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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. "So we broke with England for the right to "off" our preborn progeny at will, and allow the processing plant doing the dirty deeds (dirt cheap) to profit on the marketing of those "products of conception." I was completely maleducated on our nation's founding, it would seem. (But I know the ACLU is hard at work to remedy that, too.)" Well, you know, we're just following in the footsteps of our founders who raped women, raped slaves, raped children, maimed immigrants, sold children, stole property, broke promises, broke apart families, killed natives... You know, good God fearing down home Christian folk! :/

  2. Who gives a rats behind about all the fluffy ranking nonsense. What students having to pay off debt need to know is that all schools aren't created equal and students from many schools don't have a snowball's chance of getting a decent paying job straight out of law school. Their lowly ranked lawschool won't tell them that though. When schools start honestly (accurately) reporting *those numbers, things will get interesting real quick, and the looks on student's faces will be priceless!

  3. Whilst it may be true that Judges and Justices enjoy such freedom of time and effort, it certainly does not hold true for the average working person. To say that one must 1) take a day or a half day off work every 3 months, 2) gather a list of information including recent photographs, and 3) set up a time that is convenient for the local sheriff or other such office to complete the registry is more than a bit near-sighted. This may be procedural, and hence, in the near-sighted minds of the court, not 'punishment,' but it is in fact 'punishment.' The local sheriffs probably feel a little punished too by the overwork. Registries serve to punish the offender whilst simultaneously providing the public at large with a false sense of security. The false sense of security is dangerous to the public who may not exercise due diligence by thinking there are no offenders in their locale. In fact, the registry only informs them of those who have been convicted.

  4. Unfortunately, the court doesn't understand the difference between ebidta and adjusted ebidta as they clearly got the ruling wrong based on their misunderstanding

  5. A common refrain in the comments on this website comes from people who cannot locate attorneys willing put justice over retainers. At the same time the judiciary threatens to make pro bono work mandatory, seemingly noting the same concern. But what happens to attorneys who have the chumptzah to threatened the legal status quo in Indiana? Ask Gary Welch, ask Paul Ogden, ask me. Speak truth to power, suffer horrendously accordingly. No wonder Hoosier attorneys who want to keep in good graces merely chase the dollars ... the powers that be have no concerns as to those who are ever for sale to the highest bidder ... for those even willing to compromise for $$$ never allow either justice or constitutionality to cause them to stand up to injustice or unconstitutionality. And the bad apples in the Hoosier barrel, like this one, just keep rotting.

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