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Marion County seeks plan to handle expungement requests

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Marion County courts expect a flood of requests for expungement of criminal convictions and charges after a new law takes effect July 1. Judges on Friday agreed for now those requests should be heard by the judges in courts where the convictions were entered or charges brought.

“Given that we’re expecting several thousand petitions each year, we’re concerned,” Marion Superior Court administrator Andrea Newsom told the court’s Executive Committee.

Newsom presented judges options for handling the requests that will be filed with the clerk’s office beginning next month. Because expungement is a civil proceeding, the committee discussed the merits of filing those petitions in civil division. But Newsom and some judges acknowledged that criminal division judges were interested in ruling on petitions from people who were convicted in their courts, so that’s where the petitions will go until a formal procedure is adopted.

House Enrolled Act 1482 allows records to be sealed and expunged for people arrested but not convicted or if a conviction is vacated on appeal. It also allows people convicted of misdemeanors to petition the court for expungement not earlier than five years after the date of conviction, and for people convicted of Class D felonies to ask for expungement eight years after the date of conviction.

Executive Committee Chairman Judge David Certo said a proposal for processing the petitions will be presented at a later date to civil and criminal court judges. “It’s a difficult matter and we’re going to do the best we can to resolve it,” he said.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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