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Justices order mandate writ against court

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The Indiana Supreme Court has granted a relator's verified petition for writ of mandamus and prohibition against a Grant Superior judge and the clerk.

In the order dated Feb. 23 and posted today, State of Indiana ex rel. John L. Smith, Relator v. The Grant Superior Court No. 2, et al., No. 27S00-0812-OR-765,
Smith sought relief, alleging Grant Superior Judge Randall L. Johnson heard certain motions but failed to rule within the 30-day time limit in Ind. Trial Rule 53.1(A). Smith also alleged he filed a praecipe for withdrawal and clerk J. Mark Florence failed in his duty to determine a delay in ruling and withdraw the case from Judge Johnson.

Grant Superior Court No. 2 heard certain motions June 10, 2008, but failed to rule on those motions within 30 days, according to the order. On Aug. 15, the trial court suspended operations in the Grant County Courthouse because of health concerns related to mold and other conditions of the courthouse, but the court, Judge Johnson and Florence don't argue the emergency conditions or the Administrative Rule 17 Order issued by the Supreme Court in September relieves the trial court of its obligation to rule in a timely manner.

The high court unanimously directed Judge Johnson to vacate any orders issued after Smith's filing of praecipe Oct. 21, 2008, and to cease exercising jurisdiction over the case except for administrative duties to effectuate the writ. Florence is directed to give written notice to Judge Johnson and the Supreme Court that submission of the cause has been withdrawn in accordance to T.R. 53.1(E)(2). Judge Johnson also has to file a written report once an order appointing a special judge has been issued.

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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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