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February 14, 2013

Another suit filed between Jeffersonville court and clerk

Legal wrangling continues between Conlin and Pierce


JEFFERSONVILLE — Turnabout isn’t fair play

But now that documents have gone missing out of Conlin’s office, the clerk is crying foul.

She filed, in Clark County Circuit Court No. 1, a request for an emergency restraining order and injunction to keep the documents in her office and to be able to carry out her statutory duties. An order to appoint a special judge was granted Thursday. A judge will have to be appointed to the case before the petition moves forward.

“We’re performing the duties as best as we can but a lot of our case files have disappeared,” Conlin said.

Larry Wilder, Conlin’s attorney, said the petition was filed in order to allow her to do her job.

“Unfortunately, she has been kept from doing the clerk’s job by virtue of the judge having his bailiff serve as the clerk of the court,” he said. “Ms. Conlin doesn’t want to violate the law and wants a judge to make it clear who the clerk of the court is once again. Right now, the original dockets for three years have been removed [from her office].”

When contacted by the News and Tribune about the lawsuit, Pierce said “I’ve been advised by counsel not to comment on pending litigation.”

But Wilder proffered a theory as to why the records were taken and are allegedly being held by the city court.

“The judge believes that the bailiff should be in the courtroom, taking records like a court reporter,” he said. “City courts are allowed to be created by the city council or the town board, so they are very different [from state courts]. I think the judge perceives this more as though its a constitutionally created ... court, when the reality is it’s created by statute. It’s a whole different set of laws.”

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