ILNews

Township board OKs court move

IBJ Staff
September 28, 2011
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The Center Township Board on Sept. 21 approved a plan to move the township’s small claims court from the downtown Indianapolis City-County Building to the Julia M. Carson Government Center despite a judge’s objection.

Board members approved the move by a vote of 5-1, with one abstention. Moving the court does not need approval from the City-County Council.

The move could be completed by the end of the year and before the county increases the court’s rent 5 percent. The court currently pays $16,701 annually to lease its space.

Trustee Eugene Akers wants to move the court, against Judge Michelle Smith Scott’s wishes. The judge cited security reasons among her objections to the move.

The court is the city’s oldest of nine township small claims courts and is the only one located in the City-County Building, where it’s been housed since the 28-story building opened in 1962.

The proposal calls for the court to take the 2,200-square-foot space vacated by 300 East, a restaurant and bar at the Carson Center that closed Sept. 1. The small claims court now occupies 1,600 square feet in the basement of the City-County Building.Akers said the township could save money if the court moves rent-free to the township-owned Carson Center on Fall Creek Parkway. Akers estimated the cost to move the court and renovate and furnish the space at $459,000.

Akers is bracing for a 15-percent budget cut of $1.3 million next year due to a continued loss of funds from property taxes, which make up local government’s largest source of revenue.•

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Originally published at IBJ.com, the website of the Indianapolis Business Journal, a sister publication of the Indiana Lawyer.

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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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