain incarcerated until the trial is held.
What if the defendant’s attorney or some other individual acting on behalf of the defendant contacts me about the case?
These individuals have the right to contact you; however, you also have the right not to talk with them. We request that you contact the prosecutor handling your case prior to talking with anyone acting on behalf of the defendant. We prefer that you only do so in our presence. You should also always ask for identification from the individual(s) wanting to talk to you.
What happens if the defendant either pleads guilty or is found guilty by a judge or jury?
The case will be set for sentencing, usually about thirty days from the date of the guilty plea or trial. In misdemeanor cases the sentencing may be the same day as the guilty plea or trial. If it is a felony, the defendant will sometimes waive the thirty day period. During this time the probation department will prepare a Pre-Sentence Investigation Report (PSI Report). The probation officer assigned to the case should contact all victims and ask for their input and feelings about the defendant.
What can Victim Assistance do for me?
Our Victim Assistance Division can make referrals, provide victims with support, referrals and guidance and most importantly keep you updated on the progress of your case as it is going through the court system.
How do I get a protective order?
Contact our Victim Assistance Division for the paperwork and forms. We can help determine if you qualify for a protective order. Indiana law specifies protective orders are to be used only for victims of domestic violence, stalking, sex offenses, or workplace violence situations.
How much does a protective order cost?
There is no fee for a protective order.
If I get a protective order and want to drop it later, can I?
The Court who issued the order must decide whether to allow the order to be dropped. You should contact the appropriate court and they will provide you with the necessary directions.
Where can I get a protective order packet?
You can pick up a packet at the Morgan Co. Clerk’s Office located inside the Courthouse at 10 E. Washington Street, Martinsville (on the square) or you can go to the Indiana Courts website.
What is restitution?
Restitution is something the court can order the defendant to pay to the victim for certain expenses related to the crime.
What expenses can be reimbursed?
The court may consider property damages, medical and hospital expenses, lost earnings and funeral, burial or cremation costs. Since the court decides whether or not to order restitution, if you have insurance coverage, you may want to submit your claim for any losses to your provider and then provide documentation on any uninsured expenses.
Do I need documentation to obtain restitution, and if so what do I need?
You should provide documentation, such as copies of receipts or an estimate of repairs, to obtain restitution.
How do I request restitution?
You should send your restitution information to our victim assistance coordinator as soon as possible. The information must be received prior to sentencing.
What happens after restitution is ordered?
Each case may be handled differently. If restitution is ordered you can ask the victim assistant coordinator when and how you will receive your restitution.
I have medical bills resulting from a crime. How can I get help?
Victim Assistance can help you apply for Violent Crimes Compensation if you qualify. This is a state fund to help victims of crime with medical or funeral expenses.
If I am a victim in a criminal case how will I know when there are court dates?
Our Victim Assistant Coordinator will keep you notified of court dates. It is important that you inform us of your desire to be notified and anytime you change your address or phone number.
What is a victim impact statement?
As an Indiana crime victim, you have a right to make an oral or written statement to the court prior to sentencing. The statement can allow you to convey how the crime has affected you emotionally, physically, and financially. You can also convey to the court what type of punishment you think is appropriate for the crime.
When should I submit my victim impact statement?
Any written statement must be received prior to the sentencing date. If you wish to be present at the hearing to make an oral statement, please contact our victim assistant coordinator so that the prosecutor assigned to your case is aware of your desire to make an oral statement.
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