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State sees increase in court cases filed

In numbers released recently by the state, more than 1.8 million new cases were filed in Indiana courts in 2010, an increase of 3 percent since 2001.
Of the new cases, 205 were murder cases (a decrease of 27 percent from 2002 to 2010), 361,969 were self-represented litigants, an interpreter was used in 14,978 cases, and cities, towns, townships, counties and the state spent more than $393.3 million to operate the courts, while filing fees, court costs, user fees and fines generated $232,656,052 in revenue.
The Indiana Judicial Service Report is a 1,782-page, multi-volume report, which includes everything from crucial information about court operations to interesting facts about the judicial branch.
‘The work of the courts cannot be summed up in numbers, but the 2010 statistics report does offer a snapshot of the volume, breadth, challenges and success stories in each of the courthouses in Indiana’s 92 counties,’ Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard said. ‘Indiana judges and trial court staff did a remarkable job of handling the 1.8 million new cases with fairness and professionalism.’
In Harrison Superior Court, there was one murder charge filed last year, in November, when Larry Ray Lowe Sr. allegedly shot and murdered his wife, Catherine, at their home west of Crandall.
Superior Court also had 10 Class A felonies, 30 Class B felonies, 40 Class C felonies and 277 Class D felonies filed. In addition, there were 540 various misdemeanors filed and 2,528 infractions.
In Harrison Circuit Court, there were 85 cases of juvenile delinquency, 83 cases of juvenile status (in which a child is charged with committing an offense which would not be a crime if committed by an adult, such as curfew violations, truancy, underage alcohol purchase/consumption), 64 cases of juvenile paternity (paternity actions filed by either party), 35 miscellaneous juvenile cases and one termination of parental rights.
On the civil side, there were 212 mortgage foreclosure cases filed, 639 civil collection cases, 32 civil tort claims and 573 cases in small claims, 312 cases in domestic relations (divorces, legal separation, petitions for child support), 21 adoptions, 26 mental health cases, 108 estate cases, 53 cases dealing with guardianship and 122 protective orders filed.
Including other miscellaneous filings, Harrison County had 6,483 new cases filed in 2010.
In felonies, Harrison Superior has disposed six Class A, 23 Class B, 27 Class C and 247 Class D crimes. It’s also disposed 542 misdemeanors, 388 miscellaneous criminal offenses and 2,814 infractions. Harrison Circuit disposed 146 juvenile delinquency cases.
Combined, Harrison Superior and Circuit courts disposed 6,435 cases.
In all, 2010 saw 3,300 new cases filed in Crawford County.
There were seven Class A, 11 Class B, 15 Class C and 94 Class D felony cases opened, along with 208 misdemeanor and 33 miscellaneous charges filed. Twenty-one juvenile delinquency cases were filed.
On the civil side, the court opened 50 mortgage foreclosure cases, 187 civil collection cases, four civil torts, 133 small claims, 77 domestic relation cases, eight mental health cases, six adoptions, 25 estate cases and had 60 protective orders filed.
Crawford County disposed 3,342 cases, including 5 Class A, 13 Class B, 15 Class C and 135 Class D felonies, and 371 criminal misdemeanor cases and 27 miscellaneous criminal offenses, along with 2,041 infractions. Sixteen juvenile delinquency cases were also disposed.
The Indiana Judicial Service Report and Indiana Probation Report are produced annually by the Supreme Court’s Division of State Court Administration. The reports are required by Indiana statute and Supreme Court administrative rules.
The Division published the first report with 1976 data as a photocopy of handwritten charts. Today, the information is gathered electronically and published online with a limited number of CD and hard copy versions printed.
The entire Judicial Year in Review, which includes information for each Indiana county, can be found online at