State ex rel. Brune v. Vanderburgh Circuit Court, No. 1270S310

Docket NºNo. 1270S310
Citation265 N.E.2d 524, 255 Ind. 505
Case DateJanuary 11, 1971
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 524

265 N.E.2d 524
255 Ind. 505
STATE of Indiana on the Relation of William J. BRUNE, Relator,
v.
The VANDERBURGH CIRCUIT COURT and William H. Miller, Judge
of the Vanderburgh Circuit Court, Respondents.
No. 1270S310.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Jan. 11, 1971.

John F. Davis, Evansville, for relator.

John G. Bunner, Evansville, for respondents.

Hugo L. Songer, Sydney L. Berger, Evansville, amicus curiae.

HUNTER, Judge.

The relator William J. Brune, prosecuting attorney elect of Vanderburgh County, filed verified petition [255 Ind. 506] praying for the issuance of a writ of mandate against the respondent, the Honorable William H. Miller, Judge of the Vanderburgh Circuit Court. The respondent filed a verified return to said petition.

The Evansville Bar Association filed a petition requesting permission to file a brief amicus curiae in opposition to relator's petition for writ of mandate, which was granted. An emergency hearing was granted and scheduled by this court for hearing December 21, 1970.

Thereafter the court, all members concurring, entered an order denying the writ on the date of the hearing December 21, 1970.

The issues presented to the court in this original action are briefly stated as follows:

(1) The respondent Judge of the Vanderburgh Circuit Court by his return avers that prior to December 10, 1970 the jury commissioners of Vanderburgh County, Indiana,

Page 525

directed his attention to the fact that the names of taxpayers appearing on the present property tax duplicates and tax schedules for Vanderburgh County, Indiana, had been drastically reduced and that, as jury commissioners, they would have difficulty in obtaining representative citizens of the county to serve as jurors in all the courts of Vanderburgh County for the ensuing year 1971.

(2) On December 10, 1970 the respondent conducted a hearing after having requested the county assessor and all the township assessors of Vanderburgh County and members of the bar of Vanderburgh County to appear for said hearing to be conducted on the question of the availability of persons of the county to serve as prospective jurors.

(3) As a result of the hearing the respondent found that the registered voters list was a more comprehensive and representative list of citizens of Vanderburgh County from which to select names to be placed in the jury box for the year 1971.

[255 Ind. 507] (4) The respondent further found that the statutory method for selecting names of prospective jurors to be placed in the jurors box for ultimate selection as members of the grand and petit juries for the courts of said county in the year 1971 was inadequate, and further would not comply with standards of the constitutions of the State of Indiana and the United States in the selection of prospective jurors from a representative cross-section of citizens of the county.

Therefore, as a result of the hearing the respondent entered an order directing the jury commissioners to select the names of legal voters and citizens of the United States from the master file of the voters of Vanderburgh County, and to make such selections by wards and townships.

The relator filed a motion to vacate and expunge the order to the jury commissioners to select said prospective jurors from the master file of the voters list of Vanderburgh County, and in said motion made a demand and request on the respondent court to follow the statutory method of selecting prospective jurors as set out in Ind.Ann.Stat. § 4--7104 (1968 Repl.) which reads in part as follows:

'4--7104. Selection of grand and petit juros--Special procedure in counties exceeding 650,000 population.--Said commissioners shall immediately, from the names of legal voters and citizens of the United States on the latest tax duplicate and the tax schedules of the county, examine for the purpose of determining the sex, age and identity of prospective jurors, and proceed to select and deposit, in a box furnished by the clerk for that purpose, the names, written on separate slips of paper of uniform shape, size and color, of twice as many persons as will be required by law for grand and petit jurors in the courts of the county, for all the terms of such courts, to commence with the calendar year next ensuing. Each selection shall be made as nearly as possible in proportion to the population of each county commissioner's district. In making such selections, they shall in all things observe their oath, and they shall not select the name of any person who is not a voter of the county, or who is not either a freeholder or householder, or who is to them known to be interested in or has cause pending which may be tried by a jury to be drawn [255 Ind. 508] from the names so selected. They shall deliver the box, locked, to the clerk of the circuit court, after having deposited therein the names as herein directed. The key shall be retained by one (1) of the commissioners, not an adherent of the same political party as is the clerk.

* * *'

The court denied the motion to vacate and the relator then filed his petition for original action in his court. The evidence adduced at the hearing produced two salient evidentiary facts related to the issue presented to this court by the original action filed herein.

Page 526

(1) Testimony of all the township assessors of Vanderburgh County together with that of the county assessor indicated that almost one-half of the names of persons previously appearing on the tax duplicates and tax schedules of said county have been removed by the elimination of the names of persons owning automobile vehicles from the personal property tax rolls.

(2) Several practicing attorneys duly licensed to practice law in the State of Indiana were called to testify. They stated unequivocally that they would challenge the jury array on the basis of the present statutory method of selection of jurors, if the method of selection of prospective jurors as outlined in the statute was adhered to by the jury commissioners in their selections of...

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13 practice notes
  • Wireman v. State, No. 382S118
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • March 26, 1982
    ...Ind. 264, 295 N.E.2d 600; Shack v. State, (1972) 259 Ind. 450, 288 N.E.2d 155; State ex rel. Brune v. Vanderburgh Circuit Court, (1971) 255 Ind. 505, 265 N.E.2d The fact that the commissioners did not always make selection of names in the presence of each other was not such a substantial fa......
  • Taylor v. State, No. 272S14
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 3, 1973
    ...to examine the manner in which jury panels are selected. We specifically held in State ex rel. Brune v. Vanderburgh Circuit Court (1971), 255 Ind. 505, 265 N.E.2d 524, 24 Ind.Dec. 279, that where the trial court found that property tax lists were no longer valid as sources for jury selectio......
  • Morris v. State, No. 1075S303
    • United States
    • July 7, 1977
    ...a deliberate attempt to exclude certain groups from jury selection. Further, in State ex rel. Brune v. Vanderburgh Circuit Court, (1971) 255 Ind. 505, 265 N.E.2d 524, this court upheld the trial judge when he made a finding that use of the tax rolls and duplicates did not provide a sufficie......
  • Tawney v. State, No. 680S176
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 2, 1982
    ...contention is without support. The defendant next argues that this Court held in State ex rel Brune v. Vanderburgh Circuit Court, (1971) 255 Ind. 505, 265 N.E.2d 524, that property tax rolls may not be used in jury selection, if a representative cross-section did not result. In State ex rel......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • Wireman v. State, No. 382S118
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • March 26, 1982
    ...Ind. 264, 295 N.E.2d 600; Shack v. State, (1972) 259 Ind. 450, 288 N.E.2d 155; State ex rel. Brune v. Vanderburgh Circuit Court, (1971) 255 Ind. 505, 265 N.E.2d The fact that the commissioners did not always make selection of names in the presence of each other was not such a substantial fa......
  • Taylor v. State, No. 272S14
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • May 3, 1973
    ...to examine the manner in which jury panels are selected. We specifically held in State ex rel. Brune v. Vanderburgh Circuit Court (1971), 255 Ind. 505, 265 N.E.2d 524, 24 Ind.Dec. 279, that where the trial court found that property tax lists were no longer valid as sources for jury selectio......
  • Morris v. State, No. 1075S303
    • United States
    • July 7, 1977
    ...a deliberate attempt to exclude certain groups from jury selection. Further, in State ex rel. Brune v. Vanderburgh Circuit Court, (1971) 255 Ind. 505, 265 N.E.2d 524, this court upheld the trial judge when he made a finding that use of the tax rolls and duplicates did not provide a sufficie......
  • Tawney v. State, No. 680S176
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • September 2, 1982
    ...contention is without support. The defendant next argues that this Court held in State ex rel Brune v. Vanderburgh Circuit Court, (1971) 255 Ind. 505, 265 N.E.2d 524, that property tax rolls may not be used in jury selection, if a representative cross-section did not result. In State ex rel......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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