Judge’s retirement opens St. Joseph court vacancy

The coming retirement of a St. Joseph Superior Court judge has opened applications for her successor, the Indiana Supreme Court announced Friday.

Applications are being accepted through Aug. 21 for judges and attorneys interested in succeeding St. Joseph Superior Judge Jane Woodward Miller, who has announced she will retire when her term on the bench expires at the end of this year.

The St. Joseph Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission, chaired by Justice Christopher Goff, will interview applicants to succeed Miller at a later date. Applications are available online at courts.in.gov/5754.htm and must be submitted through the Indiana Courts Portal by noon EDT on Friday, Aug. 21.

According to Indiana law, I.C. 33-33-71-29 to 33-33-71-43, the Commission is required to submit to the governor “the five most highly qualified candidates from among all those eligible” for appointment when a vacancy arises. Gov. Eric Holcomb will then have 60 days from formal notification of finalists to make his appointment.

The Commission’s interviews of the applicants and applicant names are confidential according to statute. The five candidates are public record and will be announced when named by the Commission. The announcement is expected sometime in September.

Miller has served on the St. Joseph bench since she was appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court as a judge pro tem in 2005. She most recently was retained for a six-year term in 2014, garnering more than 75% approval from voters, the highest rate of retention of any Indiana trial or appellate court judge on the ballot that year.

Miller is part of a judicial family. She is the wife of U.S. Northern District of Indiana Judge Robert Miller Jr., who took senior status in 2015, and whose late father, former Judge Robert Miller Sr., served on the St. Joseph Superior bench.

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