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Justices block Schiralli’s Lake County bench transfer

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The Indiana Supreme Court blocked the transfer of a judge who sought to replace former Lake Superior Juvenile Court Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura after her appointment to head the Department of Child Services.

The justices unanimously held that Lake County’s merit-selection system prohibits Lake Superior Civil Court Judge Nicholas Schiralli from transferring to the juvenile division without going through merit selection first. Schiralli was appointed to the Lake County bench when a new court was created, but without first going through merit selection. His fellow judges in Lake County approved his transfer in February. Magistrates sued, claiming they were deprived a judgeship opportunity through the county’s merit-selection process.

“Indiana Code section 33-33-45-21(e) (The Lake County merit-selection statute) prevents the Judges from reassigning, transferring, or rotating Judge Schiralli from the County Division to the Juvenile Division. However, this prohibition does not preclude him from applying to be appointed, under the merit-selection process in Indiana Code section 33-33-45-38, to fill a vacancy in the other divisions of the court,” justices wrote in a  per curiam opinion.

Lake County magistrates had sought to permanently bar judges from transfer without first going through a merit-selection process, but the court denied that motion in State of Indiana ex rel. Glenn D. Commons, et al. v. The Hon. John R. Pera, et al., 45S00-1303-OR-209.

“The Court denies the Magistrates’ request for a permanent writ that would more broadly prohibit any current Judge from being transferred or reassigned to the Juvenile Division,” the court ruled. “This opinion is final. No petitions for rehearing or motions to reconsider shall be filed.”

The court also dismissed the judges’ argument that the county’s merit-selection statute was unconstitutional and held that local court rules may not contravene the statute.

Read previous IL coverage of the Lake County bench dispute.

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  1. Uh oh, someone is really going to get their panti ... uh, um ... I mean get upset now: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/31/arkansas-passes-indiana-style-religious-freedom-bill

  2. Bryan, stop insulting the Swedes by comparing them to the American oligarchs. Otherwise your point is well taken.

  3. Sociologist of religion Peter Berger once said that the US is a “nation of Indians ruled by Swedes.” He meant an irreligious elite ruling a religious people, as that Sweden is the world’s least religious country and India the most religious. The idea is that American social elites tend to be much less religious than just about everyone else in the country. If this is true, it helps explain the controversy raking Indiana over Hollywood, San Fran, NYC, academia and downtown Indy hot coals. Nevermind logic, nevermind it is just the 1993 fed bill did, forget the Founders, abandon of historic dedication to religious liberty. The Swedes rule. You cannot argue with elitists. They have the power, they will use the power, sit down and shut up or feel the power. I know firsthand, having been dealt blows from the elite's high and mighty hands often as a mere religious plebe.

  4. I need helping gaining custody of my 5 and 1 year old from my alcoholic girlfriend. This should be an easy case for any lawyer to win... I've just never had the courage to take her that far. She has a record of public intox and other things. She has no job and no where to live othe than with me. But after 5 years of trying to help her with her bad habit, she has put our kids in danger by driving after drinking with them... She got detained yesterday and the police chief released my kids to me from the police station. I live paycheck to paycheck and Im under alot of stress dealing with this situation. Can anyone please help?

  5. The more a state tries to force people to associate, who don't like each other and simply want to lead separate lives, the more that state invalidates itself....... This conflict has shown clearly that the advocates of "tolerance" are themselves intolerant, the advocates of "diversity" intend to inflict themselves on an unwilling majority by force if necessary, until that people complies and relents and allows itself to be made homogenous with the politically correct preferences of the diversity-lobbies. Let's clearly understand, this is force versus force and democracy has nothing to do with this. Democracy is a false god in the first place, even if it is a valid ideal for politics, but it is becoming ever more just an empty slogan that just suckers a bunch of cattle into paying their taxes and volunteering for stupid wars.

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