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Appellate court rules in judge's favor

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Trial courts don’t have the authority to issue orders against other courts and judges mandating that they stop certain practices, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.

In Toshiano Ishii, Matthew Stone, Greg Hardin, Lisa Hardin, et al. v. The Hon. William E. Young, Judge, No. 49A02-1103-PL-316, the appellate court affirmed a motion to dismiss that Special Judge Matthew Hanson from Morgan County granted in favor of Marion Superior Judge William Young.

Hanson had been appointed to hear the case involving six individuals who alleged they were on the receiving end of Young’s improper traffic court practices, which included threatening additional fines on them if they exercised their right to a trial in his court. Those litigants sued Young, but only sought relief for future cases and not their specific situations. They requested that Hanson prohibit Young from improperly fining people. They also asked the judge to find that Young cannot bar the general public from attending court sessions and defendants with health problems should be allowed to return to court if they left and be able to carry snacks, water and medication if needed. Hanson found he didn’t have jurisdiction to issue a mandate or injunction against Young because that authority belonged solely to the Indiana Supreme Court.

The appellate court rejected the arguments that the Indiana Constitution and state appellate and original action rules allow for trial judges to issue a writ of mandamus or prohibition against another trial court judge relating to matters that aren’t connected to the trial court’s jurisdiction. The appellate panel cited both Indiana Constitution Article 7, Section 4 and Indiana Appellate Rule 4(B)(3) that gives the justices exclusive jurisdiction.

Since the three-judge panel affirmed Hanson’s order on grounds relating to jurisdiction, the appellate judges didn’t address the parties’ arguments relating to standing and mootness. The traffic court litigants who sued Young in this case were not involved in the disciplinary action that was filed against Young last year, but it involved the same conduct. The Supreme Court in February suspended Young for 30 days without pay, and the trial judge has since returned to the bench.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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