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Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Marion County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Brown removed by the Supreme Court

In The Honorable Kimberly J. Brown, Judge of the Marion Superior Court, a 22-page opinion, including a separate 5-page opinion by Justice Rucker concurring in part, the Court writes:

This matter comes before the Court as a judicial disciplinary action initiated by the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications (“Commission”) against Kimberly J. Brown (“Respondent”), Judge of the Marion Superior Court. Article 7, Section 4 of the Indiana Constitution and Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 25 give the Indiana Supreme Court original jurisdiction over this matter. After considering the evidence, the report of the Special Masters appointed in this matter, and the parties’ arguments, we conclude that the Commission has demonstrated, by clear and convincing evidence, that the Respondent engaged in significant judicial misconduct, and we conclude that the misconduct warrants her removal from office. * * *

We conclude that protecting the integrity of the judicial system and ensuring the fair and timely administration of justice require that the Respondent be removed from office. Therefore, the Court hereby removes the Respondent from the office of Judge of the Marion Superior Court, effective immediately. This removal renders the Respondent ineligible for judicial office. See Admis. Disc. R. 25(III)(C). Although a judicial officer removed from office under such an order of discipline, “pending further order the Supreme Court, shall be suspended from the practice of law in the State of Indiana[,]” id., the Court hereby orders that the Respondent shall not be suspended or barred from practicing law in Indiana as a result of this removal from office. The Masters appointed in this case are discharged, and we thank them for their conscientious service in this matter.

Dickson, C.J., and David, Massa, and Rush, JJ., concur.
Rucker, J., concurs in part with separate opinion. [that begins, at p. 18] Three very experienced and highly-respected trial court judges serving as Masters in this case have recommended that the Respondent be removed from office. The majority has accepted the Masters’ recommendation and today orders Respondent’s immediate removal. For reasons the majority expresses I agree that Respondent should be removed from the bench. However, I disagree the removal should be ordered effective immediately.

Here is a preliminary story posted by Tim Evans of the Indianapolis Star.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 4, 2014 05:16 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions