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Ex-New Haven City Court judge agrees to lifetime judicial ban

January 16, 2019

A northern Indiana city court judge who resigned at the end of the year after several judicial misconduct charges were filed against him has agreed to never again serve as a judge, the Indiana Supreme Court announced.

In September 2018, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications filed a notice of formal proceedings and statement of charges against then-New Haven City Court Judge Geoffrey L. Robison after he was charged with improperly assuming the duties of a prosecutor and wrongly approving infraction deferrals for juveniles.

Robison, who had served as city court judge since 2000, filed and processed infraction tickets without prosecutor approval, improperly used the prosecutor’s signature stamp to execute deferral agreements on infractions, and improperly placed 67 juveniles into an infraction deferral program.

Robison resigned on Dec. 26, and the New Haven City Council unanimously voted to close the New Haven City Court effective Dec. 31. A panel of three special masters had been appointed to conduct a public hearing on the judicial misconduct charge and impose an appropriate sanction.Upon a conditional agreement between the parties, Robison agreed to not perform judicial duties in the future. Finding continued litigation of the issue to be inefficient use of judicial resources, the Indiana Supreme Court therefore declared the matter moot, dismissing it in a Tuesday order. Masters appointed in the matter were dismissed.

Prior to his role in New Haven City Court, Robison, who is not an attorney, served as the chief of the police department in the Allen County city. Indiana law was changed in 2015 to require city and town court judges to be licensed Indiana attorneys in good standing. The order concerning Robison says he agrees that he “is prohibited from future judicial service even if the legislature changes the law in the future to allow non-attorneys to serve as city or town court judges or other types of judges.”

 

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