On April 16, a brief ceremony took place to unveil a new look for the Supreme Court Conference Room. The Indiana Bar Foundation gifted to the Court a painting of former Chief Justice Brent Dickson (1986-2016) by northwest Indiana artist Michael Chelich. Additionally, photographs of former Justices Robert Rucker (1999-2017) and Myra Selby (1995-1999) have been added to the room.
New Executive Director, Office of Court Services
The Indiana Supreme Court’s Chief Administrative Officer, Justin Forkner, announced that Mary Kay Hudson has been selected as the new Executive Director of the Indiana Office of Court Services. Mary Kay has been a Deputy Director in IOCS, overseeing the Justice Services Division, since 2016. She started with the Court in 2002, when she was hired to be the Drug Court Coordinator for the Indiana Judicial Center after working in Marion County’s probation department and drug treatment diversion program. She has been instrumental in the success of many of the Court’s largest criminal justice reform initiatives, including problem-solving courts, evidence-based decision making, and the pretrial release pilots.
Allen Superior Court expands program
The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) awarded a grant of more than $200,000 to the Allen County Juvenile Center’s “Check and Connect” Program, an effort to mentor students in grades K-12. The program serves students who are at risk of dropping out of school. It pairs students with trained mentors who advocate for and challenge the student to make education a priority.
Look for a related article by Allen Superior Court Judge Andrea R. Trevino in an upcoming issue.
Clinton judge deployed for military duty
Major Justin Hunter serves in the Indiana Army National Guard. He will be deployed this summer to active duty. During Judge Hunter’s absence the Clinton County Superior Court will be in the experienced hands of Donald Currie, a Senior Judge who also had military experience when he served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Indiana Guard.
Travis L. Clowers was appointed to the Posey County Superior Court, succeeding Judge Brent Almon who retired on Feb. 28, 2019. He had served as the elected prosecutor in Posey County, a position he held since January 2011. Prior to his election as prosecutor, Clowers served in both the Vanderburgh County and the Brown County prosecutor’s offices. He earned a Bachelor of Science from University of Southern Indiana and his law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law.
Benjamin D. Vanderpool was appointed to the Wabash County Superior Court to succeed Judge Amy Conner Cornell who passed away earlier this year. Vanderpool has been in private practice in Wabash and Warsaw, Indiana since graduating law school. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Purdue University and his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
Christopher D. Kehler was appointed to the new Kosciusko County Superior Court which will open July 1. Kehler has been in private practice in Warsaw, Indiana since graduating law school. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Ivy Tech Community College. Kehler earned a Bachelor of Arts from Franklin College and his law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law.
Jackson County Judicial Center opening
An open house was conducted on February 15, 2019, for the new 38,000 square-foot Jackson County Judicial Center at 109 S. Sugar Street in Brownstown. It will house three courtrooms with space for a fourth, the Prosecutor’s Office, and the Clerk’s Office.
All three Jackson County Courts will now be housed in the same building, as Jackson Superior Court #1 moved from Seymour to the new building. The Judicial Center connects to an existing Annex containing office spaces related to the court functions and will implement a higher level of security. A sally port in the basement with secure circulation through the core of the building will limit interaction with detainees while in the building.