IN Northern District Magistrate Judge Gotsch announces retirement in August 2024

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There will soon be a new magistrate judge vacancy in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, as a longtime judicial officer has announced his retirement next year.

According to a news release, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael G. Gotsch has notified Indiana Northern District Chief Judge Holly Brady of his intent to retire in August 2024.

Applications to succeed him are due by 4 p.m. ET on Jan. 16, 2024.

Brady said in the release,“The judges of the Northern District of Indiana are grateful for Magistrate Judge Gotsch’s service to the Court. His retirement marks the end of an exemplary career in the judiciary. Judge Gotsch’s contributions to the courts and communities he has served for the past 40 years will have a lasting impact allowing the courts to better serve litigants.”

Gotsch was appointed to an eight-year term in the Northern District as a magistrate judge in 2016.

Prior to that, he served as judge of the St. Joseph Circuit Court from 2004 to 2016. In that position, he was responsible for the supervision of the Circuit Court, probation department, domestic relations bureau, and the public defender’s office.

Under his leadership, St. Joseph County renovated the old jail building into usable space for criminal courts, the adult probation department and the community substance abuse program, according to the federal court. In addition, he championed the creation of a civil protective order court, a problem-solving court dedicated to protecting victims of domestic violence.

While a trial judge, Gotsch served on the board of directors for the Indiana Judicial Conference and was its judicial technology liaison. In that role, he assisted in developing, designing and delivering the Odyssey case management system to courts in all 92 counties, deploying the system to St. Joseph County in 2014.

Magistrate Judge Michael Gotsch. (Photo from

Gotsch was selected as the outstanding judge in Indiana on two occasions: in 2015 by the Young Lawyers Section of the Indiana State Bar Association and in 2010 by the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Additionally, the YWCA of North Central Indiana honored him as Man of the Year in 2012, and the League of Women Voters honored him with the Making Democracy Work award in 2015.

A decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, Gotsch graduated from the Notre Dame Law School in 1987. He was formerly an adjunct professor of law at his alma mater, where he taught trial advocacy for more than a decade.

Gotsch is a member of the St. Joseph County Bar Association, where he has served on the board for more than 25 years and was the association’s president in 1999-2000.

He is also a master member of the Robert A. Grant Inn of Court, a fellow of the Indiana Bar Foundation, and a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the Indiana State Bar Association and the Federal Magistrate Judges Association.

He previously served on the U.S. Presidential Task Force on Criminal Nonsupport, the Indiana Governor’s Task Force on Abused and Neglected Children and the Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Evidence Based Pretrial Release Practices.

In addition, he has volunteered on numerous community boards and committees, including the Boy Scouts of America and its LaSalle Council.

District judges appoint U.S. magistrate judges to terms of eight years, and magistrate judges are eligible for reappointment to successive terms. A magistrate judge may retire after reaching 65 and serving more than eight years.

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