ILNews

Greenwood attorney is world's youngest judge

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Among the records for longest carpet of flowers laid and the world’s shortest cat you’ll soon find the name of a Johnson County attorney.

Marc L. Griffin was recently named by the Guinness World Records as the world’s youngest judge for the time he served as a township justice of the peace in Johnson County in the mid-1970s. At an age when most teens read comic books and magazines, Griffin spent time reading Indiana statutory law. He always wanted to be an attorney, so it seemed like a good thing to read. It was while reading the code that he learned more about the justice of the peace position.

After graduating high school early, Griffin decided to seek a commission to be the White River Township justice of the peace, a position that had been vacant for years. As he read the statute, all that was required was that the officeholder be an elector. The Supreme Court of the United States had just ruled that if someone would be 18 by the time of the November general election, the person could vote in the primary. Griffin would have been 18 by the time of the November 1974 election.

Against the advice of his staff and the Indiana attorney general, Gov. Otis Bowen appointed Griffin justice of the peace in early 1974. The issue even went to trial where a Circuit judge from another county ruled the attorney general was wrong in saying Griffin wasn’t old enough to hold the job. Griffin served as justice of the peace until the Legislature abolished the position Jan. 1, 1976.

During his time on the bench, Griffin married people and handled traffic tickets, domestic violence cases, and other civil issues. He even made the news when the attorney general was challenging his commission because there were concerns that all of the marriages he performed were invalid.

Griffin also had some amusing times while on the bench, due to his youthful appearance. Griffin recalled the time an Indiana state trooper phoned his home at midnight asking him to come to court so a Georgia truck driver could plead guilty to speeding and pay his fine.

“I put on my robe and got on the bench, and the truck driver is slouching around. The truck driver said ‘Sonny, you better go get your old man so I can pay this fine and get on down the road,’” Griffin recalled. “The trooper said, ‘Sir, you may want to address the court in the proper fashion or the judge could throw you in jail for contempt.’”

When his position was abolished, Griffin went to college and law school, earning a degree from Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis. He’s still in Johnson County, practicing law at the Greenwood firm Griffin Hicks & Hicks, and he says he has no plans to pursue another judgeship.

His appearance in the Guinness World Records came about by chance. While researching information online for a case, Griffin stumbled across a story in the ABA Journal from December 2010 about a Texas man who held the record of youngest judge for his time on the bench at age 18. Griffin realize that he should actually hold that position, so he emailed Guinness World Records, sent in his birth certificate, commission order, and other documentation, and learned about three weeks ago that he is now considered the world’s youngest judge.

Griffin is awaiting his certificate from the GWR.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Indianapolis employers harassment among minorities AFRICAN Americans needs to be discussed the metro Indianapolis area is horrible when it comes to harassing African American employees especially in the local healthcare facilities. Racially profiling in the workplace is an major issue. Please make it better because I'm many civil rights leaders would come here and justify that Indiana is a state the WORKS only applies to Caucasian Americans especially in Hamilton county. Indiana targets African Americans in the workplace so when governor pence is trying to convince people to vote for him this would be awesome publicity for the Presidency Elections.

  2. Wishing Mary Willis only God's best, and superhuman strength, as she attempts to right a ship that too often strays far off course. May she never suffer this personal affect, as some do who attempt to change a broken system: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QojajMsd2nE

  3. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  4. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  5. 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

ADVERTISEMENT