Retired Magistrate Judge Cherry to serve Southern District as criminal duty magistrate

A retired magistrate judge of Indiana’s Northern District Court has been temporarily assigned to provide targeted assistance in the Indianapolis division of the Southern District Court, Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson announced Thursday.

Beginning Monday, recalled magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry will begin his intracircuit magistrate judge assignment, serving as the criminal duty magistrate judge one week per month through at least March 2021. Cherry’s assignment has been made with the concurrence of Northern District Court Chief Judge Jon DeGuilio.

Magnus-Stinson issued an order specifying the emergency that necessitates the temporary assignment of Cherry to a judicial district that is not his own, as required by 28 U.S.C. § 636(f).

The order states that the Southern District Court’s weighted filings have nearly doubled over the past five years and that the court currently has more than 11,000 pending cases.

“The continued strain of operating well in excess of full capacity is insurmountable, and even under ordinary circumstances would amount to an emergency. These are not ordinary times, however — a pandemic is also ongoing in the country and has been particularly detrimental to this court considering its already overburdened caseload,” the order says.

“We are grateful to Magistrate Judge Cherry for his willingness to help his judicial colleagues in the Southern District, and to Chief Judge DeGuilio for generously loaning us a very capable, highly regarded judge. We look forward to hosting Judge Cherry in Indianapolis over the coming months,” Magnus-Stinson said.

A 1977 graduate of Ohio Northern University School of Law, Cherry started his legal career in private practice in DeKalb County. He served as the county’s prosecuting attorney from 1982 to 1988, then was elected to the DeKalb Circuit Court in 1989. In 2003, he moved from state court to federal court.

Cherry retired from the Northern District Court Dec. 31, 2018. 

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