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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Ind. Courts - More on: Allen County Judicial Nomination Commission to meet to choose new judge for the first time since 2000

Updating this ILB entry from Feb. 19th, this item today from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette's Tracy Warner explains why the position may suddenly attract more applicants:

The number of applicants for the pending opening for an Allen Superior Court judge will most likely grow, perhaps significantly, now that the duties have shifted.

Judge Dan Heath’s decision to move to the Family Relations Division to replace the retiring Judge Steve Sims will mark a significant change for Heath. The family-relations position requires knowledge of not just civil family law but juvenile criminal law as well, an expertise not that many of the county’s lawyers have.

And the position carries a heavy administrative workload, with responsibility for overseeing the Allen County Juvenile Detention Center in addition to the significant juvenile caseload.

Heath, now entering his 17th year on the bench, decided he was ready for new challenges and said he has already begun preparing for the new role.

Not to diminish the importance of the Civil Division seat that Heath and three other Superior Court judges hold, but his new job will be a lot harder. And the vacancy on the Civil Division will draw a lot more interest from local attorneys than the complex and wide-ranging Family Division seat.

That could well make for more work for the local commission comprised of Supreme Court Justice Steven David, three local attorneys and three non-attorneys. To replace Sims, the commission would most likely have reviewed a handful of applications to choose three finalists to submit to Gov. Mike Pence. To replace Heath, the applicant pool will probably be larger, perhaps much larger.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 5, 2013 09:24 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts