EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A 14 News update on a story we first brought you Tuesday. Two Vanderburgh County Judges were in Indianapolis Wednesday asking for two new magistrates.
They presented to the Courts and Criminal Code Committee. The Committee passed House Bill 1057 unanimously after hearing from Vanderburgh County Judges.
Judge David Kiely and Judge Wayne Trockman both testified to the county’s need for more judicial officers. A state study shows the county is short five judges to handle the growing case load.
Judge Kiely referenced the extra programs they oversee. They started the first Veteran’s Treatment Court and Therapeutic Work Release programs in the state.
They also run a forensic diversion program, re-entry court, and mental health court. These initiatives keep hundreds of people out of jail.
Kiely says they can do more with these two extra magistrates.
“We think we can do more. I mean I think we can get on top of opiates are a big issue right now. Pretrial limiting the pretrial incarceration before trial I think’s important. Being efficient with our case load. I think we can do more with those magistrates. Right now I think we’re a little hand tied because we don’t have those judicial resources,” says Judge Kiely.
The next step for the Magistrates Bill is to head to the House floor for a second reading where it can be amended. If it passes through both the House and Senate, Governor Holcomb could then sign it into law, and come July we could see those two new magistrates in our courtrooms.