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Constable tries to arrest township employees in Marion County, but deputies thwart his efforts



Indianapolis, Indiana – Center Township leaders in Marion County have not commented on the “disturbance” that occurred when the troubled constable attempted to arrest two workers.

Constable Denise Paul Hatch made an attempt on Monday morning to place a township employee and a small claims court employee under arrest, according to the office of Center Township Trustee LaDonna Freeman. According to a statement from Freeman’s office, Hatch “caused a disturbance with court staff” before it happened. According to officials, the two employees were returned to the township offices located at the Julia M. Carson Government Center on Fall Creek Parkway after Marion County deputies declined to take them into jail.

Hatch, who was elected in November of last year and began office on January 1, is not the subject of this debate for the first time. Hatch was charged with contempt of court in May after she challenged a police officer in Indianapolis who was manning security during an eviction. Then, on October 17, Judge Brenda Roper issued an emergency order declaring Hatch incapable of carrying out her duties and instructing the constables of the remaining eight Marion County townships to take over in her place, citing remarks made by Hatch in public a few days prior. The directive is still in force until further notice.

In Indiana, constables hold a unique place in the legal system. If a township establishes a small claims court, constables, who hold an elected post, act as the court’s officers. Marion County is the only county in Indiana that has constables since it is the only county with township small claims courts. In addition to serving papers in small claims courts, they are authorized by state law to make arrests. Statutorily, constables are not subject to the same licensing requirements or rules governing other law enforcement personnel. They are therefore immune to punishment from the state’s Law Enforcement Training Board.




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