South Bend probate judge candidate forum

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The six candidates for Probate Court in St. Joseph County will participate in a forum from 3 to 4 p.m. April 28 at Indiana University South Bend.

The event is scheduled to last about 90 minutes and is sponsored by the St. Joseph County Bar Association, the League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area and two IU South Bend groups – the Political Science Club and American Democracy Project. Sponsors will prepare questions in advance. Candidates will make opening and closing remarks of 90 seconds and will have 90 seconds to answer each question.

Candidates are: Democrats Andre Gammage, Mark Kopinski, Catherine Andres, Ken Sheetz and Stephen Drendall; and Republican James Fox.

St. Joseph County is the only county in Indiana with a Probate Court, which is a court of limited or special jurisdiction. The Probate Court consists of one judge elected to a six-year term and three magistrates appointed by the judge. The court has authority over estates, wills, trusts, guardianships, adoptions and paternity disputes. It also has a family court that deals with domestic matters such as divorce, child support and visitation rights.  The Probate Court has jurisdiction over all juvenile matters, including the administration of the Juvenile Justice Center.

The candidate forum will be in the University Grill, Administration Building, 1700 Mishawaka Ave. For further information, contact Elizabeth A. Bennion, associate professor of political science at IU South Bend, at 574-520-4128, or at



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