For Immediate Release | December 16, 2022
Discipline charges filed against Decatur County judge
The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed disciplinary charges against Decatur Circuit Court Judge Timothy B. Day. The Commission alleges two counts of misconduct in Child in Need of Services cases related to a pattern of not including Guardian Ad Litems/Court Appointed Special Advocates from the proceedings and fostering a culture of ex parte communications. Judge Day is permitted (but not required) to file an answer to the charges within 20 days.
The 8-page "Notice of the Institution of Formal Proceedings and Statement of Charges" (Case No. 22S-JD-412) is public record and has been filed with the Appellate Clerk’s Office. The charges are brought by the seven-member Commission, which investigates alleged ethical misconduct by judges.
The Commission charges that Judge Day violated judicial canons, which require judges to comply and uphold the law; perform all duties fairly and impartially; and not initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications. Of the two counts, one is related to Judge Day’s pattern of not including GALs/CASAs from proceedings in cases involving a minor, even though GALs/CASAs were parties to those proceedings. The remaining charge, covering a three-year period, is for allowing ex parte communications and not taking remedial measures when ex parte communications were received in CHINS cases.
The Supreme Court has final authority to determine what, if any, judicial misconduct occurred. The Court can dismiss the charges, accept or reject a disciplinary agreement between the Commission and Judge Day, appoint a panel of judges to conduct a public hearing, impose a fine, or impose sanctions ranging from a reprimand to a suspension to a permanent ban on holding judicial office in Indiana. More information about the Commission can be found at courts.in.gov/jqc.
Kathryn Dolan, Chief Public Information Officer