Supreme Court will hear candidate certification dispute

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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The candidacy of a Cass Circuit judge is now going before the Indiana Supreme Court - even though the candidate in question has been a sitting judge for this entire year.

Justices have granted transfer in J. Bradley King, et al. v. Leo T. Burns, et al., 09A02-0610-CV-847, which questioned the candidacy of judicial office-seeker Leo Burns in last year's primary and general election.

Burns, who was selected to fill the vacancy in the November 2006 ballot after the May primary, was not certified by the state because the Democratic county chair filed documents at the wrong office and didn't get the necessary notices to the state for Burns' name to go on the ballot. Despite the filing error, Burns gained an injunction in September ordering the state to certify his candidacy. The Indiana Election Division appealed Cass Circuit Judge Julian Ridlen's ruling and the Court of Appeals denied that Jan. 31.

In the meantime, however, Burns' name appeared on the ballot and he won in the Nov. 7 election over a Republican rival.

The three-judge appellate panel in January wrote, "We decline to disenfranchise the voters of Cass County by overturning their decision that Burns should be their circuit court judge, based on a technical violation of a law that had no practical effect on the validity of the Nov. 7, 2006 general election."

Noting that the election division could point to no practical consequences of Burns' form being filed incorrectly, the appellate court affirmed the trial court ruling.

"Burns clearly was the Democratic Party's chosen candidate .... That choice was communicated accurately to Cass County voters. They elected Burns to office. He is qualified to hold that office," the court wrote. "The 'eminently practical doctrine' formerly known as 'de minimis non curat lex' .... Proclaims that the law does not redress trifles."

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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.