Blackford judges ban clerk from courthouse

Judges in Blackford County last week issued an order barring the elected clerk from her courthouse offices or even on the sidewalks surrounding the courthouse in Hartford City, claiming she behaved inappropriately and disobeyed and sabotaged court commands.

Clerk Derninda Shady is subject to immediate arrest if she steps foot on the courthouse square, according to the temporary restraining order issued after a hearing Thursday signed by Circuit Judge Dean A. Young and Superior Judge Nick Barry. The judges also scheduled a hearing for Wednesday morning to determine whether Shady would be permitted to resume as clerk. A deputy clerk is handling court files in the meantime.

Judges entered several findings arising from proposed staff cuts in Shady’s office. The order claims Shady acted inappropriately during a county council meeting this month then “threatened (Barry) with terminating supervision and oversight of Superior Court business; a threat which she had also communicated to (Young).”

The order claims Shady “indicated that she would deny the Courts access to their own records even after being advised of the relevant rules regarding records.” Shady also told Barry he “better bring a cop” to retrieve criminal court case files, according to the order. Judges said they infer that as a threat of physical injury or confrontation.

Shady also is accused of calling a county councilwoman a derogatory name during a budget hearing where she “was irate and out of control in addressing other council members to such an extent that she had to be restrained and removed from the Council chambers,” the order says.

The order said the judges were acting under Trial Rule 65, Administrative Rule 10 and that courts would be irreparably harmed if Shady is allowed to continue working as clerk.

A message seeking comment from state court spokespeople was not immediately returned Monday.

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