House panel passes Goodin legislation to assist overloaded courts in Jefferson, Scott Counties

January 24, 2018 Terry Goodin

INDIANAPOLIS – A key Indiana House panel has approved legislation authored by House Democratic Leader Terry Goodin (D-Austin) that would relieve some of the burdens facing the court systems in Jefferson and Scott Counties.

House Courts and Criminal Code Committee members passed House Bill 1275, which would provide for magistrates in the courts in both counties. The appointments would be made by the circuit and superior court judges in each county.

“To say this legislation is desperately needed by the court systems in both counties is an understatement,” Goodin told committee members. “Both Scott and Jefferson Counties rank in the top ten in terms of court caseloads, and the assistance has been needed for quite some time.

The increase is almost directly due to the drug epidemic that has caused so much harm across southern Indiana. Since the idea of adding the magistrates was first broached last summer during discussions by the Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary, Goodin’s proposal has received resounding support from judges in both counties, as well as officials at the state level.

“If we are to be serious about addressing the drug crisis in Indiana, we must be diligent in providing our justice system with the tools it needs to do its job effectively,” Goodin concluded.

The measure now moves to the full House for consideration.