ILNews

Blanket recusal comes in Vanderburgh child-support case

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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Every so often, judges find they must recuse themselves in certain cases. That's happening in Vanderburgh County, where all the superior judges have been recused from a case involving the child support matters of a magistrate's son.

Suzanne Hebert Hamilton is waging the child support legal battle against her ex-husband, Richard Hamilton, who is son of Vanderburgh Superior Magistrate Allen Hamilton. The couple separated in 2005 and finalized a divorce early last year. She lives in Florida with the couple's two children and in May 2006 asked Vanderburgh Superior Judge Robert Pigman to enforce a contempt order from Florida that Richard Hamilton owed $25,000 in back child support.

In June, Judge Pigman recused himself because of a conflict of interest - he supervises magistrates.

"Recusal in the face of criticism is a particularly uninviting option for this court; however, given the nature and the circumstances surrounding the particular case, the court feels it is in the best interest of both parties that a fresh set of eyes examine the evidence," Judge Pigman wrote in his June 28 order.

The following day, Superior Judge Wayne Trockman recused all of the county superior judges in the case. A hearing was canceled last week to determine if Hamilton was making progress on child support payments, according to the local clerk's office. The Indiana Supreme Court has yet to assign a special judge.
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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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