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Greenwood attorney is world's youngest judge

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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.
 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. 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

  5. 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

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