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Marion County still battling juror no-shows

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Half of jurors called to serve in Marion County are failing to appear.

Local judges are talking about it and changing policy to give no-show jurors a second chance to show up if they've ignored one summons, and from there implementing potential penalties ranging from fees to community service.

Improvements have come since Indiana altered its jury pool list last year to include more than voter-registration records full of outdated addresses, but about 52 percent failed to show up on assigned days, court figures show.

To help aid in curbing this low turnout, a separate fundraising campaign is under way to increase public awareness about jury duty and boost the turnout.

Law firms and bar associations are contributing money - about $21,500 so far, according to Beverly Phillips, a consultant for the court heading the initiative. Letters were sent in May to about 20 major law firms asking for support, including Barnes & Thornburg, Krieg DeVault, and Bingham McHale.

Those letters note that firms and businesses are being asked to donate $5,000 to help underwrite the public education effort, which will include billboards and outreach to the minority community to help dispel myths associated with jury duty such as citizens can be fired by employers for missing work to respond to a jury summons.

Marion Superior Court officials are also considering whether to ask the Indiana Supreme Court for grant money to aid in the effort. The court's four-judge Executive Committee discussed the idea this morning, but did not make any decisions. More discussion is planned this month.
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  1. I will be filing a lawsuit in Tippecanoe County for so many violations in a case we became involved in, including failure to contact through mail, Violation of 4th Amendment rights, Violation of Civil Rights, and so on. Even the Indiana Ombudsmen Bureau found violations and I have now received the report and they are demanding further training in Tippecanoe County. I am going to make sure they follow through!!!

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  3. I thought the purpose of the criminal justice center was to consolidate all the criminal services and get them out of downtown to clean up the place. Why in the HELL are the civil courts moving? What a burden to all the downtown law firms. Now we all get to work downtown, but then have to get in a car and COMMUTE to court? Who approved this idiocy?

  4. I drive through the neighborhood whenever I go to the City-County Building or the Federal Courthouse. The surrounding streets are all two way with only two lanes of traffic, and traffic is very slow during rush hour. I hope that enough money has been allocated to allow for improvement of the surrounding streets.

  5. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

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