Judge / Court Staff

Indiana Left It To County Courts To Release Prisoners During The COVID  Crisis. Most Of Them Haven't.

JUDGE KIM HALL

judgekimhall@co.starke.in.us

Judge Kim Hall is now in his 36th year in public office in Starke County, having been elected nine (9) times. He first served in the position of Prosecuting Attorney, beginning in 1987.  He was elected to that position five (5) times and served in that capacity for eighteen (18) years.  In 2004, he was elected to represent all Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys as Chairman of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council.

Thereafter, he was elected to the position of Judge of the Starke Circuit Court, the 44th Judicial Circuit, and began serving a six year term on January 1, 2005.  He was re-elected to a second term in 2010, a third term in 2016, and a fourth term in 2022.

He is a graduate of the Indiana Judicial College and the Indiana Graduate Program for Judges.  He has continued his legal education at the Indiana Supreme Court’s annual Conferences,  as well as the National Judicial College.  He has served on the faculty at the Indiana Annual Judicial Conference.

In 2018, he represented Starke County at a site visit in Santa Cruz, California, (funded by the Annie Casey Foundation), and met with Judges of the Superior Court of California who have been successfully implementing the national Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative.

Judge Hall is on the Board of Directors of the Judicial Conference of Indiana, and is a member of the Criminal Jury Instructions Committee of the Indiana Judges Association.

STARKE CIRCUIT COURT REFORMS AND PILOT PROGRAMS

COURT REFORM – 2017 TO 2021

Judge Hall has been an advocate for Indiana’s Court Reform, and has promoted the implementation of evidence-based practices throughout Starke County’s criminal justice system.  In 2017, Starke County began serving as a Pilot Program in Indiana for Evidence-Based Decision Making and Pretrial Reform.  EBDM utilizes empirical evidence and validated data regarding specific terms of criminal sentences that result in reduced recidivism.

Pretrial Reform aims to replace financial bonds with state-of-the-art technology to monitor defendants’ movements and behavior.   In lieu of money, the Judge often orders Home Detention, with GPS monitoring, together with conditions requiring substance-abuse counseling, random drug screens, and the pursuit of employment.  Goals of this reform are to reduce jail overcrowding, costs to the taxpayers, recidivism, and to promote community safety.

STARKE COUNTY REGIONAL THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITY DRUG TREATMENT

In 2015, Judge Hall worked with the Governor’s Office,  the Indiana Legislature, the Indiana Department of Corrections, and the Starke County Sheriff to create the only Therapeutic Community in the state of Indiana operated by the DOC – outside of Indiana prison walls.  Judge Hall presented the proposal to the Indiana Governor’s Drug Task Force when they met at the University of Notre Dame.  The Task Force endorsed the proposal, which was subsequently accepted by the Governor, and implemented by the DOC.

Starke County hosted an Open House for the Therapeutic Community in July, 2016.

http://starkecountysheriff.com/index.php/2016/07/27/starke-county-therapeutic-community/

Regional Judges are now able to sentence convicted felons to Purposeful Incarceration in the DOC, by specifically recommending placement in the Starke County RTC.   Courts in 12 counties qualify for this unique sentencing alternative:  Starke, Marshall, St. Joseph, Elkhart, La Porte, Porter, Lake, Jasper, Pulaski, White, Cass, and Fulton.

In addition to intense therapeutic counseling, individuals take classes to earn a High School Equivalency Diploma, work in the Justice Center’s Community FARM Program to grow produce for distribution to local food pantries and nursing homes, and participate in a variety of community service projects.  They have received inspirational visits from a former NFL player, high school teachers, a professional musician, a physical trainer, and several former addicts who have successfully achieved and maintained a sober lifestyle.

Participants now receive the most effective drug treatment offered by Indiana, which lasts between 8 and 12 months.  Hundreds of individuals have now graduated from the Starke County RTC, and have returned to their families, work, and communities throughout northwest Indiana.  Statistics have shown that it is less likely for these graduates to commit crimes upon their release than those released from a prison facility.

The Indiana Department of Corrections and the University of Notre Dame are presently conducting significant studies on the long-term effectiveness of the Starke County RTC on its graduates.

MAGISTRATE MICAH COX

mcox@co.starke.in.us

     On July 1, 2021, Judge Kim Hall has appointed Starke County attorney Micah Cox to begin service as an Indiana judicial officer as the Starke Circuit Court Magistrate. 

     Magistrate Cox previously served as the Starke County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney from 2019 to 2021.  From 2011 to 2019 Magistrate Cox served as a St. Joseph County Deputy Prosecutor responsible for major felony jury trials and was assigned to the County Metro Homicide Unit.  

      Magistrate Cox graduated from the University of Tennessee and Valparaiso University School of Law.  He and his wife, Rachel, and their son, Patrick, live in Starke County and are enjoying the country life.

COURT STAFF

Rachel Meadows     772-9146       Court Administrator

Donna Davis             772-9191        Court Reporter

Tammy Hartman    772-9147       Jury Administrator / Scheduling

Courtney Corley     772-9189        Administrative Assistant / Deputy Clerk

Caroline Brown      772-9156        Financial Administrator / Court Reporter

Pamela Starkey     772-9122         Small Claims Administrator

Lorie Reading           772-9189      Child Support Administrator

PUBLIC DEFENDERS

Attorney Richard Ballard – Chief Public Defender

Attorney Wendell Goad – Initial Hearing / Bond P.D.  (Supreme Court Grant)

Attorney Blair Todd

Attorney Timothy Lemon

COURT SECURITY

Rich Miller    772-9155   Chief

Sam Byer

Richard Beauchamp

Butch Morgan

STARKE COUNTY COURT SERVICES

R. Shawn Mattraw – Director / Certified Adult Probation Officer

Donna Brooks – 772-9151   Administrative Assistant

PROBATION DIVISION

http://www.co.starke.in.us/index.php/circuit-court/probation/

Annette Warkentien – Probation Officer / Adults

Chuck Phillips – Pretrial Services Probation Officer  (Supreme Court Grant)

John Novak – Probation Officer / Adults

Abby Columbia – Probation Officer / Juveniles

Megan Johnston – Specialist / Court Recovery Program

COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS DIVISION

http://www.co.starke.in.us/index.php/departments/community-corrections/

Kolleen Woods – Certified Adult Probation Officer

Jennifer Strickland –  Certified Adult Probation Officer

Sara Molebash –  Certified Adult Probation Officer

RJ Duff – Field Officer

COURT APPOINTED SPECIAL ADVOCATE – CASA

WEBSITE:      http://www.co.starke.in.us/index.php/casa/

Connie Deal – 772-7200   Director

JoAnn Mizansky – 772-7200   Administrative Assistant

Brenda Palmer – Retention Specialist

The Starke County CASA Program has trained volunteers serving the Starke Circuit Court and more than 100 Starke County Children in Need of Services. 

You can join them by visiting this link:

http://nc.casaforchildren.org/volunteerinquiry/default.asp?id=11153