ILNews

Sheriff's deputies can hold elected office, court rules

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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A sheriff's deputy has the right to hold an elected position and in doing so isn't violating state law against holding dual, lucrative offices, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.

In Walter Thompson v. Mark Hays http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/06060701mgr.pdf, 72A01-0607-CV-294, the court upheld a Scott County ruling last year dismissing a claim filed by local resident Walter Thompson, who filed a complaint against Mark Hays following the November 2002 general election. Thompson accused Hays of holding the dual offices and sought an order to remove him as a deputy sheriff and reimburse the county for pay he'd accepted since taking the elected commissioner's job.

The claim arose in March 2006, just before a primary election in which Hays was a candidate for re-election as a commissioner, according to a footnote in the court ruling. The trial court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim.

Appellate judges wrote that the decision today is consistent with existing caselaw and legislative intent, though they acknowledged the Indiana Attorney General once reached an opposite conclusion in 1962, which predated the statutes and court opinions.

The court has held previously that city police officers and deputy town marshals are employees, rather than "public officers." It also refers to Indiana Code Section 36-8-10-11c(1), which provides that a county police officer may "be a candidate for elective office and serve in that office if elected."
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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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