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Commission recommends removing embattled judge

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Marion Superior Judge Kimberly Brown should be removed from office, the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission recommends in findings of fact compiled after the weeklong hearing of a 47-count complaint that concluded Nov. 10.

Removal is warranted, the commission argues, given “the depth and breadth of misconduct in this matter, as well as Judge Kimberly Brown’s actions during the course of the investigation and proceedings.”

The commission focused from the beginning on Brown’s refusal to take an oath at a deposition in her disciplinary case. Commission attorneys said that defiance was emblematic of the counts against her.

The charges against Brown include at least nine counts related to wrongful detention of criminal defendants in the Marion County Jail – one for 22 days. She also is accused of failing to properly oversee her court, improperly supervising trials, failing to act on Court of Appeals orders, showing hostility toward parties who came before her, and retaliating against court staff who complained, among other things.

The proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law were entered on the case docket Monday. The three-judge panel of special masters appointed to hear Brown’s case is acting on an expedited basis and must report to the Indiana Supreme Court by Dec. 30.

Brown’s attorneys on Nov. 25 requested an extension of time to file proposed findings, but there has been no further action on that request. Brown presides in Marion Superior Criminal Court 7 which hears a docket of mainly misdemeanor and Class D felony domestic violence cases.

“Judge Kimberly Brown has not demonstrated that she possesses the appropriate demeanor, competence, or knowledge to be a judicial officer,” the JQC argues. “She has not shown true remorse for her misconduct or provided any indication that she believes she must change her conduct in the future.”

The special masters, retired Monroe Circuit Judge Viola Taliaferro, Boone Superior Judge Rebecca S. McClure and Lake Superior Judge Sheila M. Moss, heard seven days of testimony regarding the counts against Brown.

 

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  • Is there a statistician in the house?
    What are the odds of this happening on a random draw ..... all females running the state operation: "before a panel of three special masters appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court: retired Monroe Circuit Judge Viola Taliaferro, Boone Superior Judge Rebecca S. McClure and Lake Superior Judge Sheila M. Moss. Judicial Qualifications Commission attorney Adrienne Meiring" NOW, I thought gender did not matter? Does it?

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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