Indiana magistrate to get help clearing case backlog

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Valparaiso - A northwest Indiana magistrate will get some help catching up on a backlog of court cases over the next few months.

A public hearing will be held Friday in Porter Circuit Court in Valparaiso on a proposal to hire a part-time probate commissioner to hear new cases scheduled before Magistrate James Johnson.

Johnson had 97 cases he had not yet ruled on by the end of June, compared with just three cases pending before another magistrate. Judge Mary Harper said Johnson's backlog since has been reduced to somewhere in the 80s.

Harper says Johnson's health contributed to the backlog.

Harper says the county's six judges will provide Johnson with a schedule to help him clear the backlog of cases by Oct. 1.

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