Courts and judicial officers

The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 256 on courts and judicial officers sponsored by Reps. McNamara, Steuerwald, and Torr for amend and vote.  The bill provides:

  • The interim committee on courts and the judiciary (committee) shall review, consider, and make recommendations concerning requests for new courts, new judicial officers, and changes in jurisdiction of existing courts in each even numbered year;
  • Provides that in each even numbered year the committee shall: (1) identify each county in which the number of courts or judicial officers exceeds the number used by the county for a particular year; and (2) determine the number of years in which the number of courts or judicial officers in the county has exceeded the number used by the county and requires the office of judicial administration to post the required information on its Internet web site;
  • Establishes the Clark circuit courts No. 5 and No. 6, beginning January 1, 2025. Provides for the election of the judges of each of these circuit courts at the November 2024 general election;
  • Establishes the Clark superior courts No. 5 and No. 6, requires the governor to appoint the judge of each of these superior courts, and mandates that each of these superior courts converts to Clark circuit courts No. 5 and No. 6 beginning January 1, 2025;
  • Establishes a sixth circuit court in Delaware County and removes the requirement that Delaware circuit courts 4 and 5 each have a standard small claims and misdemeanor docket;
  • Establishes a third superior court in Marshall County;
  • Allows the judge of the Gibson superior court to appoint a magistrate to serve the Gibson superior court;
  • Allows the judges of the Hamilton circuit and superior courts to jointly appoint an additional magistrate to serve the Hamilton County courts;
  • Allows the judges of the Jennings circuit and superior courts to jointly appoint a magistrate to serve the Jennings County courts;
  • Requires the office of judicial administration to: (1) collect data concerning rates of rearrest of defendants released with and without money bail; and (2) submit an annual report containing the information collected to the legislative council; and
  • Urges the legislative council to assign to the committee the topic of giving mutual full faith and credit to judgments and orders of a tribal court of a federally recognized Indian tribe.

The bill was amended by consent to correct technical language regarding the Gibson Circuit Court.  The amended bill passed 11-0 and was recommitted to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Read the bill at: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/senate/256