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Special masters named in senior judge's case

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The Indiana Supreme Court has named three trial judges to serve as special masters in the disciplinary action against Senior Judge Walter P. Chapala, formerly of the LaPorte Superior Court.

The court appointed Bartholomew Circuit Judge Stephen Heimann, Tippecanoe Superior Judge Loretta Rush, and Brown Circuit Judge Judith Stewart Wednesday to hear the judicial disciplinary case. Judge Heimann will be the presiding master over the case, which comes from the charges lodged against Senior Judge Chapala in late October.

The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications accused him of five counts of misconduct that he violated ethics rules on two occasions while serving as an elected judge in 2001 and 2004. The accusations involve a sentence suspension in exchange for donations to court programs, and the judge's alleged involvement in a relative's case over which he presided.

The court has asked the masters to determine by mid-January a schedule for a disciplinary hearing, and the court wants the panel to submit a recommendation report by May 1, if the disciplinary action isn't resolved in the meantime.

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  1. I will be filing a lawsuit in Tippecanoe County for so many violations in a case we became involved in, including failure to contact through mail, Violation of 4th Amendment rights, Violation of Civil Rights, and so on. Even the Indiana Ombudsmen Bureau found violations and I have now received the report and they are demanding further training in Tippecanoe County. I am going to make sure they follow through!!!

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  3. I thought the purpose of the criminal justice center was to consolidate all the criminal services and get them out of downtown to clean up the place. Why in the HELL are the civil courts moving? What a burden to all the downtown law firms. Now we all get to work downtown, but then have to get in a car and COMMUTE to court? Who approved this idiocy?

  4. I drive through the neighborhood whenever I go to the City-County Building or the Federal Courthouse. The surrounding streets are all two way with only two lanes of traffic, and traffic is very slow during rush hour. I hope that enough money has been allocated to allow for improvement of the surrounding streets.

  5. I have had an ongoing custody case for 6 yrs. I should have been the sole legal custodial parent but was a victim of a vindictive ex and the system biasedly supported him. He is an alcoholic and doesn't even have a license for two yrs now after his 2nd DUI. Fast frwd 6 yrs later my kids are suffering poor nutritional health, psychological issues, failing in school, have NO MD and the GAL could care less, DCS doesn't care. The child isn't getting his ADHD med he needs and will not succeed in life living this way. NO one will HELP our family.I tried for over 6 yrs. The judge called me an idiot for not knowing how to enter evidence and the last hearing was 8 mths ago. That in itself is unjust! The kids want to be with their Mother! They are being alienated from her and fed lies by their Father! I was hit in a car accident 3 yrs ago and am declared handicapped myself. Poor poor way to treat the indigent in Indiana!

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