Indiana Court Times 21.4
SEP/OCT 2012 issue of the Indiana Court Times, the bi-monthly newsletter published by the Indiana Supreme Court Division of State Court Administration.
Issue 21.4 SEP/OCT 2012 Brent E. Dickson ARTICLES Brent E. Dickson Takes Oath of Office as Chief Justice of Indiana 2 Filing and Counting Petitions Regarding Collaborative Care Agreements for Older Youth 4 Refresher Course: CCS & RJO 5 Title IX Opened the Door for Women Athletes Indiana Judicial Center Continues Popular Court Employee Training Program A formal, public oath ceremony to swear-in Brent E. Dickson as Chief Justice of Indiana took place at 10 a.m.in the North Atrium of the Indiana State House on Monday, August 6th. Governor Mitch Daniels administered the oath while Mrs. Jan 10 Marion County Small Claims Court Task Force Issues Report 12 Supreme Court Sponsors Pro Bono Mediation Takes Oath of Office as Chief Justice of Indiana 16 Dickson held the same bible that was used by Justice Dickson in his swearing-in ceremony upon his appointment as Supreme Court Justice by Governor Robert Orr in 1986. In May 2012, the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission voted to appoint Justice Brent E. Dickson as the Chief Justice of Indiana. The Commission vote was unanimous, and the appointment was effective immediately. Within hours, Justice 14 Dickson was sworn-in as Chief Justice by his colleague, Justice Robert D. Rucker. The August 6th investiture is the formal public ceremony marking the change in COLUMNS leadership on the Court. Chief Justice Dickson was appointed to the Court in 1986 SPOTLIGHT as the Court’s 100th Justice. His full biography and a high-resolution photo can be Sagamore of the Wabash, Rehnquist Award, and more 6 BITS & BYTES Justice Mark Massa, Justice Steven David and Justice Robert Rucker each urged JTAC Supports Odyssey Supervision Implementation in Clark County SIDEBAR Hon. Richard A. Maughmer 8 14 ASK ADRIENNE To fee or not to fee... That is the ethical question found online at www.in.gov/judiciary/citc/2829.htm the Commission to appoint Justice Dickson as Chief Justice. He had been serving as Acting Chief Justice since Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard retired in March. Justice Dickson accepted the position, calling it an honor to serve the citizens of Indiana, “While we are in the midst of sweeping changes in Supreme Court justices, my colleagues and I will do our best to pursue the tradition of excellence and to 18 provide stability as we continue to seek fair and impartial justice for all.” The ceremony included remarks from Governor Daniels, Indiana Judges Association President Robyn Moberly, Representative Ralph Foley, Tippecanoe County Bar Association President Patricia Truitt, and retired Justice Theodore Boehm. As the next most senior member of the Court, Justice Rucker presided over the ceremony. The remarks delivered by Chief Justice Dickson follow in their entirety. 2 SEP/OCT 2012 courttimes On the Cover. The Supreme Court Conference Room is where much of the Justices’ collaborative work takes place. The Chief Justice presides over conference meetings where cases and administrative matters are discussed on a regular basis. Photo by Greta Scodro. Remarks by Chief Justice Dickson T hank you, Governor Daniels, and all our speakers, for your thoughtful words of encouragement. Thanks also to all of you who have joined with us this morning to reaffirm and support Indiana’s judiciary. I cannot help but to be supremely grateful to Almighty God for the remarkable privilege of living in Indiana, and in the United States, where we each enjoy freedom and sacred liberties, and where we are governed by, and responsible to, our fellow citizens—as Everett Greene sang to us: “especially the People, that’s America to me.” And now, to realize that I have a special opportunity of service to the State of Indiana, my feelings of honor, gratitude, and responsibility are especially profound. This occasion would never have occurred without the encouragement, support, and love, of my wife of 49 years—Jan Aikman Dickson. Jan was recently honored by the National Center for State Courts for her service to the judiciary by founding, nurturing, and serving the national Judicial Family Institute. Thank you, Jan, for your years of “aiding and abetting justice”—especially your justice—me. Thanks also to my sons, Drew, Kyle, and Reed, for the sacrifices they endured when I chose to leave private law practice and to become a Supreme Court justice, right in the middle of their careers as college, high school, and middle school students. I am very proud of the fine men they have become, and I am so pleased that they are each here today. Today represents the approaching conclusion of a period of significant change for the Indiana Supreme Court. This is in stark contrast to the recent 11 year period without any alteration in the composition of the Court—the longest such period in Indiana history. But since then, there have been three vacancies in our five-person court. Ted Boehm, a brilliant and prolific justice, retired two years ago. Frank Sullivan, an extraordinary servant leader, officially departed from the Court just last Tuesday. And earlier this year, Randy Shepard’s retirement ended his 25 years of nationally acclaimed leadership as our Chief Justice. Two of the recent vacancies have been now been filled, and by October we will likely again be a 5-person Court. Our new Justices Steve David and Mark Massa have settled in and are doing excellent work. And we have become great friends in the process. And I am also fortunate that Justice Robert Rucker, a strong, steady, constant, regular hand and his thoughtful jurisprudence will be continuing to serve the Court in the future. Your “new” Indiana Court intends to continue in the tradition of the recent past—which has made the Indiana judiciary highly-esteemed both in Indiana and nationally. Indiana’s appellate opinions are cited by courts in other states. We aim to continue our proud tradition of being a non-political court—deciding cases solely on the facts and the law. And we respect CONTINUED ON PAGE 9 Right. Chief Justice Brent E. Dickson addresses the audience attending his investiture ceremony at the State House. Dickson, who is the third-longest-serving justice in Indiana Supreme Court history, was appointed by Governor Robert D. Orr in 1986 and became Chief Justice after more than 28 years on the bench. Photo by Jim Barnett. courttimes SEP/OCT 2012 3 Filing and Counting Petitions Regarding Collaborative Care Agreements for Older Youth The 2012 Indiana General Assembly passed SEA 286, which creates a program (funded by Title IV-E of the Social Security Act) that can provide services to older youth who are ready to age out, or who have previously aged out, of the juvenile justice system as children in need of services (CHINS). The law defines an older youth as an individual who is at least eighteen (18) years of age but less than twenty (20). The law provides that courts may approve collaborative care agreements and retain jurisdiction over older youth who have entered into a voluntary collaborative care agreement with the Department of Child Services (DCS). In order for the new collaborative care program to be available to an older youth, the youth must be a CHINS and be residing in: ** ** ** ** ** ** a licensed foster family home a host home a child caring institution a licensed group home, or a supervised independent living arrangement approved by DCS -ORthe older youth who has previously aged out of the foster care system but had received foster care under a court order during the month before becoming eighteen (18). These cases will be brought by DCS attorneys filing a Joint Petition (Petition) to allow the older youth to enter a collaborative care program or to approve 4 SEP/OCT 2012 courttimes an agreement. If the child has already been discharged as a CHINS under IC 31-34-2-1 (and the CHINS case is closed) at the time the Petition is tendered for filing, the Clerk should file the Petition as a new Juvenile Miscellaneous (JM) case under the name of the older youth (who was the prior CHINS). The new case will be confidential. If the child is still a CHINS (and the CHINS case is still pending), the sequence of when the child is discharged as a CHINS and when the Petition is filed become important. This is because federal eligibility regulations require a “new episode” which would allow a review of the child’s current financial circumstances. However, the judge with jurisdiction over the CHINS case should not discharge the child until he/she is assured that the proposed collaborative care is appropriate. Thus, if the child has not been discharged as CHINS at the time the Petition is tendered, the judge would want to make sure that he/she is satisfied with the proposed collaborative care. The DCS attorney will have to provide a copy of the Collaborative Care Agreement to the judge before the Petition can be filed with the clerk. The attorney can do that in different ways, but most likely she will request a final hearing or submit a final progress report in the underlying CHINS case with a copy of the Petition. If the judge is satisfied with the proposed collaborative care program and would approve it, the judge will enter an Order Discharging the Child in the underlying CHINS case. The important thing is that the clerk should not file the Petition until the Order Discharging is entered on the CCS in the CHINS case.1 The decision to file the Petitions regarding collaborative care as JM cases instead of ordinary civil miscellaneous (MI) cases was based on the need to maintain the confidentiality of collaborative care cases. By designating them as juvenile proceedings, they would automatically fall under Administrative Rule 9(G) and be confidential. Under Administrative Rule 8, the MI designation is assigned to civil miscellaneous cases. If the petitions are filed as MI cases, the entire case would be accessible to the public except for specific records listed in Admin.R. 9(G), such as medical reports, grades, etc. In order for a court to close non-confidential records in an MI cases, it would have to seal records under IC 5-14-3-5.5, which requires notice and hearing, or do so under Administrative Rule 9(H), which also requires notice, hearing and specific findings. Presently, the civil miscellaneous case category carries a higher weight (more minutes) than the juvenile miscellaneous case type under the weighted caseload measures system. However, we anticipate the continuous study and revalidation by the Judicial Administration Committee will eventually reflect any additional time that the collaborative care agreements may add to the Juvenile Miscellaneous case type. The JM Collaborative Care Agreement case will remain open until the court enters an order closing the Collaborative Care and terminating jurisdiction over the youth. The disposition at that time could be a “bench trial” if the matter is resolved by a hearing before the Court. Or it could be a “bench disposition” if the Court is simply approving a termination of the Collaborative Care Agreement. This new law on Collaborative Care can be found at Indiana Code 31-28-5.8. 1 The Discharge order and the statistical disposition of the CHINS case should not be confused. The Discharge order may, and in most instances will, occur after a CHINS case has been counted as statistically closed by being disposed of by “bench trial” or “bench disposition,” (depending on how the CHINS dispositional hearing decision was made) for purposes of the Quarterly Case Status Reports. BY LILIA G. JUDSON | EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, STATE COURT ADMINISTRATION AND TOM JONES | RECORDS MANAGER, STATE COURT ADMINISTRATION Refresher course CCS & RJO Chronological Case Summary and Record of Judgments and Orders The Chronological Case Summary (CCS) and the Record of Judgments and Orders (RJO) have a significant role in trial court administration. These are two of the four records required by Trial Rule 77. Depending on local practice, court or clerk staff may be responsible for the creation and maintenance of parts or all of these records. It is important to keep in mind that two reference guides about the maintenance and creation of the CCS and the RJO are available on the Indiana Courts Website at www.in.gov/judiciary/admin. They are: Trial Rule 77 Quick Guide and the Trial Court Administration Manual for Judges and Clerks, Chapter 6 – Trial Rule 77: Court Records. This article is a short refresher course on some of the important highlights of the two manuals. Chronological Case Summary The official requirements for the Chronological Case Summary (CCS) are found in Trial Rule 77 (B). Some important points concerning the Chronological Case Summary are: ** ** The CCS is an official record of the trial court. The CCS is the court’s case management tool, and must accurately record each judicial event as it occurs. A judicial event is an action by a litigant, her attorney, or the court. The trial court must make sure that staff accurately records each judicial event as it occurs and enter each event on the CCS as of the date of such action. ** The Indiana Supreme Court has made it clear, through several rule amendments, that virtually all time limits, such as for filing responses or an appeal, start to run from the time an event is entered on the CCS. Thus, the timely entry of events on CCS is critical. ** It is equally critical that the date of a CCS entry be the date that the entry is made, regardless of the date on the particular document or the date the activity occurred. The text of the CCS should indicate when the document was signed or the activity took place. For example, the court may sign an order on August 1, 2012 but a CCS entry about the order is made on August 5, 2012. Such an entry should read as follows: “August 5, 2012: Order for discovery signed by the judge on August 1, 2012.” We also suggest that if there is a record of when the Order was received in the clerk’s office, the CCS should also indicate that date. ** The requirement for maintaining a sequential record of events in a case means that events must never be backdated. ** A CCS entry must also be made on the date that an order is entered into the Record of Judgments and Orders (RJO) indicating that is the date on which the order may be found in the RJO. (The CCS serves as the index, or locator, of orders, decrees and judgments of the court) If the date the order is entered in the CCS is the same as the date it is entered in the RJO (as it should be), then one entry will suffice as long as it indicates that the order is entered in the RJO on that day. In the foregoing example, if the Order for Discovery is entered in the RJO on August 5, 2012, then there is no need for a second CCS entry. However, if for some reason the Order is entered in the RJO on August 7, then a second CCS must be made. ** A CCS entry should never be amended, corrected or deleted once made. It may be amended only by another corrective CCS entry. This becomes particularly important in the age of instant information. Some courts, with written approval of the Division of State Court Administration, post CCS entries on the Internet, and it is very important the record in a case does not change from one day to the next. ** In the instance of pleadings filed under Trial Rule 5(F) by registered, certified or express mail, return receipt requested or by third-party commercial carrier for delivery to the clerk within three (3) calendar days, the pleadings may be stamped as “received” on the date the mail is received and should be stamped as “filed” as of the post mark date. Because a CCS entry cannot be made until the pleading is received, the CCS entry should be the date it is being made, and the text of the CCS entry should reflect that the pleading CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 courttimes SEP/OCT 2012 5 S P OTLIG HT Justice Frank Sullivan Receives Sagamore of the Wabash Award G overnor Mitch Daniels presented retired Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan with the Sagamore of the Wabash award on July 30th. The presentation was a surprise to Justice Sullivan and was made in the Governor’s office after the two men spoke privately. Above. Governor Mitch Daniels (left) presents recently retired Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan, Jr., (right) with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, historically presented as a symbol of the recipient’s distinguished service to the State of Indiana or contribution to Hoosier life. Photo by Greta Scodro. Those in attendance for the presentation included Chief Justice Dickson, Justice Rucker, Justice David, and Justice Massa. Also present were Justice Sullivan’s assistant, Michele Straub; his two law clerks, Emily Staten and Aaron Craft; State Court Administration Executive Director, Lilia Judson; State Court Administration Director of Trial Court Technology, Mary DePrez; Chief Justice Dickson’s assistant, Shelley Ayer, and his law clerks, Patrick Jessup and Justin McAdam; and Deputy Supreme Court Administrator, Greta Scodro. Superior Court Judge John F. Surbeck, Jr., Named Rehnquist Award Recipient A llen County Superior Court Criminal Division Judge John F. Surbeck Jr., has been named recipient of the 2012 William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence from the National Center for State Courts. One of the most prestigious judicial honors in the country, the Rehnquist Award is presented annually to a state court judge who exemplifies the highest level of judicial excellence, integrity, fairness, and professional ethics. Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr. will present the award to Judge Surbeck during a ceremony at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on November 15. Photo by Indiana Judicial Center 6 SEP/OCT 2012 courttimes Two Trial Judges Named Distinguished Barristers by the Indiana Lawyer T he Honorable Thomas Felts (Allen Circuit Court) and the Honorable Heather Welch (Marion Superior Court) were honored for their professional achievement, involvement in bar and professional organizations, support of social and civic communitybased programs, pro bono work, and mentoring. The Indiana Lawyer presented its 2012 Leadership in Law Awards at the Columbia Club in downtown Indianapolis on May 2, 2012. Their profiles are available online by visiting the Indiana Lawyer website at www.theindianalawyer.com/leadership-in-law. New Leadership at Indiana Pro Bono Commission T he Honorable Martha B. Wentworth (Indiana Tax Court) will serve as Chair of the Indiana Pro Bono Commission, and the Honorable David Avery (Allen Superior Court) will serve as Vice-Chair; both were appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court. The Indiana Pro Bono Commission is a project of the Indiana Bar Foundation and consists of 21 members appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Bar Foundation. The Commission is administered by an executive director. These individuals were appointed pursuant to Indiana Rule of Professional Conduct 6.6 and together, they have the responsibility of allocating IOLTA funds to the 12 District Pro Bono Committees in Indiana. To date, the Indiana Pro Bono Commission has provided over $9.5 million to the Indiana Pro Bono District Committees. State Court Administration Welcomes New Employees T Photos by Brenda Rodeheffer racy Beechy-Nufer joined the Division on August 5 as Director of Trial Court Management. She replaces Jim Walker, who became chief deputy prosecuting attorney for Clay County. Tracy is particularly well suited for her new position with over 10 years experience in law and management. As the Managing Attorney for Indiana Legal Services, Fort Wayne Division, Tracy worked in 10 northeast counties, both as practicing lawyer and as supervisor of a staff of seven. In her last year with ILS, Tracy cut back her hours as managing attorney in order to save the organization money. She took a parttime position as a public defender in Steuben County as well as opening a private office. She earned a BS degree from Purdue University in 1994 in Organizational Leadership and Supervision. She graduated in 2000 from the Thomas Cooley Law School in Michigan and was admitted to the Indiana Bar in October 2000. We are sure you will find that Tracy has superb administrative skills, a great deal of trial court experience, a customer service attitude, and a bright, engaging style. W endy Kihiu joined the Division in August as a Financial Analyst, replacing Jan Smith, who took a position with the Indiana Judicial Center. Under Tom Carusilloâ€™s leadership, Wendy will be responsible for working with the $100 million in the various accounts managed by the Division, among them being the judicial and prosecuting attorneys payrolls, the Public Defender Fund and the GAL/CASA fund. Wendy most recently worked as a Financial Analyst for FSSA, where she became proficient in the complex PeopleSoft Financial system used by state government. She has accounting degrees from the Kenya School of Professional Studies, Johnson Community College and Indiana University, where she earned a dual degree in accounting and finance. courttimes SEP/OCT 2012 7 B I TS & B YTES BY HENRY FORD | CHIEF PROBATION OFFICER, CLARK COUNTY JTAC Supports Odyssey Supervision Implementation in Clark County In January of this year the four separate probation departments of Clark County, along with Community Corrections, became a new consolidated department as required by Indiana Rules of Court, Administrative Rule 18. The four Clark County Circuit Court Judges (Board of Judges) directed me as the newly hired Chief Probation Officer to improve service delivery, eliminate duplication and develop uniform office practices. We analyzed the organization of the probation departments using the McKinsey 7-S Model. The McKinsey 7-S model was developed in the 1980s by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman who worked as consultants for McKinsey & Company. The premise of this model is that there are seven key facets of organizations that must work together. These facets are structure, systems, style, staff, skills, strategy, and shared values. A change to any one of the facets has an impact on the others. For example, a change in probation systems could have an impact on the structure of the organization or the number and skill level of the staff. The findings from the study led to several initiatives addressing the facets of the McKinsey 7-S model. 8 SEP/OCT 2012 courttimes created a Vision, Mission and ••We Values Statement for the consolidated department to address the need for shared values. wrote job descriptions for all ••We positions in the department to address skills. developed a new employee pol••We icy handbook utilizing templates provided by Brenda Rodeheffer, Director, Office and Employment Law Services, Indiana Supreme Court’s Division of State Court Administration, to address systems and shared values. a team of officers across all ••Finally, probation divisions implemented a common set of probation terms to further address systems and shared values. A significant problem identified during the study was that each of the pre-consolidation probation departments used different case management systems. These different systems did not interface with each other and it was a significant chore to share case information among probation officers or to transfer cases between departments to probation officers who possessed special skill sets. In addition, even the administrative work of routing clients to the correct probation officer was difficult because no administrative personnel had access to all departments’ case files. In order to address these deficiencies I decided to implement the Indiana Supreme Court’s Odyssey Supervision The premise of the McKinsey 7-S model is that there are seven key facets of organizations that must work together: Structure Systems Style Staff Skills Strategy Shared values System. The Clark County court system had been using the state Odyssey case management system (CMS) since June 2010. We contacted Lisa Thompson, Probation Subject Matter Expert with the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC), to discuss how and when Clark County could implement the new supervision system. Lisa Thompson along with JTAC consultant, Mark Harvey of M. Harvey Technology and Consulting, LLC, traveled to Clark County and provided probation leadership staff an introduction to the Odyssey supervision system. Ms. Thompson also provided a business process questionnaire so JTAC could begin configuring the system to meet the specific needs of Clark County. We began implementation of the system during the week of May 14. Ms. Thompson and Mr. Harvey provided a week of training to the Clark County probation department. JTAC furnished more than 20 laptop computers for use by Clark County Probation staff during the training. The staff was divided into two groups. Each group received two full days of training that included enter- CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 Brent E. Dickson ing practice cases and the opportunity to enter real cases in the new Odyssey Supervision system. On the fifth day, the staff was trained in the entry of financial data. JTAC lacked the financial resources for data conversion unlike the implementation of Odyssey for the courts. Probation department staff had to manually enter all cases into the system, which required the temporary closing of the offices. Although the process was tedious, the staff had the opportunity to work out issues and answer questions prior to going live. JTAC personnel provided ongoing support and answered questions during the beginning of the data entry process, and showed exceptional product knowledge and patience as staff members worked through issues and became more proficient with the system. The Odyssey Supervision system has now been fully implemented and more than 3,000 cases have been entered. JTAC personnel have addressed in a different systems or conduct a door-todoor inquiry. Cases can be quickly reassigned or transferred to other officers with special skill sets without having to re-enter the case data into a new system. Probation officers and/or administrative staff can also move to other areas within probation without having to learn a different system. The decision for me to implement Odyssey Supervision was an easy one. Clark County Probation and Supervision Department implemented an effective new probation system at no cost with tremendous technical expertise and support from JTAC. I came to the Chief ’s job with more than 20 years of previous industrial experience including time as a Vice-President of Human Resources for Commonwealth Industries, Inc. When I served this same company as the Manager of Business Analysis and Planning I worked with investment bankers in mergers and acquisitions. I also previously led a manufacturing department of 125 people at the company’s largest aluminum rolling mill. I worked with a The new system will allow for the elimination of software licensing costs for four separate systems with a potential savings to the county of nearly $50,000 annually. timely manner the few problems that have occurred. Probation officers and administrative staff continue to become more comfortable and proficient with the system as they enter new cases and contact notes. Although the implementation has been challenging, the Odyssey Supervision system will provide significant benefits to Clark County. The new system will allow for the elimination of software licensing costs for four separate systems with a potential savings to the county of nearly $50,000 annually. Administrative staff can now quickly identify the probation officer assigned to a specific case without having to either search through number of talented people in a variety of jobs; yet, I must say that Lisa Thompson and Mark Harvey would be among the most talented and easy to work with people I have ever known. Clark County Probation and Supervision’s vision is to be the “model of excellence for probation and community corrections in the State of Indiana.” Our Mission is to “improve the protection of the community, safety of staff, and the accountability of offenders.” The Odyssey Supervision system will help us meet this vision and mission by providing real time data across all probation divisions to track our efforts. Takes Oath of Office as Chief Justice of Indiana the separate roles the Indiana Constitution sets out for all three of the branches of government. We are determined to “wage civility” at every opportunity—in the collegiality of our own deliberations, in the mutual respect expressed in our majority and dissenting opinions, and in our outreach to enhance civility in lawyers and trial judges. In our administrative responsibilities, we are committed to continuing, with renewed energy, the Court’s best practices and openness to creative innovations, with fiscal responsibility. In this effort, we vigorously support Indiana’s counties and judges who are pleading for the Odyssey case-management system. And we will seek mutual cooperation with the other casemanagement systems already in use, to enable full access by all Indiana courts to full case information from every other Indiana county. In closing, your Indiana Supreme Court—despite its current new faces and new roles—is nevertheless proceeding full speed ahead. We seek to continue the Court’s tradition of collegial collaboration, sound and stable jurisprudence, effective administration, and respect for our teammates in the legislature and executive branches of government. We are here to serve. Thank you. courttimes SEP/OCT 2012 9 BY HON. NANCY VAIDIK | COURT OF APPEALS OF INDIANA Title IX Opened the Door for Women Athletes Indiana and the nation are rightly celebrating the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark federal law that opened doors for women and girls in athletics, higher education and more. But the celebratory focus on top athletes and coaches, while apt, tells only a small part of the story. The complete story lies in the impact that this law has had on countless women over the last forty years—an impact that has affected who we are, what we have chosen as careers, and how we have raised our children. You see I was a high-school student at the time that Title IX passed. Thanks to Phyllis McVickers, a Portage junior high school physical education teacher, a number of young girls, me included, became interested in tumbling and gymnastics. Because of Ms. McVickers’ largesse, fifty or so girls would stay after school practicing skills, which it turned out were well beyond those needed to compete in any sport. As we entered Portage High School, it became readily apparent that there were limited opportunities for girls in sports, and those opportunities came from a small group of selfless and dedicated physical education teachers, including Bernice Atkins, who donated hours of their free time to coach and keep the GAA (the Girls Athletic Association) running. It was within the bowels of Portage High School’s small, underequipped, and crowded girl’s gym that we, the young aspiring girl athletes, practiced each 10 SEP/OCT 2012 courttimes day. We were to be sure a motley group —adolescent girls who were ashamed of our bodies, unsure of our skills, and basically afraid of our own shadows. Competition was foreign to most of us. It was there that a transformation occurred that would affect our entire lives. We became confident, sure of our abilities, willing to put ourselves out there to fail or succeed. We learned to cooperate with one another, sacrifice for the good of the team, and dig deep to find that last bit of energy we didn’t know that we had. We began to appreciate our bodies and treat them well. These lessons that I learned long ago, I still apply every day to my life. When I was a senior in high school, the IHSAA held its first statewide gymnastics meet. Bev Reynolds, our capable and dedicated coach, led us to a second-place finish. Although the team members were devastated not to win, we were proud of our dedication and effort. Two years later, the team won the only state championship in gymnastics that Portage High School has received. But for gymnastics, my family would have had a hard time paying for college. I received a modest but very welcomed scholarship to Valparaiso University, where I competed on the gymnastics team under Coach Jane Betz. In addition to all I had learned from gym- CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 nastics in high school, in college I learned how to budget my time by juggling rigorous academic and practice schedules. Back in the early 70’s, girls’ athletics was an afterthought and depended on the voluntary efforts of the high-school and junior-high gym staff. Title IX legislation sponsored by Indiana’s Senator Birch Bayh changed that. Suddenly, girls’ athletics was on equal footing with boys’ athletics and the lessons of athletics were being shared with everyone regardless of their gender. And, girls not only knew it but took advantage of it in droves. Would I have become an attorney or judge in a then-mostly-male world without Title IX? Would one of my daughters have become an attorney and the other a medical doctor without first competing in sports? I will never know for sure. But there can be no doubt in my mind that the lessons I learned from sports are lessons that I use every day in my job and life. I am not the only one blessed by the passing of Title IX. There are tens of thousands of women who can say the same thing. These women are the whole story of Title IX. CCS & RJO is considered filed at an earlier date, and indicate what that date is. For example, if a an Answer was mailed on August 1, received in the Clerk’s office on August 5, and then entered on the CCS on August 7, the CCS entry should read: “August 7, 2012: Defendant files Answer, post marked date August 1, 2012, received on August 5.” ** All documents received in the clerk’s office that pertain to a case must be stamped as “filed” or “received” reflecting the date of receipt. Entries in the CCS are intended to be very brief, while retaining enough detail to be meaningful to someone reading them. The full text of orders and judgments should never be entered into the CCS. The correct mixture of brevity and descriptiveness is left up to each court; however, as a general rule, one should be able to discern from those entries enough detail to correctly understand the activity that has taken place. Therefore, for example, a CCS that reads, “Motion received” or “Motion granted” is not descriptive enough. A better CCS entry would state “August 5, 2012. Court issues order, signed on August 1, 2012, granting defendant’s Motion to Compel Production of Evidence.” However, never copy the full text from the motion or the order into the CCS. Record of Judgments and Orders ** The official requirements for the Record of Judgments and Orders (RJO) are found in Trial Rule 77 (D). Some important points concerning the Record of Judgments and Orders are: ** ** The RJO is an official record of the trial court. Orders should be placed in the RJO on the date the clerk’s office receives (and date stamps) them. The CCS’s reference to the RJO’s entry serves as a link or index to the RJO. ** Not every order should be placed in the RJO. Instead, the RJO should contain final judgments of the court and “designated” orders of the court. This provision in the Rule envisions the trial court making a decision about which orders are important enough to go in the RJO. ** A designated order should be one that reflects some substantive content such as a judicial action or opinion that contributes to the resolution of the case or subject a party to some penalty, such as an Order to Appear. Procedural orders, such as orders granting a continuance, are not normally placed in the RJO. ** The final decision-maker about whether an order should be placed in the RJO is the judge issuing the order, even if the order appears to be one that would not ordinarily be placed in the RJO. ** All orders that conclude a case or orders that restrict the freedom of an individual must be placed in the RJO. For additional information, contact: Tracy Beechy-Nufer, Director of Trial Court Management, State Court Administration, at 317-234-5562 or email@example.com Tom Jones, Records Manager, State Court Administration, at 317-233-3695 or firstname.lastname@example.org Illustration by Mike Smith courttimes SEP/OCT 2012 11 BY ELIZABETH DAULTON | STAFF ATTORNEY, STATE COURT ADMINISTRATION Marion County Small Claims Court Task Force Issues Report The recurring problems in the Marion County Small Claims court system came to light on a national stage last July, when the Wall Street Journal published a lengthy report detailing pervasive problems in the Marion County Small Claims Courts. Titled “In Debt Collection, Location Matters,” this article alleged that highvolume filers receive preferential treatment and engage in “forum shopping” among the nine Marion County Small Claims Courts. The front-page article also asserted that defendants are often unaware of their rights and coerced by creditors’ counsel into settlement. Marion County is the only county in the state with small claims courts based on township lines—there are nine small claims courts, one for each township, hearing collection disputes and landlord-tenant matters involving claims up to $6,000. In all other Indiana counties, small claims cases are handled by the county circuit or superior courts. Unlike all other Indiana judges who handle small claims dockets, the nine Marion County small claims judges serve on a part-time basis. However, under the state’s Weighted Caseload Measures system, the current Marion County small claims caseload (approximately 70,000 new filings per year) would support nearly twelve full-time judicial officers. More than one-third of all small claims cases and approximately one-twelfth of all civil cases are heard in these nine Indiana courts. For many litigants, the Marion County Small Claims Courts are their first or only exposure to the judicial system. In January 2011, the Indiana Supreme Court appointed a two-person Small Claims Task Force—Court of Appeals Judge John Baker and Senior Judge Betty Barteau—to investigate the allegations published in the Wall Street Journal. Both judges have extensive experience within the Indiana court system, including time spent hearing small claims cases. During its investigation, the Task Force conducted three public hearings to seek comments about the practices and procedures of the Marion County Small Claims Courts. More than 200 The Task Force report is available on the Indiana Courts website at courts.in.gov/2711.htm. 12 SEP/OCT 2012 courttimes local residents attended these hearings, and about fifty individuals—including collection attorneys, landlords, renters, small claims defendants, law students, pro bono attorneys, and a state senator—testified before the Task Force and the public. The final, thirty two-page report was sent to the Supreme Court Rules Committee and made available to the public on the Court’s website on May 1, 2012. A nearly five hundred page appendix was published with this report. It included transcripts of the public hearings, statutes and rules governing the Marion County Small Claims courts, letters and emails received from small claims litigants, financial information and caseload data for the nine township courts, and correspondence between the Task Force and Marion County Small Claims Court judges. The Task Force Report lists seventynine specific findings of fact relating to the structure, operation, and management of the nine Marion County Small Claims Courts. The bulk of these findings focus on problems in court structure and funding, and inequities in the rights and access provided to small claims defendants. Part of the problem with the Marion County Small Claims Courts involves the governmental structure and townships’ influence on the courts. Small Claims Court • Many judges reported that their township trustees hire, fire, supervise, and promote court staff without seeking input from the judges. employees have stated • Court that they believe they work for the trustees. judges have also asserted • The that some trustees retain unilateral control over the courts’ budgets, completely excluding the judges from the budgeting process. Another area of concern involves management of the courtroom. Task Force staffers who attended court sessions reported that, in certain courts, the creditors’ counsel controlled the proceedings, meeting with defendants in unsupervised settlement conferences and even conducting hearings outside the judges’ presence. In addition: litigants have com• Some plained of settlement agree- ments and judgments being approved by the court clerks, without ever being reviewed by the judge. claims defendants are • Small often unaware of their rights, including their rights to request a hearing before the judge, or to request a change of venue. County is the only • Marion county in Indiana where a small claims action may be filed in a jurisdiction in which neither party lives nor works. Defendants who lack access to private transportation may find it difficult to attend court proceedings in a far-flung township. Many have expressed concern that largevolume filers appear to deliberately seek out busy courts that provide less oversight of settlement agreements. the townships retain • Because more than 50 percent of fees for all cases filed within their township court, this ability to choose one’s venue may effectively discourage judges from closely monitoring settlement agreements and negotiations. fact, judges who make a • In point to review the terms of settlements have seen dramatic declines in new filings in their township courts. The Task Force Report lists seventynine specific findings of fact relating to the structure, operation, and management of the nine Marion County Small Claims Courts. The Task Force has created a set of comprehensive plans to address each of the problems noted above, as well as other issues such as judicial pay, private practice by small claims judges in other Marion County Small Claims Courts, and problems with timely service of process. Although two of the proposed plans involve fundamental changes to the structure of the Marion County Small Claims Court system, the third includes many comprehensive reforms which may be implemented as “best practices” by the courts in absence of any structural changes. The Task Force in Plan A of the Report suggests that the township courts be incorporated into the Marion Superior Court system. This would require action by the Indiana General Assembly. Township courts would become the Small Claims Division of the Marion County Superior Court, the county would bear responsibility for funding the Small Claims Division, and judges would serve full-time, with a salary fixed by statute. Under this plan, small claims cases would be randomly assigned to a judge (as all other cases filed in Marion County), rendering moot concerns on forum-shopping. The Task Force in Plan B of the Report, which also requires action by the Indiana General Assembly, would keep the small claims courts within the townships but transfers control of court finances, employees, and procedures to the small claims court judges. A central court administrator would be hired by the Marion County Circuit Court to assist the small claims courts in adopting common court procedures and accounting methods. This plan also includes a charge to the Indiana Supreme Court’s Rules Committee to adopt rules preventing forum shopping among the township courts. The third plan consists of comprehensive reforms that may be enacted regardless of whether Plan A or Plan B (or neither) is implemented. These include adoption of court procedures requiring judges to lead court proceedings and review settlement agreements; the creation of a centralized court website and standardized court forms; and the prohibition of township judges from practicing law in other township courts. This plan, like Plan B, grants to township courts the sole authority to prepare budgets, manage court funds, and supervise employees. Some courts have already begun to put several of these recommendations into practice, including the creation of a litigants’ rights poster to be displayed in each courtroom. The Division of State Court Administration is also partnering with the Indiana Bar Foundation to create a video—to be made available both online and at the courts—advising small claims litigants of their rights. The Task Force is optimistic that the nine Marion County small claims judges, under the leadership of Circuit Court Judge Louis Rosenberg, will remain proactive in implementing these recommended reforms. courttimes SEP/OCT 2012 13 S IDEBAR BY JAMES F. MAGUIRE | STAFF ATTORNEY, STATE COURT ADMINISTRATION HON. RICHARD A. MAUGHMER Above. Judge Maughmer with his wife Vicki (left) and their middle daughter Valerie (middle). The Judge says, “My daughters have caused me to experience many things I would have never come across during my travels in the military. I think this is a troll who lives under a bridge in Seattle.” This is the twentieth of our Court Times articles that highlight up close and personal a member of the Indiana Judiciary. Cass County Superior Court Judge Richard A. “Rick” Maughmer is our judge featured in this issue. He received both his undergraduate degree and his law degree from the University of Nebraska. Following graduation from law school in 1979, he established a small town law practice in Logansport. In 1983, he began working part-time in the Cass County Prosecutor’s office, and was appointed by Governor Robert D. Orr as the Cass County Prosecutor in 1986. He maintained a law practice in addition to being county prosecutor. Trying to balance the demands of a family, the Air Force Reserve, and a private practice, he elected to go full-time as a prosecutor in 1991. He continued in that position until the citizens 14 SEP/OCT 2012 courttimes of Cass County elected him as Judge of the new Cass Superior Court 2, which opened for business in January of 2001. After nine months and fifteen days on the bench he was recalled to active duty with the Air Force as a result of the Global War on Terrorism. Judge Maughmer was able to maintain his judicial position due to the support of then Chief Justice Randall Shepard, the Indiana Judicial Center, his court staff, the Cass County Bar, the community, and senior judges in his self-described “prolonged and then periodic absences.” Judge Maughmer and his wife, Vicki, have three grown daughters, Shae, Valerie, and Kathlene who reside in Washington, DC, Seattle, and Chicago. Rick and Vicki Maughmer will celebrate their 39th wedding anniversary this October. WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST AND LEAST ABOUT BEING A TRIAL COURT JUDGE? WHERE DID YOU GROW UP AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CHILDHOOD? Most: Coming to work every day! What a great profession to put food on the table. I grew up in Walton, Indiana, a town of approximately one thousand people. My childhood was fantastic! In the summers, prior to becoming a teenager, at dawn I would mount my bicycle and not return home until sunset. Every house was an opportunity for learning. While most are now gone, I am thankful for all the men and women in the community who took their time to interact with us kids as we were growing up. Least: Attorneys who are unprepared, attorneys who cannot tell time, and attorneys who do not provide the best possible representation for their clients. WHAT WAS YOUR MAJOR IN COLLEGE AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO STUDY LAW? My third year on active duty with the Air Force I was assigned as a full-time college student. Upon graduation (Criminal Justice/ Corrections) in August 1975 the Air Force was downsizing from the Vietnam conflict and decided they had too many pilots and navigators. I attempted to become a trooper with the Indiana State Police. They said that my eyesight did not meet their standards, though the Air Force found me qualified to fly. Not having an alternate plan, I thought I would give law school a try. While I respect the organization, today I am gratified that ISP found I did not possess the “right stuff ” to become a trooper. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE QUOTE(S)? “Hell is a prepared place for unprepared people.” “Being humble doesn’t mean you think less of yourself, but think of yourself less.” “Don’t reject the original because you see a bad copy.” WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE IF YOU HAD NOT BECOME A JUDGE? I would have continued my career as a prosecutor or returned to active duty in the Air Force. In my 37 years of service I had many assignments in the intelligence community, was also a Communications Squadron Commander, Security Forces Squadron Commander, Deputy Director Air Force Reserve Command Security Forces, and Vice Commander Air Force Reserve Command Recruiting Service. I retired in August 2009 as a Colonel. WHO ARE THE PEOPLE YOU MOST ADMIRE? Too many to single out here but they all share the same trait: Doing the right thing regardless of the consequence and the audience. WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OR FAVORITE LEISURE ACTIVITIES, AND HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED? I love being active and therefore enjoy several leisure activities: snow skiing, cycling, running, sailing, golfing, and flying, not necessarily in that order. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS, AND HAVE YOU READ ANY RECENTLY, OR ARE READING NOW, THAT YOU WOULD RECOMMEND? Other than for work or to prepare for a Sunday school lesson (Bible and commentaries), I do not voluntarily read anything! If I have free time, I would rather be snow skiing, cycling, running, sailing, golfing, or flying. During the last two years of his association with the Air Force, Judge Maughmer was tasked to make road trips with singers, comedians, and New England Patriot cheerleaders to visit troops overseas. Photos courtesy of Judge Maughmer WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION SPOT? Vicki and I are still looking, but year after year, we seem to gravitate back to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MEAL, RECIPE, AND RESTAURANT? Meal: sushi and sashimi. Recipe: Darlene’s cabbage rolls (Darlene Swaney is the wife of Colonel Mike Swaney, my boss when I was activated after 9/11 to Warner Robins AFB Georgia. They took pity on me and invited me into their home once a week for dinner.) Restaurant: Latitude 31º, located on the Historic Wharf in the Landmark District of Jekyll Island, Georgia. courttimes SEP/OCT 2012 15 Supreme Court Sponsors Pro Bono Mediation Training The Indiana Supreme Court and the Indiana Pro Bono Commission partnered with the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum to offer a free 40-hour domestic relations mediation training program May 14-18, 2012 that was geared toward mediators working with the low-income community and unrepresented litigants. This was the third time the Court has offered the training. The curriculum was coordinated by Professor Amy Applegate, director of the mediation clinic at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and covered all the topics required for registration as a domestic relations mediator, as well as topics directed specifically toward providing pro bono service to low income and unrepresented clients. In addition, on May 30th Professor Applegate offered a free follow up workshop on calculating child support. Participants were chosen from the pro bono districts, the family court projects, and the ICLEO program. As a condition of attending the training, each participant is required to do four pro bono mediations over the next two years. Trial judges who would like to take advantage of pro bono mediation for domestic relations cases should contact the local pro bono plan administrators. Contact information can be found at courts.in.gov/probono. Presenters and participants should set aside five workdays to attend the training. The following participants have completed the program: DISTRICT A [PLAN ADMINISTRATOR JUDY STANTON] DISTRICT H [PLAN ADMINISTRATOR DIANE WALKER] Mindy Heidel Jonathan Cress Michelle Gregory Benjamin Niehoff Adrian Polit Lloyd Sally Melissa Sauer Mark Stalcup Sally Steward Frederick Turner Inge Van Der Cruysse DISTRICT D [PLAN ADMINISTRATOR TIMOTHY PETERSON] DISTRICT I [PLAN ADMINISTRATOR ALAINA SULLIVAN] Pamela Hermes Lisa Schrader Gregg Theobald Julia Compton DISTRICT B [PLAN ADMINISTRATOR MARK TORMA] Robert Cotman Susanne Graham Antonette Reese Mark Torma DISTRICT C [PLAN ADMINISTRATOR TERRY MCCAFFREY] DISTRICT J [PLAN ADMINISTRATOR FRANK CARDIS] DISTRICT E [PLAN ADMINISTRATOR TABITHA WOLFE] Connie Chambers Rachele Cummins Danny Saiz DISTRICT K [PLAN ADMINISTRATOR BEVERLY CORN] DISTRICT G [PLAN ADMINISTRATOR HEARTLAND PRO BONO COUNCIL] Arin Norris Greg Schnarr Stephen Byers Clare Deitchman Keyanne Gartin Laurie Goggins Clark Rehme 16 SEP/OCT 2012 DISTRICT L [PLAN ADMINISTRATOR AMY ROTH] Paul Blanton Amy Semones courttimes BY HON. BARBARA ARNOLD HARCOURT | SENIOR JUDGE, INDIANA JUDICIAL CENTER Indiana Judicial Center Continues Popular Court Employee Training Program SUMMER SESSION FALL SESSION: COURT SECURITY OFFICER TRAINING The Indiana Judicial Center began its court employee training program in the spring of 2008. During the fiscal year 2009-10, programs were offered to over one thousand judicial branch personnel, including trial court staff, Supreme Court agency employees, elected Clerks and clerk staff. Four types of employee training formats were offered: state-wide conferences, district/county-wide seminars, in-house programs, and internet webinar. The Judicial Center is developing more webbased programs that will provide Indiana trial court employees with greater access to educational materials. On September 14, 2012, the Indiana Judicial Center will host Court Security Officer Training at its offices located at 30 South Meridian Street in Indianapolis. Over three hundred court staff members from eighty Indiana counties attended the 4th annual Trial Court Employee Conference held July 17, 2012. University of Notre Dame Professor Michael Jenuwine opened the day with an interactive presentation on managing change within a court system setting. The session presented conferees with valuable insights into the many different ways in which individuals deal with change and other challenges in the workplace. The training session will address the level of force that is appropriate in specific security situations. There will be practical demonstrations on the various levels of restraint. And, there will be presentations and discussions concerning liability issues and legal aspects pertaining to security incidents. There is no cost for the one day training. Continuing education hours will be provided to those in attendance. Participants will be responsible for their own meals, parking, mileage and overnight room costs as the Indiana Judicial Center does not have funds available for these expenses. Each judge may designate one (1) person to attend. Registration will be limited to the first 175 people. During the rest of the day, court employees attended breakout sessions on a variety of topics, including: Court Security; Working with Self Represented Litigants and Customer Service; Protection Orders; and Reports, Chronological Case Summaries and Abstract of Judgments. Conferees responded to an end-of-session survey by reporting that they did receive new and useful information that will benefit them and their courts. For further information please contact Barbara Arnold Harcourt, Senior Judge, Indiana Judicial Center, 30 South Meridian Street, Suite 900, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204; by email at email@example.com; or by phone at (317) 234-5996. courttimes SEP/OCT 2012 17 A SK ADRIE N N E BY ADRIENNE MEIRING | COUNSEL TO THE INDIANA COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS To fee or not to fee... That is the ethical question D uring economic hard times, the pressure can be immense for government officials, including judges, to find additional revenue sources to run government agencies. Judges often find themselves in the crossfire between addressing a city/ county council’s concerns about budget shortfalls and maintaining the regular business of the court. Three alluring “solutions” sometimes proposed to “solve” this dilemma are to supplement court budgets by imposing new court fees, to create court deferral programs (so that the fees for the programs will go to the county, city, or town rather than the state), or to pass on costs for court services through increased fines. This article, however, is a cautionary tale, as all of these proposals can be fraught with ethical problems. Imposing Unauthorized Fees A judge only may impose fees which are authorized by law. See I.C. § 5-7-2-1 (“It shall be unlawful for any officer in this state, under color of his office, to tax, or permit to be taxed in his office, any fee or sum of money that is not legally allowable under the statute or statutes of this state.”) Although there are a limited number of Supreme Court Rules that authorize imposition of fees (i.e. Administrative Rule 16 18 SEP/OCT 2012 courttimes and Criminal Rule 2.3), most court fees must be detailed either in I.C. § 33-37 or I.C. § 36-2. See I.C. § 5-7-2-2. Further, court and local officials cannot bypass state statutes on certain items, such as moving traffic violations, by passing local ordinances so that monies collected go to the local jurisdiction rather than the state. See I.C. § 36-1-6-3(c) (“An ordinance defining a moving traffic violation may not be enforced under IC 33-36 and must be enforced in accordance with IC 34-28-5.”) Nationally, judges have been disciplined for imposing unlawful fees against litigants or attorneys in order to support other court programs. See Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Comm’n v. Proctor, 360 S.W.2d 61 (Ark. 2010)(judge disciplined for creating “civil probation,” which was not authorized by statute, and ordering that half of the probation user fees go to a court program the judge created); Inquiry Concerning Fowler, 696 S.E.2d 644 (Ga. 2010)(judge disciplined for allowing criminal defendants to “buy out” the community service portions of their criminal sentences and then placing the proceeds in a bank account controlled by the judge); Matter of Merritt, 432 N.W.2d 170 (Mich. 1988)(judge’s use of fines collected from attorneys for late filings, failures to appear, and tardy appearances to augment fund for assisting indigent drug and alcohol abusers who appeared before him warranted public censure). Illustration by firstname.lastname@example.org Judges also have been disciplined for unlawfully assessing fees against criminal defendants who were found not guilty at trial. See Inquiry Concerning Hearn, 515 So.2d 1225 (Miss. 1987) (judge disciplined for assessing, contrary to statute, a constable fee to defendants found not guilty). Others have been disciplined for imposing fines that exceeded the maximum authorized by statute. See Matter of Banks, Public Censure (NY Comm’n on Jud. Cond., July 16, 2009); Matter of Pisaturo, Public Censure (NY Comm’n on Jud. Cond., November 18, 2005); Matter of Reid, Public Censure (NY Comm’n on Jud. Cond., May 17, 2002). Unauthorized Deferral Programs Judges also have found themselves in ethical trouble for creating (or using) court deferral programs that were not authorized by law. In Matter of Harkin, 958 N.E.2d 788 (Ind. 2011), a city court judge received a 60-day suspension for dismissing the traffic infraction cases of all litigants who attended a traffic school and paid applicable fees (the majority of such proceeds went to the city), although he had no judicial authority to refer litigants to the school and to dismiss the litigants’ cases. Only the prosecutor had authority to establish a deferral program for traffic infractions. Id. at 790. In a stipulated agreement for discipline, the judge agreed that he abused his judicial authority, committed conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and violated Rules 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, and 2.5 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. See also Inquiry Concerning DeFoor, 494 So.2d 1121 (Fla. 1986) (judge disciplined for establishing an improper procedure by which certain traffic violators could avoid a court appearance and adjudication of guilt by paying the clerk double the statutory fine). Excessive Fines Other judges have attempted to deal with funding problems by only accepting plea agreements to charges in which the fines would go to the city or town or by imposing higher fines. Both practices have met with disapproval from judicial conduct commissions. See Matter of Herrmann, Public Censure (NY Comm’n on Jud. Cond., December 15, 2009) (judge admonished for refusing to accept a plea unless it included additional charges which would generate revenue for Village); Matter of Tauscher, Public Censure (NY Comm’n on Jud. Cond., February 5, 2007) (judge admonished for suggesting he could exercise his authority imposing fines to raise revenue to pay for a salary increase). Legal Error v. Legal Misconduct Judicial conduct commissions which have filed disciplinary charges against judges for imposing unauthorized or excessive fees generally have done so under the provisions of the Code of Judicial Conduct which require that a judge respect and comply with the law (Rule 1.1), act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary (Rule 1.2), and uphold the law and perform all duties of judicial office fairly and impartially (Rule 2.2). Because fundamentally the “fee” issue is an error of law committed by a judge, some have argued that such matters would be better dealt with in the appellate courts rather than with judicial conduct commissions. However, this argument has not gained traction for several reasons. First, the matters that have prompted disciplinary charges have involved systemic practices. Second, those practices often led to detrimental economic consequences for multiple defendants. Third, the practices were in violation of clearly established law, yet the judges chose to proceed anyway with their unlawful practices. As the Indiana Supreme Court recognized in Crawford v. State, 770 N.E.2d 775 (Ind 2002), “A court’s indifference to clearly stated rules breeds disrespect for and discontent with our justice system. Government cannot demand respect of the laws by its citizens when its tribunals ignore those very same laws.” While dealing with budget issues sadly may be part of the continuing judicial landscape, no budget shortfall is worth tarnishing the court’s reputation by acting outside the laws that judges have sworn to uphold. So in answer to the question posed in the title—go ahead and impose fees or fines, but only if there is legal authority to do so—it’s the only way ethically. If any judge needs a consultation regarding the subject of this article or any other matter involving judicial conduct, contact Adrienne Meiring at 317-232-4706 or email@example.com. courttimes SEP/OCT 2012 19 Indiana Supreme Court Division of State Court Administration 30 South Meridian Street, Suite 500 Indianapolis, IN 46204 EDITORIAL BOARD Lilia G. Judson, Publisher Executive Director, State Court Admin. David J. Remondini, Managing Editor Chief Deputy Executive Director, State Court Admin. James F. Maguire, Editor Staff Attorney, State Court Admin. Lindsey Borschel, Publication Designer Web Coordinator, State Court Admin./JTAC MISSION Our goal is to foster communications, respond to concerns, and contribute to the spirit and pride that encompasses the work of all members of the judiciary around the state. We welcome your comments, suggestions and news. If you have an article, advertisements, announcement, or particular issue you would like to see in our publication, please contact us by mail or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. CONTRIBUTORS Hon. Nancy Vaidik Indiana Court of Appeals Hon. Barbara Arnold Harcourt Senior Judge, Indiana Judicial Center Henry Ford Chief Probation Officer, Clark County Lilia G. Judson Executive Director, State Court Administration Adrienne Meiring Counsel to the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications James F. Maguire Staff Attorney, State Court Administration Elizabeth Daulton Staff Attorney, State Court Administration Tom Jones Records Manager, State Court Administration Stay Connected The Indiana Court Times is available online at courts.in.gov/times If you like the online version better than the magazine, you can unsubscribe from the paper version by emailing Yolanda Collins at email@example.com. Subscribe to the Court Times online by email or with the RSS reader of your choice. Follow Indiana Courts on Twitter at twitter.com/incourts Watch videos at the Indiana Courts channel at youtube.com/incourts PLEASE CIRCULATE TO CO-WORKERS This newsletter reports on important administrative matters. Please keep for future reference.