In the Matter of the Honorable Dean A. Young, Judge of the Blackford Circuit Court, Respondent.
Discipline Action Hon. Judith Stewart, Hon. Earl G. Penrod,
Senior Judge, and Hon. Matthew C. Kincaid, Special Masters.
ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT Scott E. Shockley James R. Williams
ATTORNEYS FOR INDIANA COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS
Seth Pruden, Counsel to the Commission Marcus McGhee, Staff
Attorney to the Commission Indianapolis, Indiana
that Respondent, the Honorable Dean A. Young, Judge of the
Blackford Circuit Court, engaged in judicial misconduct
relating to a temporary restraining order that he heard and
issued without adequate notice to the responding party or
witnesses, and while he had a specific interest in the
subject matter. The Special Masters recommended, and the
parties agree, that the appropriate discipline is to suspend
Judge Young for six days without pay.
matter is before us on the report of the Special Masters we
appointed to hear evidence on the Indiana Commission on
Judicial Qualifications' ("Commission's")
"Notice of the Institution of Formal Proceedings and
Statement of Charges" against Judge Young, and on the
parties' joint response to the report. We have original
jurisdiction under Article 7, Section 4 of the Indiana
Constitution and Indiana Admission and Discipline Rule 25.
case arose in 2015 from a disagreeable relationship between
Derinda Shady, who was the elected Blackford County Clerk,
and the County's two judges: Circuit Court Judge Young
and Superior Court Judge John Barry. The tension culminated
in the two Judges holding a restraining-order hearing at
which Shady was not present, then issuing a restraining order
barring her from the courthouse until the order was vacated
six days later.
August 3, 2015, the Blackford County Council announced its
intent to cut funding for two positions in the Blackford
County Clerk's office. That announcement upset Shady, who
did not think her office could do its work with only the two
employees who would remain.
asked Judge Young to intervene with the County Council, but
he and Judge Barry declined and instead transferred open
criminal-court files to their own offices in an effort to
lighten the Clerk's workload. Those decisions angered
Shady-she told Judge Young, "You can collect your own
court costs, too, " and she told Judge Barry that
he'd "better bring a cop" if he came to
retrieve the files. She apologized a few days later and let
the files be transferred without incident. But she also
continued referring to the Judges by obscene names in front
of office staff and the public. (The Judges knew secondhand
of her insolence but took no action.)
August 19, the County Council held a public hearing for
budget appeals. Shady attended to appeal the defunding
decision, and the Judges attended the meeting for her part of
the discussion before going back to Judge Young's home.
The Council rejected Shady's staffing appeal, and Shady
was rude to Council members afterward-but she made no
specific threat not to do her job or to destroy court
records. Judge Barry received reports about Shady's rude
behavior and told Judge Young about them, but Judge Young did
not see Shady's behavior firsthand.
next morning, August 20, Judge Young arrived at the
courthouse at about 7:30 and began making phone calls,
including to one of the Council members, asking about
Shady's behavior the previous evening. He then met with
Judge Barry and suggested that they "would have a
hearing and 'lock [Shady] out of her office'" if
her behavior did not change.
that morning, Judge Young went to the Clerk's Office to
demand that Shady come upstairs to meet with him and Judge
Barry. Shady was on the phone at the time, but after her
call, she phoned Judge Young and told him "if he had
something to say that he could come down to her office."
Judge Young replied, "Get up here! Now!" Shady came
upstairs and brought her daughter, Deputy Clerk Patricia
Milholland. But Judge Young was unwilling to have Milholland
present. At a stalemate, Shady and Milholland went back
downstairs after a few minutes, and no meeting happened that
Special Masters found that Judge Young probably told Shady
that they would hold a hearing about her conduct if she
refused to talk to them-but probably not that they would hold
the hearing a matter of minutes later, or that the issue
would involve contempt of court or enjoining her from
entering the Courthouse.
Unbeknownst to Judge Young, Shady went home upset after the
abortive "meeting" and went to the hospital with a
panic attack later that morning. Sometime after Shady left,
Judge Young sent a Sheriff's Deputy to bring Shady,
Milholland, and another Deputy Clerk upstairs to court. The
Special Masters found that neither Deputy Clerk probably knew
why they were being brought into court, even though Judge
Young was probably considering enjoining them from the
building, too. (Findings 17-19)
at 8:25 a.m., Judges Young and Barry sua sponte
began a hearing to enjoin Shady from the Courthouse. There
was no written application, affidavit, or verified complaint.
Shady had no written notice of the date and time of the
hearing or its subject, nor did the Deputy Clerks who were