Sunday, November 12, 2006


Judge Eichholtz [former mental health judge] heads Night Court

Night Court Held in Marion County for First Time

Aug 21, 2006 09:49 PM EDT

Judge Steve Eichholtz

By Daniel Miller
News 8 @ 6:00

Night court is being held in Indianapolis for the very first time. Officials hope the new court will speed up the criminal justice process by moving cases through the system more quickly and alleviating jail overcrowding.

"It's critical that we move cases for a lot of reasons," said part-time commissioner, Judge Steve Eichholtz.

Court cases will be held at night as part of an initiative signed by city leaders to help cut crime on the streets.

"The events of this summer have kind of highlighted the crisis we've faced in the criminal justice system. It's something that's been building for a number of years," said Judge Eichholtz.

Judge Eichholtz, an Indianapolis attorney, will preside over the new night court. He says his courtroom will run like regular court proceedings.

"It will run like a regular misdemeanor-D felony court docket. We will hear all types of hearings, pre-trials, guilty pleas," Judge Eichholtz said.

For the first time, full and part-time prosecutors will handle class D felonies and misdemeanor drug charges at night inside the court.

"This is something I have hoped for for a long time," Mayor Bart Peterson said.

Mayor Peterson called city leaders together to address the jail overcrowding problem. He says moving justice cases through the system is crucial. He also says he's confident this new night court will help keep the streets of Indianapolis safe.

"To be able to utilize our court resources at night, I think, is a great way to stretch the resources better and it also sends a real clear message to the criminals in this community, which I think they've been getting in the last couple weeks, that we are deadly serious about stopping this crime wave," said Mayor Peterson.

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