« Ind. Decisions - "Indiana Supreme Court clarifies traffic stop rules" | Main | Ind. Decisions - "Jury finds for Elkhart hospital in malpractice case: Psychiatric patient sexually assaulted by another patient" »
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Ind. Courts - "Filings, people representing themselves on the rise"
The number of cases filed in local courts went up slightly last year, which officials said is fueled by more police on the streets in local communities.
New case filings in Johnson County increased slightly in 2015, compared to 2014, according to a report from the Indiana Supreme Court.
In the last few years, the number of case filings in local courts has dropped, especially after improvements in the economy, including fewer foreclosures and lower unemployment rates.
That provided some relief to local courts’ caseloads, along with the addition of a new court, Superior Court 4, last year.
But in recent years, filings have started to increase slightly. In 2015, local courts had 28,171 new case filings, just under 1 percent more than the year before, but still significantly down from 2010 when nearly 36,000 new cases were filed, according to the state statistics.
The majority of that increase did not come from new criminal case filings, and instead were from more people being ticketed for traffic violations and local rule violations, Johnson County Deputy Prosecutor Alex Hamner said. In fact, criminal case filings actually went down from 2014 to 2015.
One big reason behind that increase could be due to local communities who have hired more police officers in recent years, he said.
And from 2014 to 2015, the number of new cases filed for ordinance violations, such as certain traffic or parking violations, increased by more than 2,600, he said.
That increase could also be one reason for another spike in the number of people representing themselves in their cases, which hit 7,410 in 2015, up more than 25 percent from 2014.
Often, people choose to represent themselves in those cases, rather than paying for an attorney, he said.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 30, 2016 09:43 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts