« Ind. Gov't. - Still more on: Controversy about Indiana public employee salary databases | Main | Ind. Decisions - Federal Judge Young reinstates the SSM lawsuit, Love v. Pence [Updated] »

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ind. Courts - “This is unlike any contempt case I have ever read about or heard about”

Yesterday the ILB reported that the Supreme Court had denied emergency transfer in a matter titled In the Matter of the Direct Contempt of Greg Goodnight, Mayor of Kokomo.

Today the Kokomo Perspective has a long story by Pat Munsey, headed "Leading law professor critical of Menges." Here is a sample from the story; you are urged to read the story in its entirety:

Joel M. Schumm, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Judicial Externship Program at Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School Law, has followed the recent conflict between the two officials, and he was surprised in how direct contempt was applied.

“This is unlike any contempt case I have ever read about or heard about,” said Schumm. “Usually, direct contempt cases are things that happen in the courtroom, and it is clear that the person’s intent is to disrupt the proceeding. This is some distance from that.”

But it is the audacity displayed by the judge over time that has Schumm most intrigued. Being aware of several past incidents in which Menges pursued contempt charges -- from the protestors of the Occupy Kokomo movement, to the jailing of a woman last year because of a crying baby in the courtroom belonging to someone else, to the contempt brought against Goodnight, Schumm places Menges’ conduct in a peculiar category.

Marion County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Brown was removed from the bench in March on 47 charges of misconduct. The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications found that Brown had delayed the release of several defendants from jail, failed to supervised her court employees, and created a hostile work environment.

“If you look at the judicial canons about how judges are supposed to behave, and if you look at the Kimberly Brown case, the things she was alleged doing got her removed from the bench,” said Schumm. “Hers seem mild compared to some of the things this guy has done.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 16, 2014 04:17 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts