In 2015 Indiana required all Town/City judges be attorneys, now some in the legislature want to go back to lay judges

In 2015 Indiana moved to the end practice of allowing non-attorney judges in the state’s lowest tier of trial courts: Town and City (discussed here). Now members of both the House and Senate want to go back to lay judges.

SB 238 would generally remove the attorney-judge requirement except for 9 specifically name courts and any court located in Lake County.

HB 1564 takes a slightly different approach and is more population based.

  1. Attorney-judges would be required in the 9 courts + any in Lake County (as in SB 238).
  2. Attorney-judges would not be required in a Town/City Court with a population under 10,000.
  3. Attorney-judges would (apparently) be required in a Town/City Court with a population over 10,000.

HB 1564 is in the House Courts and Criminal Code while SB 238 is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.