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COA: Court erred in not granting request for change of judge

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Indiana’s appellate court has reversed a trial court in denying a mother’s request for change of judge in a custody dispute.

In A.T. (Mother) v. G.T. (Father), No. 39A05-1107-DR-335, A.T., the mother, and G.T., the father, divorced in Trimble County, Ky., in 2009, and the father was appointed as the primary custodial parent. At some point in 2010, the family members moved to Indiana, and in February of that year, the Jefferson Superior Court issued a no-contact order based on allegations of domestic violence committed by G.T. upon A.T. The Trimble Family Court, which retained jurisdiction over the domestic issues, ordered that the mother should have temporary physical custody of the children.

The Kentucky court restored joint custody in October 2010, and the Jefferson Circuit Court eventually assumed jurisdiction in January 2011. When the mother moved from Madison, Ind., to Bloomington, Ind., the father – who had been convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery – filed a petition to modify custody. A hearing was set, and the mother filed her motion for a change of judge, which was denied.

The Court of Appeals held that the trial court should have automatically granted the request for automatic change of judge under Trial Rule 76(B). Furthermore, the trial court should not have held the modification hearing, as it was deprived of jurisdiction by the timely filing of the Trial Rule 76(B) request.

The COA reversed and remanded with instructions that the judge grant the mother’s request for change of judge and that the procedures for the selection of a new judge be immediately implemented. “We urge the parties to cooperate in the timely selection of a new judge and to consider the welfare of their children in resolving this matter,” the court wrote.


 

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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