Magistrate Judge Cherry retires with legacy of being ‘consummate professional’

Northern Indiana District Court Magistrate Judge Paul Cherry has retired, ending a career that included six years as DeKalb County prosecutor and 15-plus years on the federal bench.

Cherry, who began his tenure as magistrate judge on Oct. 1, 2003, retired Dec. 31, 2018. His judicial colleagues recognized his contributions at a special session of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, on Jan. 11. Judges from the district court, the Northern Indiana District Bankruptcy Court and the Indiana Court of Appeals, as well as justices from the Indiana Supreme Court, attended the ceremony. Also, state court judges from Allen, DeKalb, LaGrange, Lake, Noble, Steuben and Whitley counties were at the event to offer their congratulations.

“Judge Cherry is the consummate professional,” Northern District Chief Judge Theresa Springmann said in a Monday statement. “His knowledge of the law, unequaled work ethic and exceptional judicial demeanor made him a tremendous asset to the bench and bar of the Northern District of Indiana. His contributions to the Court will be greatly missed.”

Joshua Kolar has succeeded Cherry as a magistrate judge in Hammond. An investiture for Kolar is planned for later this year.

A 1977 graduate of Ohio Northern University School of Law, Cherry started his legal career in private practice in DeKalb County. He served as the county’s prosecuting attorney from 1982 to 1988, then was elected to the DeKalb Circuit Court in 1989. In 2003, he moved from state court to federal court.

Cherry completed a National Judicial College course through the University of Nevada and is a graduate of the Indiana Judicial College. 

Throughout his career, he has maintained strong ties to his undergraduate alma mater, Huntington University. He graduated in 1973 and returned to serve as adjunct faculty from 1980 to 2002. Also, he was a member of the university’s board of trustees from 1984 to 2007.

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