The recent appointment of a Lake County magistrate to the superior court bench has led to several changes in the makeup of the county’s circuit court.
Former Lake Circuit Magistrate Stephen E. Scheele was appointed to the Lake Superior Court bench in June, succeeding retired Judge William E. Davis. As a result, Magistrate Lisa Berdine has been transferred from the Lake Circuit Family Court to the Lake Circuit Civil Court, assuming administration of all cases pending in the civil courtroom.
In Berdine’s place, Referee Samantha Wuletich has become the magistrate judge of the Lake Circuit Family Court, assuming administration of all cases pending in family court. Wuletich’s appointment, in turn, led to the appointment of Maureen Koonce as the Lake Circuit Court referee.
Koonce was most recently a deputy prosecutor in the Lake County felony division, handling high-level criminal prosecutions. She also has civil law experience, having previously worked on cases involving estate planning, guardianship and nursing home abuse.