Prosecutor Comments on Court Request for Second Courtroom and Future Magistrate

14-WFIE reporter Brittany Harry spent some time in Rockport this morning covering the recent effort by Spencer Circuit Court Judge Jon Dartt to create a second courtroom to deal with the increasing caseload in Spencer County and his separate request for the State to create a magistrate (which can be described as an assistant or deputy judge) position for the court.  As noted in the story, the court in Spencer County ranked as third busiest (calculated as the number of cases per judge) in Indiana in 2016.  Spencer County is one of the few jurisdictions where all cases of every type are handled by just one judge.  Senior judges and judges from neighboring Perry County have been assigned to help with the workload, but with essentially only one courtroom available, cases still must be handled one at a time.

Ms. Harry contacted Prosecuting Attorney, Dan Wilkinson, to get his thoughts on why these changes are so sorely needed in Spencer county.  The epidemic of methamphetamine, heroin, prescription opioids, as well as synthetic and other drugs continues to overwhelm and stress the local justice system through the increasing number of criminal cases and increased child neglect cases.  You can watch the 14 News video which includes some of Prosecutor Wilkinson’s comments below…