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Bankruptcy court staff cuts starting to impact customers

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The United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Indiana cut an additional eight positions from its clerk’s office at the end of September, according to an update posted online from Chief Judge James Coachys. The court had already cut six positions in the beginning of the year.

The clerk’s office is the smallest it has been since the mid-1980s with 50 people on staff, Coachys reports. Courtroom services and case management have been hit the hardest because of the cuts. Employees in those areas sometimes are not able to process orders or take other actions as quickly as in the past. The Terre Haute office continues to operate at reduced hours.

The chief judge is asking the bar to help the court operate more efficiently, such as by letting the courtroom deputy know by phone when a motion to continue is going to be filed for a hearing that is set in the next 24 hours or to advise the courtroom deputy when an emergency motion has been filed.

“We now know our funding for the first few months of FY2014. While the Judiciary as a whole gets at least as much funding as it did for the equivalent period post-sequestration in FY2013, we will receive locally less than we were allotted for the same time period – because the Judiciary’s fixed costs have increased and because our filings have declined and our staff has shrunk more than other courts,” Coachys writes. “However, we believe that the staff cuts made to date will be sufficient to avoid further elimination of positions in FY2014 – if funding for the entire fiscal year is consistent with what we’ve been given through early January. Staff has been advised that furlough days unrelated to a government shutdown remain a possibility.”

Bankruptcy filings are down 6 percent in the Southern District, according to new data released Thursday by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. In 2013 Fiscal Year ending Sept. 30, 20,588 filings were made as compared to 21,909 filed during the same time in 2012. Filings are also down 4.5 percent in the Northern District of Indiana and overall are down 12 percent across federal courts.
 

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  1. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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