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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. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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