Thursday, October 7, 2010

10072010 - News Article - Magistrate still working on backlog - Magistrate James Johnson judicial investigation

Magistrate still working on backlog
NWI Times

October 07, 2010

VALPARAISO - An Oct. 1 deadline has passed without Porter County Magistrate James Johnson catching up on a backlog of cases pending in his court.

Johnson, who was out sick for nine days since being given the deadline a couple months ago, has completed much of the work and has been given a couple extra weeks to wrap up the job, according to his supervisor, Porter Superior Judge Roger Bradford.

Bradford said he and temporary judges will cover the current caseload in Johnson's court over the next couple of weeks.

The judges had been relying on attorney Mary DeBoer to hear the new cases while Johnson worked on the backlog.

Bradford said once the work on the backlog is complete, he assumes Johnson will return to his post in the court with a plan in place to avoid future delays in cases.

Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper said the judges are scheduled to meet next month.

While this issue has not yet been placed on the agenda, she said the judges will discuss the next step with Johnson after he completes his work.

It was her understanding Johnson had whittled the backlog of cases down to the low 20s from a high of 97 at the end of June.

He and fellow Magistrate Katherine Forbes handle divorce, estate and guardianship cases.

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