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COA permits Knightstown to abolish town court

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A battle between a town council and a judge over the fate of the local town court was stopped with the Indiana Court of Appeals noting the Indiana Legislature tends not to enact statutes that produce “unjust or absurd results.”

Bart Whitesitt filed a complaint after Knightstown passed an ordinance abolishing the town court. Knightstown had established the town court in the 1970s to adjudicate traffic infractions and misdemeanors.

Whitesitt was appointed town court judge on Jan. 31, 2011. That same month, the Henry County Prosecutor’s Office announced it would no longer refer misdemeanor offenses to the town court.

This move caused a shortfall in revenue and led Knightstown to dissolve the town court.

Appealing the summary judgment, Whitesitt argued Knightstown violated Indiana Code 33-35-1-1. The judge asserted that under the statute, a town court can only be closed every fourth year after 2006.

Knightstown counted that since its town court was established prior to Jan. 1, 1986, it was exempt from the requirements of the statute.  

In Bart Whitesitt v. Town of Knightstown, 33A04-1302-MI-00072, the Court of Appeals agreed with Knightstown and affirmed the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of the town.

“The General Assembly’s intent to treat courts established prior to January 1, 1986, differently from those established after that date is clear under the plain language of subsection (d) when it is considered within the entire context of the statute,” Judge Paul Mathias wrote for the court. “To reach any other conclusion would render subsection (d) meaningless. We presume our General Assembly does not enact useless statutes or statutory provisions and intends to avoid unjust or absurd results.”
 

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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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