Hon. Lori Thatcher Quillen
Owen County is served by the Owen Circuit Court, which is the 78th Judicial Circuit of the State of Indiana. The Owen Circuit Court is responsible for processing all types of cases which can be filed in a court of law in Indiana. The current judge of the Owen Circuit Court is Lori Thatcher Quillen, who took office on January 1, 2013. The Owen Circuit Court has a Small Claims and Misdemeanor Division, which Division is presided over by Owen Circuit Court Referee, Kelsey Hanlon. The Court also operates a Drug Court , Truancy Court, CASA program, and Child Support Collection Commissioner Court.
The Owen Circuit Courtroom, Small Claims Courtroom, and staff offices are all located on the third floor of the Owen County Courthouse. The mailing address for the Owen Circuit Court is Box 86, Spencer, Indiana 47460. The telephone number for the Court is 812-829-5030. The telephone number for Small Claims cases is 812-829-5046. The fax number for both the Court and Small Claims Division is 812-829-5040. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. An evening session of traffic court is held each Thursday, commencing at 4:00 p.m. While the Court's calendar varies with the various types of cases and hearings, initial hearings in criminal cases are held each weekday at 1:00 p.m. in the Small Claims Courtroom.
Jury trials are usually scheduled to occur on alternating Wednesdays. As a general rule, jury trials commence at 9:00 a.m. and conclude each day at approximately 4:00 p.m. with a one hour lunch break. Individuals who are summonsed for jury duty are notified in advance of their potential selection for jury duty and are asked to complete and return a jury questionnaire. Any individual who seeks to be excused from jury duty must provide such a request in writing and provide a physician's statement if the reason for excuse is a medical condition. Jury duty can also be deferred for a brief period of time, however such a deferral requires a written request as well. Individuals who appear for jury duty are specifically requested not to park on the Courthouse square due to the fact that many metered parking spots have been assigned to those purchasing parking permits by the Town of Spencer. Free parking is available at the county parking lot located at Montgomery and Franklin Streets, one block west of the Courthouse.
The Judge, Referee, and Court Staff are prohibited from providing legal advice to anyone. However, information is available at www.in.gov/judiciary/selfservice regarding certain legal forms that individuals may use if they wish to proceed on their own in filing pleadings before the Court. Often individuals will telephone the court staff or personally appear in an attempt to ask for a ruling by the Judge. The Court cannot take action on such requests. Any request for an Order from the Judge or Referee must be made in writing and properly filed with the Court or Owen Circuit Court Clerk. If appropriate these requests will be scheduled for hearing. The Court does not accept the filing of any pleadings by fax or by e-mail.