Attorney fills interim judge seat

HANCOCK COUNTY — The Indiana Supreme Court has appointed a Johnson County attorney to oversee Hancock Circuit Court following a longtime judge’s retirement.

Jeff Eggers of Franklin will temporarily fill the seat left vacant by Judge Richard Culver, who announced his retirement, effective Oct. 1, to take a job in the Henry County Prosecutor’s Office.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb will accept applications from attorneys interested in being Culver’s replacement. Applicants have until Oct. 15 to apply. Candidate interviews will take place after that, officials said.

Culver served as the Hancock Circuit Court judge for nearly 30 years. He has taken a position as a deputy in the Henry County Prosecutor’s Office.

Eggers was slated to sit on the bench in Culver’s place starting Oct. 2. He recently served in a similar capacity in Morgan County, according to a press release from the Indiana Supreme Court.

He will hold the seat until Holcomb chooses a permanent replacement for the circuit court seat or until local voters choose a new judge in the 2018 election.

Eggers comes to Hancock County with 36 years of litigation experience, including three separate stints as judge. He began his career as an attorney in 1981.

He served as the judge of Johnson Superior Court 2 from 1982 to 1987, before he became Johnson County Circuit Court judge from 1987 to 1994.

After stepping down from the bench in 1994, Eggers opened his own private practice firm, Eggers Woods, in Franklin.

In October 2016, he accepted a position as a temporary judge in Morgan County Superior Court, answering a request from the Indiana Supreme Court. He remained in that position until last month, when Holcomb announced a permanent replacement.

Eggers said residents can expect him to be a fair and reasonable decision-maker while he serves in Culver’s absence. He strives for consistency and will show respect to those who show it to him, he said.

He’s looking forward to taking over and meeting community members over the next few weeks.

“I’ve always felt comfortable on the bench,” Eggers said. “I’m nice, but I don’t let shenanigans go about. I’m ready to just jump in.”

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.