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Filings continue to drop, as does funding for Indiana courts

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A sharp decline in infraction and ordinance-violation cases is among factors that resulted in courts around the state collecting considerably less revenue, according to data released in the annual Judicial Service Reports.

The exhaustive reports on Indiana trial and appellate courts, “Honored to Serve,” document an 8.6 percent decrease in infraction case filings and an 11.2 percent drop in ordinance violations over the past decade. Infractions continue to represent the single largest class of case filings, with just fewer than 450,000 such cases filed last year, according to the report.

Indiana Chief Justice Brent Dickson and Division of State Court Administration Executive Director Lilia Judson released more than 1,800 pages of data tabulating the work of courts around the state Nov. 4.

Among the findings from the survey of court activity in 2012:

• Murder cases were the highest in a decade, with 235 charges filed around the state. Murder filings jumped about 18 percent compared with 2011, which saw the fewest murder charges filed in more than a decade.

• Mortgage foreclosures jumped 10 percent over filings in 2011. A total of 33,876 cases were filed, though that total is well below the 40,000-45,000 cases filed during 2006-2010, the depths of the recession.

• Jury trials were slightly more common. The 1,338 jury trials conducted in 2012 marked a 3 percent increase from 2011.

Data from the Judicial Service Report may be viewed at www.courts.in.gov/admin/3118.htm.•

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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