STATEHOUSE – For over a decade, Owen County Circuit Court has only had one judge to handle an increasing number of cases. Addressing this issue, State Representative Bob Heaton (R-Terre Haute) co-sponsored Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 486 this session which adds judicial officers in three counties to include Owen County’s Circuit Court. Today, Rep. Heaton was honored to join Governor Mike Pence during a ceremonial signing of this new law.
“Most counties have several judicial officers who share a demanding work load, but for over a decade, Owen County Circuit Court has been struggling with only one judge to take care of the increasing number of cases,” said Rep. Heaton. “It is imperative that our judicial system be effective in serving our community. This new law will ease the burden faced by the Honorable Judge Lori Quillen, the only Circuit Court judge in the county, by adding a second judge.”
Out of the Commission on Courts Summer Study Committee, SEA 486 authorizes three counties to add judicial officers to their court system. The bill authorizes Superior Court judges in Hendricks County to appoint a third magistrate and in Hamilton County two magistrates. This new law will be effective July 1, 2013.
Additionally, the bill adds a second judge to the Owen Circuit Court and will be effective Jan. 1, 2015.
“I am really happy that this piece of legislation was signed into law, and I appreciate Representative Heaton, along with the other lawmakers and Governor Pence, who helped this legislation get through this time after many attempts,” said the Honorable Owen County Circuit Court Judge Lori Quillen.
“This is a huge blessing for Owen County to get a second judge which has been a struggle for many years. Due to the sheer volume of cases, this bill creates proper access to our courts that Owen County residents deserve, and through this legislation people will now be able to have their day in court and continue on with their lives.”
Visit www.in.gov/legislative for more information on SEA 486.