INDIANAPOLIS — Starting this June, taking a traffic ticket to court in Marion County will look a little bit different.
A spokesperson from the Marion County Superior Court said traffic court will no longer exist. Instead, traffic infractions and traffic misdemeanors will be split up and heard in different places.
”It should be easier in the long run,” said John Tompkins, an attorney and founder of Tompkins Law.
A spokesperson for the Marion County Superior Court said the Marion Superiro Court’s Executive Committee reviews the court’s caseload distribution. This year the committee found a “significantly declining traffic court filings” and decided to would be best to shift judicial resources elsewhere.
Starting in June, basic traffic infractions will be heard on a consolidated docket.
”It should probably speed up the process for people who just have a simple ticket, a parking ticket, jaywalking, or something like that,” said Tompkins.
Tompkins said it should also simplify the process for more complicated misdemeanor traffic cases. Those will now be heard by the Marion Superior Court’s Level 6 Misdemeanor Judges.
”Operating while intoxicated, reckless driving, those kind of things where your liberties are at stake,” Tompkins said. “Misdemeanors can involve jail time, you can be placed on probation.”
Ultimately, the Marion Superior Court said this change will make both processes more efficient. Tompkins agrees.
”The people who just have a ticket that they want to take care of quickly don’t have to sit in a room full of 300 people because they’re also the people with misdemeanors and ordinances and those kind of things,” he said.
Those with traffic misdemeanor cases will now be heard in courts with other non-traffic misdemeanors. Tompkins said this should help out the other side of the court, too.
”Letting them exist in the criminal courts where all of those resources are already housed really makes it more efficient for those players in the game, too,” Tompkins said.
A Marion County Superior Court spokesperson said the courts have about 48,000 traffic cases each year with a majority being infractions. They spokesperson said this will make courts more efficient as everyone involved continues to fight through the backlog left from the pandemic.
”Now in the last four to five months, when jury trials have restarted, that’s gone down quite a bit,” Tompkins said. “A lot of stuff has been resolved, but, yes, there are a significant number of cases back from 2020 and 2021.”
The Marion County Superior Court said traffic tickets will still be handled at the Community Justice Campus, the same place traffic court is right now.