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Thursday, January 08, 2015

Ind. Courts - Which appellate jurists would be able to serve until age 80 under SB 12?

Senate Bill 12 was passed out of committee earlier this week by a vote of 5-4, and will be eligible for 2nd reading next week. (Although during the past few years the retirement age of 70 was removed for trial court judges, this session's bill addresses appellate judges.) The bill simply changes the current retirement age of 75 to 80:

Sec. 8. (a) Every justice of the supreme court and judge of the court of appeals shall retire at seventy-five (75) eighty (80) years of age.
Would the change apply to the current Court of Appeals and Supreme Court justices, or only to their successors?

The answer is, it would apply to current jurists, but only after their next successful retention election. Those who turn 75 before then would have to resign upon attaining age 75.

Indiana's appellate jurists are retained by the voters for 10-year terms. The Ind. Const., Art. 7, Sec. 10: "terms of ten years". And from Art. 7, Sec. 10:

Sec. 11. * * * Every such justice and judge shall retire at the age specified by statute in effect at the commencement of his current term.
So no one on either the current Supreme or Appellate Court would benefit from the change, until after he or she had been retained in a retention election occurring after the new law had taken effect.

Five judges are eligible for retention in 2016, provided they have not turned 75 before then: Judges Najam, Friedlander, Kirsch, Crone, and Riley. The age 80 limit would apply in the future to those who were retained in the 2016 election.

At the other end of the spectrum, Chief Justices Rush, Justice Massa, COA Judge Pyle, and Tax Court Judge Wentworth were retained in the 2014 general election. Only if they do not turn 75 before the 2024 retention election would the new age 80 limit thereafter apply to them.

In practical terms, it is difficult to determine who on the current courts will benefit from the change because so many of the jurists have not made their ages publicly available, despite that fact that the age limit is a part of the law. Three of the current justices provide their year of birth in their official biographies; none of the court of appeals judges currently do so.

An interesting side-note: The ILB has been published for well over a decade now, and during that time three (of the 5) Supreme Court justices have resigned or retired: Chief Justice Shepard, Justice F. Sullivan, and Justice Boehm. Each left well before they reached age 75; two were in their early 60s.

Three (of the 15) Court of Appeals judges (Sharpnack, P. Sullivan, Darden), and the Tax Court judge (Fisher) have retired during the same period. I believe all were approaching age 75.

How would the Supreme Court be impacted?

Justice Appointed by Birth Yr. Next Retention Age at Next Retention Comments
Rush, C.J. Daniels, 2012 1958 Nov. 2024 66 SB 12 applies thereafter
Dickson Orr, 1986 1941 Nov. 2018 __ Turns 75 in 2016
Rucker O'Bannon, 1999 __ Nov. 2022 __ __
David Daniels, 2010 __ Nov. 2022 __ __
Massa Daniels, 2012 1961 Nov. 2024 63 SB 12 applies thereafter

How would the Appellate Court be impacted?

Judge Appointed by Birth Yr. Next Retention Age at Next Retention Comments
Bailey O'Bannon, 1998 __ Nov. 2020 __ __
Baker Bayh, 1989 __ Nov. 2022 __ __
Najam Bayh, 1992 __ Nov. 2016 __ __
Bradford Daniels, 2007 __ Nov. 2020 __ __
Friedlander Bayh, 1992 __ Nov. 2016 __ __
Kirsch Bayh, 1994 __ Nov. 2016 __ __
Barnes O'Bannon, 2000 __ Nov. 2022 __ __
Crone Kernan, 2004 __ Nov. 2016 __ __
Mathias O'Bannon, 2000 __ Nov. 2022 __ __
May O'Bannon, 1998 __ Nov. 2020 __ __
Pyle Daniels, 2012 __ Nov. 2024 __ __
Riley Bayh, 1994 __ Nov. 2016 __ __
Brown Daniels, 2008 __ Nov. 2020 __ __
Robb O'Bannon, 1998 __ Nov. 2020 __ __
Vaidik, C.J. O'Bannon, 2000 __ Nov. 2022 __ __

How would the Tax Court be impacted?

Judge Appointed by Birth Yr. Next Retention Age at Next Retention Comments
Wentworth Daniels, 2011 __ Nov. 2024 __ __

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 8, 2015 01:54 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts