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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Ind. Courts - " Jacobi requests dismissal of civil complaint over drug court: First hearing approaching in drug court misconduct case"

Following on this June 15th story, Gary Popp of the Clark County News & Tribune reports in a long story:

JEFFERSONVILLE — Clark County Circuit Court No. 2 Judge Jerry Jacobi is asking a federal judge to dismiss the complaint made against him in a civil lawsuit involving claims of misconduct within the Clark County Drug Treatment Court, which he oversaw. * * *

Jacobi is the only defendant, according to court records, to have requested the court dismiss the complaint. He is being represented by the Office of the Indiana Attorney General through the counsel of Deputy Attorney General David Arthur.

Mike Augustus, one of the attorneys representing the 16 plaintiffs in the class action suit, previously explained that Jacobi is protected from the complaint through judicial immunity, but he hopes a judge will make a declaratory judgment.

“There is no money that changes hands, but I think it would be important, not just for our individual clients, but for future citizens of Clark County to have declaration that what has happened is unconstitutional, so it won’t happen in the future,” Augustus has said.

Arthur filed two documents June 6 with the federal court. The first was “ ... Jacobi’s motion to dismiss the amended complaint,” and, the second was a more detailed memorandum in support of the motion. Arthur makes the case that the court should dismiss the complaint because “ ... Jacobi is sued for declaratory relief, only.”

He also argues that the case is “moot” because Jacobi no longer presides over the Drug Treatment Court Program.

Jacobi was forced to relinquish oversight of the program after the Indiana Judicial Center revoked the court’s certification to administer the problem-solving court in February. Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael later took over the drug court and continues to preside over it temporary certification.

Arthur asserts that declaratory judgment against Jacobi cannot be sought as “ ... the Constitution limits a court’s jurisdiction to ‘live cases and controversies,’” according to the memorandum. “Thus, when a case no longer presents an ongoing controversy or the parties no long possess a legal cognizable interest in the outcome of the litigation, the case is moot and ‘must be dismissed as nonjusticiable.’”

The motion also claims the complaint should be dismissed “by notion of comity, requiring that this court abstain from interfering with ongoing criminal matters in a state court.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 17, 2014 08:12 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts