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Justices deny case involving trial judges issuing orders against other courts

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The Indiana Supreme Court will not take the lawsuit filed by six people against Marion Superior Judge William Young for his actions in traffic court. The plaintiffs wanted the special judge appointed to their case to order Young to comply with certain procedures, which included mandating Young allow the general public to attend court sessions.

Special Judge Matthew Hanson from Morgan County was appointed to hear the case, Toshiano Ishii, Matthew Stone, Greg Hardin, Lisa Hardin, et al. v. The Hon. William E. Young, Judge. The plaintiffs all claimed that Young treated them improperly while they were in traffic court and wanted Hanson to prohibit Young from improperly fining people, allow the general public to sit in on court, and allow defendants with health problems to be able to leave court and return and also carry food, water and medication, if needed.

Hanson dismissed the plaintiffs’ request, which the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in December. The appellate court rejected the arguments that the Indiana Constitution and appellate and original action rules let trial judges issue a writ of mandamus or prohibition against another trial court judge relating to matters that aren’t connected to the trial court’s jurisdiction. The Indiana justices have the exclusive jurisdiction, the COA found, and that decision stands now that the Supreme Court has denied transfer.

Young was disciplined for his general handling of traffic infraction cases in November 2010, receiving a 30-day suspension from the Indiana Supreme Court. Young and the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission had reached a settlement in the matter, in which he was charged with misconduct based on allegations Young routinely implied that litigants shouldn’t demand trials and they would be penalized for doing so if they lost. He admitted to the commission that he imposed the higher fines on litigants whom he believed shouldn’t have pursued trials.

The plaintiffs in the Ishii case are not the basis for the disciplinary action, but their lawsuit involved similar conduct. The plaintiffs only sought relief for future cases.

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  1. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

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