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Justices: Judge facing suspension may respond

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A Marion Superior judge facing suspension and a 45-count disciplinary complaint has until Wednesday to respond to the suspension request, the Indiana Supreme Court said in an order issued Friday.

Judge Kimberly Brown faces an array of accusations, including counts that her actions led to at least nine defendants wrongly spending one to 22 days in the Marion County Jail, and that she created “a hostile environment for attorneys, court staff, clerks, and other court officials.”

The Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission filed a verified petition for suspension Aug. 26 asking the Supreme Court to remove Brown from the bench pending proceedings on the complaint.

Friday, justices unanimously ordered that Brown respond to the suspension request by noon Wednesday.

“The Admission and Discipline Rules governing the procedure under which judicial disciplinary matters are adjudicated do not specify whether (Brown) has the right to file a response to a Verified Petition for Interim Suspension and, if so, the time period for doing so,” Chief Justice Brent Dickson wrote for the court in setting the deadline.

Brown continued to hear cases on the bench as of Thursday, and did not respond to a message seeking comment. She is represented by Indianapolis attorney Aaron Haith of Choate & Haith. A firm representative responding to inquiries said Thursday there would be no immediate comment.

According to Friday’s order, no attorney had yet entered an appearance on Brown’s behalf in her disciplinary matter. Brown “is reminded that if she intends for counsel to file a response on her behalf to the Commission’s Verified Petition for Interim Suspension, then counsel must enter a valid appearance before or contemporaneously with the filing of her response,” Dickson wrote.  

Brown hears a docket of misdemeanor and Class D felony domestic battery cases in Marion Superior Criminal Court 7.
 

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