Bill works to streamline Circuit Court's System
STATEHOUSE — House Bill (HB) 1145, authored by State Representative Tom Washburne (R-Evansville) and co-authored by State Representatives Holli Sullivan (R-Evansville), Wendy McNamara (R-Mount Vernon) and Gail Riecken (D-Evansville), passed out of House unanimously today. HB 1145 allows the Vanderburgh County circuit court judge to appoint a second full-time magistrate, effective in July 2015.
“Right now, Vanderburgh County operates with just one circuit court judge and magistrate,” said Rep. Washburne. “The work load of these two individuals has exceeded their capability, causing hearing dates to be delayed for unnecessary lengths of time.”
Indiana courts operate on a Weighted Caseload Measure (WCM), which determines how many judicial officers are required to efficiently serve their local municipality. At present, the WCM for the Vanderburgh County circuit court is 4.14 judicial officers, which means that each current officer is doing twice the regular work load.
“It is not efficient to ask two judicial officers to do the work of four people,” said Rep. Washburne. “Adding an additional magistrate will significantly reduce the burden that is currently borne by our local officials and will provide parties with more reasonable hearing dates.”
HB 1145 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
Rep. Washburne represents all of Gibson County and portions of Knox, Pike, Vanderburgh and Posey counties.