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New executive committee, talk of judicial complex

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The trial courts in the state’s largest county have a new leadership lineup, and the Marion Superior Executive Committee has changed the time of its weekly business meetings. Its first meeting will bring up a much-discussed and significant concept of building a new judicial complex in Marion County.

Starting this week, the four-person executive committee has new members: Judge John Hanley takes over the presiding judge spot previously held by Judge Robert Altice, while Judges Becky Pierson-Treacy, David Certo, and Marc Rothenberg have taken the other spots. The executive committee’s current term runs through the end of 2012.

The executive committee also has changed the time it will meet each Friday to noon. This week will be the first meeting that begins at the new time.

On the agenda this week are budget, contract, and agreement matters, as well as discussion of a possible new judicial center for Marion County. The city, mayor and county sheriff have formed a task force to study the possibility of building a new judicial complex, which would take the place of the currently used City-County Building that opened in the early 1960s. The Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) is the lead agency and has hired consultants to assist on the study. A new complex is an initiative that the Indianapolis Bar Association has been involved in for years, and it’s created its own Judicial Center Task Force that has been conducting outreach to the public and legal community.

The weekly meetings are open to the public and held in the City-County Building located at 200 E. Washington St., in the 12th floor conference room.
 

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  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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