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Commission on Courts makes recommendations

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

As the interim legislative calendar wound down to make way for the next Indiana General Assembly session, the Commission on Courts has made recommendations on new court requests and discussed issues that impact funding and structure of statewide trial courts.

In its final meeting of the year on Oct. 15, the commission voted 8-0 in favor of legislative recommendation PD 3058 for the existing Clark, Henry, and Madison Circuit and Superior courts to become unified Circuit Courts. Local rules will be amended in Clark County to address any judicial concerns about case allocation, Superior Judge Vicki Carmichael told the commission.

Additionally, the commission voted 8-0 in favor of PD 3318 that would add two judges and three magistrates to the state’s payroll for Allen, Bartholomew, Hamilton, Johnson, and Warrick counties. The commission prioritized the need for new court officers based on the 2009 weighted caseload study if legislators determine insufficient funds exist to pay for all the new judicial resources: New Johnson Superior judge, conversion of a Title IV-D hearing officer to a magistrate for Allen County, and new magistrates for Hamilton, Warrick, and Bartholomew counties.

On a broader financial note for state courts, commission members supported the concept of standardizing jurisdictions of all state trial courts but didn’t draft any legislative language. This idea would make reassigning workload between courts easier and wouldn’t require judges to seek proposed legislative changes for new judicial resources, according to Marion Superior Judge Mark Stoner who has been a part of a larger court reform plan addressing this issue. If centralized state funding for trial courts materializes in the future, this would be a step to helping ease into that, he said. That legislative proposal came along with another that the commission supported by a 7-1 vote (with Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, opposed) recommending that all city and town court judges be attorneys starting with 2011 elections.

An additional recommendation impacting state court funding was the approval of PD 3436, which would increase the Automated Record-Keeping Fee that largely pays for the statewide case management system’s implementation. That fee would rise from the current $7 to $10, beginning July 1, 2011, and would lower back to the existing level June 30, 2015. Commission members voted 7-1, with Johnson County Clerk Jill Jackson opposing the proposed increase. The commission has proposed this increase in the past, but the General Assembly has so far failed to adopt it.
 

Rehearing "Court funding bills get approval" IL March 3-16, 2010

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  1. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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