FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Judge Wendy Davis officially stepped down from her duties Tuesday, but is leaving the bench in good hands.
On Wednesday, she said her departure was planned and that folks with cases in Allen Circuit Court will appear in court as scheduled.
Davis is a Republican candidate for the 3rd congressional, currently occupied by Rep. Jim Banks. Banks is stepping down to run for U.S. Senate.
Davis said the two magistrates, Ashley Hand and Jesus Trevino, will handle her caseload. Most likely, a senior judge will be called in to replace her temporarily. Circuit Court here has one judge.
The candidate, Wendy Davis, released a statement through her spokesperson, Rex Purgason:
“Wendy Davis is a committed public servant, and before resigning, she ensured all of the cases that were under her jurisdiction are fully covered by her fellow judges. All appropriate measures were taken to ensure there would be no lapse in coverage of her cases. As she has over the last 12 years in her courtroom, Wendy will always champion the rule of law.”
Allen County Republican chairman, Steve Shine, said a temporary judge would be assigned while Gov. Holcomb and his staff sift through candidates. Different from Allen Superior Court, there is no nominating committee. Applicants who want to be considered for the job, apply directly for the position, Shine said.
That information agreed with a statement issued from Allen Circuit Court:
“The Allen Circuit Court will continue to conduct business as usual following the retirement of Circuit Judge Wendy W. Davis. In anticipation of her retirement, Judge Davis worked very closely with the Indiana Supreme Court to ensure business before the Circuit Court would continue to be properly administered and adjudicated after her departure. Circuit Court Magistrates Ashley N. Hand and Jesus “Rick” Treviño will oversee all Court cases and administrative operations. “Magistrate Treviño and I are committed to ensuring the Circuit Court continues to operate effectively and efficiently,” Hand said. “We have a professional, seasoned staff within whom I have the highest confidence.” Governor Holcomb will name Judge Davis’s replacement in the coming months.
A look at court data through ICOR – Indiana Courts Online Reports – shows that in 2021, the Allen Circuit Court had 4,488 cases before court, 1,984 disposed cases and 2.484 pending cases. Circuit Court is smaller than Allen Superior Court and has one judge and two magistrates.
Allen Superior Court has 20 judges and magistrates, according to a court official. The overall number of reported cases for Allen County showed there were 117,650 cases before court, 59, 573 disposed cases and 56,610 pending cases. Superior Court has nine different courts as opposed to one.
Level 5 and Level 6 felonies go before Circuit Court as well as civil cases and family cases including divorce. Higher felonies are adjudicated in Superior Court.
As reported by WANE 15