Judge Nancy Eshcoff Boyer, a longtime judge and the first woman jurist in Allen County, has announced her retirement from the bench after nearly 30 years of service.
Boyer announced that she will retire effective June 15, 2020. The judge officially communicated her intent to retire to Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush earlier this week. Her retirement concludes a career in law spanning nearly 45 years.
“All I have ever wanted to do was make a difference,” Boyer said in a statement. “Being a judge allowed me to do that in ways I never imagined. I’ve been a part of everything from improving the delivery of justice statewide to helping people keep their homes right here in Allen County. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to have served and so appreciative to the citizens of Allen County for their trust.”
After being initially appointed to the bench in 1991 by former Gov. Evan Bayh, Boyer was elected to her first full term in 1992 and re-elected in 1998, 2004, 2010 and 2016. As a civil division judge, Boyer has presided mainly over civil proceedings and jury trials, including commercial, medical malpractice and personal injury litigation.
Boyer, who served as chief judge twice during her 29 years on the bench, also served as chief judge in 2019 when the Allen Superior Court had five female judges make up the majority of the court for the first time in its history.
Indiana Lawyer in 2017 recognized Boyer as a Distinguished Barrister in its annual Leadership In Law awards. In 2011, she received the Excellence in Public Information award from the Indiana Judges Association. Additionally, Boyer was honored in 2014 for her leadership, including a term as chair, of the Indiana Commission for Continuing Legal Education.
The retiring judge also played a role in the 2010 creation of “plain English” instructions for jurors in civil cases. She served as part of a statewide committee of judges and attorneys tasked with translating complex legal concepts, terminology and processes faced by juries into clear, concise explanations and definitions. In conjunction with the Indiana Supreme Court, Boyer also helped establish and currently operates the Allen County Mortgage Foreclosure Trial Court Assistance Project.
“Nancy Boyer understands how the judicial branch of government works and what it can accomplish like few other people ever have,” said Judge Craig J. Bobay, Administrative Judge of the Allen Superior Court Civil Division. “She is a tireless innovator who didn’t just break the glass ceiling for women in the Allen County Courts. She has never been afraid to think big and work hard to do more with the leadership role the community entrusted to her. Allen County is a better and more compassionate place because Judge Boyer chose a career in public service.”
The retiring judge graduated from South Side High School and received an English literature degree at DePauw University, where she graduated cum laude in 1973. She then graduated with honors from the Indiana University School of Law in 1976.
Boyer’s successor will be appointed by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb from a group of finalists to be identified by the Allen County Judicial Nominating Commission. The timing of the selection process will be announced by the governor’s office.
Boyer’s successor will complete the remainder of the judge’s current term, which ends Dec. 31, 2022.