Baseline for senior judge days raised to 20 for 2024

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To encourage the continued use of senior judges in the state’s courts, the Indiana Supreme Court announced it is increasing the baseline number of senior judge days each court may use in 2024 to 20.

In an order issued Wednesday by Chief Justice Loretta Rush, the high court also announced that all senior judges certified by the Judicial Nominating Commission for service in 2023 are appointed to serve in the Court of Appeals of Indiana, the Indiana Tax Court, or any circuit, superior or probate court during 2024.

According to the order, the practice of exceeding a court’s senior judge allotment without first seeking additional days should be avoided whenever possible.

“Unless exceptional circumstances prevent doing so, requests for additional days must be submitted prior to the court exceeding its annual allotment. Requests for additional senior judge service days made after the court’s allotment has already been exceeded may be denied,” the order states.

Additional allotments will not be made prior to March 1, 2024, unless there is an urgent need demonstrated.

Also, senior judges may be used to cover suspensions that occur because of a disciplinary action.

The order states that, during the annual meeting of the Judicial Conference of Indiana, senior judges are asked to prioritize assisting active conference members by covering their courtrooms to allow those judicial officers to attend the annual meeting.

Finally, the order states that the Court of Appeals and the Tax Court may utilize such senior judge service days as is reasonably necessary to conduct the business of those courts.

The order breaks down the allocation of senior judge days by county. The highest allocation went to Marion Superior Court 14, which received 65 senior judge days for 2024.

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