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Snow closes some federal, county courts

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The foot or more of snow dumped on the southern two-thirds of Indiana hasn't stopped some attorneys from making it to their offices today, but it has closed some courts around the state.

Most of the U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Indiana are closed, but attorneys are still able to make filings in the Indianapolis courthouse that remains open today, according to Clerk Laura Briggs. The divisional clerk's offices and the courts in Evansville, New Albany, and Terre Haute are closed and the buildings aren't open, she said. However, the Indianapolis courthouse remains open with a limited staff. The chief judge makes the call as far as closing the clerk's office, Briggs said, and each judge makes the call as to his or her individual chambers - deciding for instance if a case should proceed or jurors should be notified not to come in.

If someone misses a deadline in Indianapolis because of a paper filing, it will have to be handled on a case-by-case basis, since the clerk's office is technically accessible, Briggs said.

The federal courts in the Northern District of Indiana were open today.

Various county courts across the state are closed today due to the weather. Marion County courts didn't open and Delaware County courts closed at noon. The clerk's offices in Johnson, Hendricks, and Morgan counties reported most courts were open, but Johnson Superior 2 and Hendricks Superior 5 remained closed. The Morgan Circuit Court wasn't open this morning, but was supposed to open at noon, according to the Morgan County Clerk's office. A call to the Circuit Court wasn't returned by IL deadline.

At the state level, court business continued as usual, said Kathryn Dolan, public information officer for the Indiana Supreme Court. She said when it comes to declaring a snow day for the courts, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard follows the guidance of the governor and unless he declares an emergency, the judicial branch is open for business as usual. Some people arrived late today or took personal days, Dolan said, estimating about half the staff made it in.

Northern Indiana was spared the heavy snow and courts were open as usual. In northwest Indiana, Lake Superior Judge John Pera said the two inches the area received overnight wasn't enough to close the courts. So far this year, the county system has had two partial closings and a two-hour delay because of the weather, he said. Since taking the bench in 2000, Judge Pera said he only remembers one full weather-related closing of the courthouse.

Larger Indianapolis law firms noted mostly that attorneys were able to make it to the office by late morning despite the weather, but are allowing anyone who needs it the option to work remotely. Bingham McHale managing partner Toby McClamroch said attorneys were given a two-hour delay, but most showed up on time anyway.

Barnes & Thornburg spokesperson Ty Gerig said most of the staff made it in today, although it is a little less than they'd see on a regular business day. Taft Stettinius & Hollister reported strong attendance today, but allows anyone to work from home when needed, said Kelly Sharpe, business development and marketing manager.

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  1. Such things are no more elections than those in the late, unlamented Soviet Union.

  2. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  3. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  4. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  5. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

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