The Indiana House of Representatives' Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary recommended Thursday, Oct. 17, that the General Assembly vote to allow Jennings County to hire an additional magistrate.
If supported by state lawmakers next session, this additional magistrate would jointly serve the county's circuit and superior courts.
"Our courts in Jennings County are seeing more and more cases each year," said State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg), who represents the eastern part of the county and is on the interim committee. "An additional magistrate would help alleviate the additional caseload judges and staff are experiencing."
Unlike judges who are elected, magistrates are hired to preside over minor civil and criminal cases, and conduct preliminary hearings. Magistrates can also assist in expediting cases through the judicial process, freeing up valuable resources and helping reduce jail populations.
"Thank you to the members of the interim committee for recognizing this dire need and supporting the addition of a new magistrate," Frye said. "During the upcoming legislative session, I will work with my fellow lawmakers to pass a bill to create this position for our community."
State Sen. Chip Perfect (R-Lawrenceburg) and State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour), whose districts include all or part of Jennings County, have also voiced support for the magistrate.
It's not often when an athlete who sets a school record gets to celebrate with the previous record holder. Nathan Lewis, from left, whose Jennings County High School record has stood since 1989, is with his former coach, Gene Morrison, current JCHS coach Bryant Layman and Carter Leak Saturday at Ceraland Park. Leak, a JCHS senior cross country runner, broke Lewis' 30-year-old record there during the Columbus North Regional. A story and more photos are on pages 1B and 2B.-Submitted Photo