Shelby County receives support for more judicial officers

Courts in Shelby County are gaining support for their requests for additional judicial officers. That from a report by

In September 2016, the Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary recommended both Shelby County and Clark County each get one magistrate to help with heavy dockets. According to the report, two bills pertaining to the extra officers were filed in the Indiana House of Representatives and are scheduled for a hearing this week before a House committee.

House Bill 1053, authored by Rep. Sean Eberhart, a Shelbyville Republican, would allow Shelby Superior courts to appoint a full-time magistrate. The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee will consider the bill when it convenes at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The story cites a 2016 Indiana Caseload Assessment Plan to Utilize Resource Efficiently report, which states that Shelby County is ranked 11th in terms of need for more judicial officers. With three judges now, each court docket is 22 percent heavier that what it should be under the weighted measurement. The 2016 study found the county actually needs 3.66 judicial officers. Each magistrate would cost the state $164,644 annually in salary and benefits.

The report says that Shelby County would incur some additional expenses with a new magistrate. The Shelby Superior Courts are likely to need $4,213 for one-time equipment costs and $36,000 for staff and office supplies.