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Camm's attorneys seek special judge

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

Defense attorneys for the former state trooper facing a third triple-murder trial want the Indiana Supreme Court to name a special judge because of what they say are delays from the current presiding judge.

The June 8 request comes in David R. Camm v. State of Indiana, No. 87S00-1006-SJ-00301, which asks the state justices to appoint a special judge because Warrick Superior Judge Robert Aylsworth has failed to rule on a venue change motion within 30 days, as required. Attorneys filed the change of venue motion earlier this year, asking that the case be moved outside Warrick County where the second murder trial occurred to a location in northern Indiana – specifically to avoid media exposure they say prevents their client from obtaining a fair trial.

Camm has twice been convicted of murdering his wife and their two young children in September 2000 at their Georgetown home. But those convictions have been overturned, most recently by the Indiana Supreme Court in June 2009, and Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson – prosecuting based on where the murders happened – decided last year that he’d try Camm a third time.

Judge Aylsworth has been considering whether to allow the trial to move, after sending 200 questionnaires to potential jurors to determine how much they might be influenced by media coverage. Both sides disagree about what the surveys show, and Camm’s attorneys filed a motion to grant the venue change April 21; the state objected April 30 and Camm filed a response May 6. But after 33 days, the judge hadn’t ruled or set a hearing as required by Trial Rule 53.1 and attorneys filed a “lazy judge” motion. Attorneys had previously asked that Henderson be removed as prosecutor, but that didn’t happen. If a special judge is appointed, that jurist would likely decide on the defense motions and then also handle the trial if it’s moved outside the county.

The Indiana Supreme Court had not issued a decision on the special judge request by IL deadline, according to the online appellate docket for this case.•

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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