In an effort to ease the ongoing Judicial Emergency in the Southern District of Indiana, beginning on or after October 1, 2017, two Magistrate Judges from the Eastern District of Wisconsin will provide targeted assistance in the Indianapolis division. In addition, Chief Judge Michael J. Reagan of the Southern District of Illinois will be assisting the court by presiding over a trial.
The Southern District of Indiana is in a state of Judicial Emergency by virtue of an existing judicial vacancy and a weighted filing in excess of 800 cases per Judgeship. In the 12-month period ending June 30, 2017, the weighted filings per Judgeship in the Southern District stood at 915, first in the Circuit and second in the nation. In addition, as a result of the untimely passing of Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue, the Magistrate Judges of the Southern District are experiencing a significant increase in their already considerable caseloads.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(f), in an emergency and upon the concurrence of the Chief Judges of the district courts involved, Magistrate Judges may be temporarily assigned to perform duties in a judicial district other than the judicial district to which they have been appointed. Previously, the Judicial Conference of the United States (“JCUS”) Committee on Intercircuit Assignments (“ICA Committee”) identified the Southern District of Indiana as a possible “borrowing court” and the Eastern District of Wisconsin as a possible “lending court” in a district judge sharing program. Under this program, the Southern District of Indiana and the Eastern District of Wisconsin are already sharing judicial resources, with the Honorable William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge, and the Honorable Lynn S. Adelman, District Judge, both providing their services to the Southern District of Indiana.
Given the present exigent circumstances, Chief Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson accepted an offer of additional assistance from the Eastern District of Wisconsin and requested that the Seventh Circuit Judicial Council extend the judge-sharing arrangement between the two districts by designating the Hon. David E. Jones, Magistrate Judge, and recalling the Hon. William E. Callahan, Recalled Magistrate Judge, to act as Magistrate Judges in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Chief Judge Griesbach of the Eastern District of Wisconsin graciously consented to this request, and the Circuit Council approved. Therefore, beginning on or after October 1, 2017, Magistrate Judges Jones and Callahan will provide the Magistrate Judges of the Southern District of Indiana with assistance in fulfilling their duties on an as-needed basis in criminal matters, in assigned civil matters, and by conducting settlement conferences. The visiting judges will preside over their assigned cases both by telephone and at the Birch Bayh Federal Building and United States Courthouse in Indianapolis. It is not anticipated that Magistrate Judges Jones and Callahan will assume case management duties. Rather, their assistance will focus on targeted matters such as initial criminal proceedings and settlement conferences.
To facilitate this arrangement, on September 13, 2017, Chief Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson, with the consent of the Chief Judge of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, William C. Griesbach, signed an Order that authorizes Magistrate Judges Jones and Callahan to hold court and perform other judicial duties under 28 U.S.C. § 636, subsections (a), (b), and (c), on an as-needed basis in the Southern District of Indiana, through March 1, 2018.
In addition to the assistance provided by colleagues from the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the Honorable Michael J. Reagan, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, generously offered his services to preside over a trial in the Southern District of Indiana. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued the necessary designation on September 1, 2017. “The Southern District of Indiana is indeed most grateful for the generous support shown us by our colleagues in the Eastern District of Wisconsin and the Southern District of Illinois. They have come to our aid in a time of need,” said Chief Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson.
For further information regarding these intracircuit assignments, please contact Chief Deputy Clerk Alison Chestovich at 317-229-3700.