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Washington County Court Study

NCJ Number
D E Currie; M J Knapp
Date Published
35 pages
The Indiana Judicial Study Commission conducted confidential interviews and a public hearing in Washington County on October 22, 1985, to review court structure, caseload, and the need for a new court.
The county presently has a circuit court and a city court. Interviews were conducted with the judiciary, the bar, the county prosecutor, the public defender, the county council and commissioners, the county sheriff, the county clerk, and the head of the county welfare department. In addition to holding a public hearing on county court needs, the commission also conducted a statistical analysis of court caseloads for 1983 and 1984. As a result of its last visit to the county in 1981, the commission recommended that no change be made in the county court system. Since that time, however, total filings have nearly doubled, as have the number of cases venued. Case backlogs extend to domestic relations and civil cases as well as criminal cases. The addition of a referee or commissioner was opposed by all the commission approached with this suggested remedy. The majority of those interviewed preferred the addition of a superior court. Accordingly, the commission recommends creation of a superior court with a small claims and misdemeanor docket. This would aid the circuit court in disposing of all types of cases. Appendixes contain court caseload statistics.


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