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Judge threatens to find Indiana mayor in contempt

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A judge threatened to find a central Indiana mayor in contempt of court over a dispute about pipes blocking a courthouse entrance.

The county sheriff led Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight to the office of Howard County Superior Judge William Menges on Tuesday afternoon, but Goodnight was allowed to go free soon afterward once crews moved concrete pipes for a pedestrian trail project, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

Goodnight said the judge didn't call him or other city officials and instead chose "to engage in political theater."

"What this boils down to is you have a judge that's on an ego trip," Goodnight said.

The Associated Press left a telephone message Wednesday seeking comment from Menges at the judge's office, but a staffer said the judge wouldn't be doing interviews.

The contempt of court order issued Tuesday by Menges said the mayor had given directions for a contractor to place the pipes so they blocked a courthouse drive and prevent county crews from spreading stone to reopen the route so "potentially dangerous inmates" could be brought to court hearings this week.

Menges wrote that Goodnight's "actions were intentional and solely for the purpose of disrupting the regular proceedings of the court."

Goodnight said he received a text message from a county commissioner Tuesday morning about clearing the drive and was told that moving the pipes that afternoon wouldn't be a problem. Goodnight said he heard nothing more until Sheriff Steve Rogers arrived at his office with orders for him to appear before the judge.

Rogers said Goodnight was never placed in handcuffs or booked into jail.

"He was told he'd be held in the jail if he didn't comply," Rogers said. "He did (comply) and he was released."

Goodnight, a Democrat, said he didn't know a reason for the reaction by Menges, a former county Republican Party chairman.

"This is the judge's attempt to embarrass me," Goodnight said. "Unfortunately, he's embarrassed himself and the people of Howard County."

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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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