Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

January 3, 2014

Online reports reveal county courts data

In Indiana trial courts in 2012, 1.6 million new cases were filed. That’s just one of many numbers in a collection of online reports that shed light on the Hoosier justice system.

Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson pointed to their accessibility. “There are multiple volumes with more than 1,800 pages of information,” including statistics at the county level.

Readers may view the 2012 Indiana Judicial Service Report and Probation Report at www.in.gov/judiciary/admin/3118.htm, Supreme Court Annual Report at www.in.gov/judiciary/supreme/2484.htm and a Web site with comparative data at https://publicaccess.courts.in.gov/ICOR/report/index.

In Franklin County’s Circuit Court Division 1 and Division 2, 4,234 cases were pending Jan. 1, 2012, according to the Indiana Judicial Service Report Volume II. By Dec. 31 of that year, that number had risen to 4,396.

In Ripley County’s Circuit and Superior courts, 1,922 cases were pending Jan. 1, 2012. By year’s end, 1,972 cases were in the system.

It’s challenging to lower the number of cases waiting for justice because new cases keep getting filed. In Franklin County, that number totalled 2,878, which included 223 serious felony charges, 353 criminal misdemeanors and 1,168 infractions. The highest categories of civil filings were 267 civil collections, 174 protective orders and 113 domestic relations problems.

Ripley County clerk’s office employees were keeping track of documents for 2,615 new cases, which included 226 felony charges and 353 criminal misdemeanors. There were no infractions handled by the two county courts. Instead, the Versailles Town Court oversaw 1,167 and the Batesville City Court 350. The top categories of civil filings were 717 civil collections, 381 small claims, 156 protective orders, 151 domestic relations issues and 124 mortgage foreclosures.

Two jury trials took place in Franklin County Circuit Court Division 1 Judge Steven Cox’s courtroom in 2012. They both involved Class C felonies, such as involuntary manslaughter, robbery, burglary and reckless homicide.

Ripley County juries decided the fates of four defendants. Circuit Court Judge Carl Taul presided at three trials: one Class A (examples are kidnapping, voluntary manslaughter or arson), one Class B (such as aggravated battery, rape, child molesting and armed robbery) and one civil tort. Superior Court Judge James Morris oversaw a Class D felony case, such as theft and fraud.

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