2015 State of the Judiciary – Indiana Courts: Working to Fulfill the Promise of Justice

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on 1/14/2015 by Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush

imagesGovernor Pence, Lt. Governor Ellsperman, Members of the General Assembly:

What an honor it is for me to stand before you, the men and women of the Indiana General Assembly, in these historic chambers on behalf of my colleagues on the Supreme Court, Chief Judge Vaidik and our hard working Court of Appeals, and the heart and soul of the judicial branch—our trial court judges. It is on behalf of all of us that I offer you this address on the condition of Indiana’s courts.

In countless ways, the sound current state of our courts is attributable to former Chief Justice Brent Dickson—a man of integrity whose calm, civil and thoughtful approach was instrumental in leading our judiciary during the last several years—a period of much change. Please join me in showing our appreciation for Justice Dickson.

The “condition of the courts” is best understood within a context of purpose: Is our system of justice in Indiana working for the people and businesses it promises to serve? As our Indiana Constitution set forth almost 200 years ago, our courts must be open to every person for every injury—so that citizens’ conflicts, whether criminal or civil, are decided in an impartial forum, at an efficient price, with fair outcomes. Today you will hear several of those citizens’ stories that speak to this purpose.