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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ind. Courts - Supreme Court names special judge to hear Center Twp. small claims court's mandate action

From an Order issued Dec. 9th by the Supreme Court:

Each justice has had the opportunity to review the trustee's motion and the judge's order, and has discussed the matter at court conference.

An overriding issue presented in this matter is the fundamental question of access to justice. All mandates, some more than others, impact upon access to justice. One of the issues presented here, the location of the Center Township of Marion County small claims court, may have a substantial impact on access to justice. As such a prompt and full hearing of the competing interests is necessary.

The Court finds that the procedures set out in Trial Rule 60.5 are designed to provide an immediate, expeditious and simple method for resolving and reviewing intra-county disagreements about courts and court funding. In the matter of assignment of courtrooms, judges offices, and other court facilities of the St. Joseph Superior Court, 715 N.E.2d 372 (Ind. 1999).

The use of traditional litigation, as suggested by the trustee in his motion to dismiss, is typically slower, more complex and may necessitate the use of other remedies to maintain the status quo until the litigation is resolved. Proceeding under Trial Rule 60,5, is advantageous to the judge, the trustee and the public.

The Court therefore finds that the trustee's motion to dismiss should be denied.

It is, therefore, ordered that the trustees' motion to dismiss is denied. Having denied the trustee's motion to dismiss, the Court, being duly advised, now finds that a special judge should be appointed to hear this matter pursuant to Ind. Trial Rule 60.5(b). It is, further ordered that pursuant to T.R. 60.5(b), Mr. Charles l. Berger, an attorney who regularly practices in Vanderburgh County, Indiana, is appointed to hear this matter, which shall be heard in the Center Township of Marion County small claims court.

Karl Mulvaney, who is representing the Center Twp. Small Claims Court, has represented judges in a number of mandate actions, including Jackson County in 2006 , and Clark County, also in 2006.

This is: Case Number: 49 S 00 - 1111 - SJ - 00667; CENTER TOWNSHIP OF MARION CTY. SMALL CLAIMS CT. (MANDATE)

See earlier ILB entry here, dated Sept. 19, 2011 and headed "Small claims court could move from City-County Building."

According to a Sept. 22nd story in the ILJ, "Trustee Eugene Akers’ plan to move the court [is] against Judge Michelle Smith Scott’s wishes. The judge cited security reasons among her objections to the move."

Additionally, "The proposal calls for the court to take the 2,200-square-foot space vacated by 300 East, a restaurant and bar at the Carson Center that closed Sept. 1." (BTW, I remember the stories when that opened -- didn't know it had already closed.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 14, 2011 01:07 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts