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Attorneys involved in suit against Lake County court won’t have to move cases

Bonaventura

Bonaventura

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Four attorneys representing clients suing Lake County Juvenile Court over the consolidation of all IV-D courts from Gary to Juvenile Justice Center in Crown Point can continue having non-related cases heard in Lake County.

Senior Judge Thomas Webber Jr., judge pro-tem of the Lake County Juvenile Court, ruled May 10 that attorneys Bessie Taylor (aka Davis), Barbara Bolling, Eric Clark and Macarthur Drake no longer have to have their cases moved from Lake County to another venue until the suit is resolved.

Webber Tuesday said when an attorney sues a court they are precluded from practicing before that court due to conflict of interest. Former Juvenile Court Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura issued a transfer order before leaving the position pertaining to the four. Since that time an unknown number of the attorneys’ cases have been transferred to other courts. Webber said he did not believe a large number of cases were affected.

However a recent Supreme Court decision created a caveat that each case should be analyzed on its own merits, Webber said.

“Since the attorneys weren’t suing the judge individually, it didn’t affect their ability to practice,” Webber said.

The May 10 order will stop the flow of cases being transferred out of Lake Juvenile Court. Webber said he issued a second order Monday that allowed him to stop the transfer of four cases in the process of being sent out. Cases that already have been transferred to different venues will have to remain there.

“I can only just stop the flow from going out. We can’t change the ones that are already gone,” Webber said.



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