Talk of reform and recusal

November 5, 2008
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From IL reporter Michael Hoskins:

Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard took some time Wednesday following Election Day to talk with about 60 people about local government reform. He spoke at the North United Methodist Church in Indianapolis about his work last year on the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform, which issued a report calling for sweeping statewide changes in how the system is setup. The chief justice pointed out that our Hoosier state has 2 percent of the nation’s population, but accounts for 8 percent of its governance and that most people don’t know all their local officials. One point he discussed was about public safety, particularly how a mixture of full-time and volunteer fire departments throughout the state duplicate services and aren’t the most efficient or cost-effective option for residents. “This is not a commentary on the people, but on the structure of the system in which they belabor,” he said.

Interestingly, that issue of local government reform that he spoke about is one that is currently before the Indiana Supreme Court, at least in the form of a transfer petition. A Nashville attorney challenging a countywide fire protection district that his clients say was created illegally wants the high court to take the case, and is asking the state’s top jurist to recuse himself from it because of his involvement with local government reform efforts. That case is Ronald Sanders, et al. v. Board of Commissioners of Brown County, et. al, No. 07A01-0803-CV-00104 and follows a September ruling from the Court of Appeals allowing for the district’s creation under the Home Rule Act.

But now, given the chief justice’s advocating for this type of consolidation where necessary, it begs the question of whether the chief justice should recuse himself from this case and any similar ones that could come before the court in the future. While he’s likely able to distinguish between both roles, questions of public perception can sometimes be just as weighty as the administration of justice itself. No decision has been made yet on the transfer request or the recusal question, according to the appellate clerk’s docket.
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  1. Im very happy for you, getting ready to go down that dirt road myself, and im praying for the same outcome, because it IS sometimes in the childs best interest to have visitation with grandparents. Thanks for sharing, needed to hear some positive posts for once.

  2. Been there 4 months with 1 paycheck what can i do

  3. our hoa has not communicated any thing that takes place in their "executive meetings" not executive session. They make decisions in these meetings, do not have an agenda, do not notify association memebers and do not keep general meetings minutes. They do not communicate info of any kind to the member, except annual meeting, nobody attends or votes because they think the board is self serving. They keep a deposit fee from club house rental for inspection after someone uses it, there is no inspection I know becausee I rented it, they did not disclose to members that board memebers would be keeping this money, I know it is only 10 dollars but still it is not their money, they hire from within the board for paid positions, no advertising and no request for bids from anyone else, I atteended last annual meeting, went into executive session to elect officers in that session the president brought up the motion to give the secretary a raise of course they all agreed they hired her in, then the minutes stated that a diffeerent board member motioned to give this raise. This board is very clickish and has done things anyway they pleased for over 5 years, what recourse to members have to make changes in the boards conduct

  4. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  5. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

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