Current Judge of the Circuit Court Joseph Trout (D), Brazil, is running for re-election.
Trout has been the judge of the circuit court for the past 6 years, and he has 22 years of experience practicing law. Currently, Trout serves as chairman of the Advisory Board of Clay County Community Corrections and, after being elected to do so, represents all judges from Vigo, Clay, Putnam and Sullivan counties in Indianapolis as the District 19 representative to the Judicial Conference of Indiana.
"I have strong feelings about public service to this county," Trout said. "I gave up my partnership with my Terre Haute law firm in order to be Clay County's circuit court judge. I'd like to continue to serve the people of this county."
Trout said he feels he has the leadership qualities necessary for the job and looks up to those who have held the position before him.
"I have a deep respect for the office of circuit court judge," he said. "Great men have held the position before me. These men earned the respect of the citizens of the county and were well recognized at the state level also. That is what I aspire to continue."
During his time in office, Trout has been a guest instructor at Northview High School, held mock trials and educational sessions for elementary students and participated in drug awareness programs such as Red Ribbon Week.
"I try hard to maintain the integrity of the court," Trout said. "I have maintained control of my courtroom and treated lawyers and litigants in a respectful manner. I care deeply about justice and rule of law, and I strive to make the correct decision in every case. I do my own legal research in preparation for making those decisions."
Trout has experience with criminal cases such as murder, child molestation, stolen property, felony drunk driving, cruelty to animals and drug offenses of all kinds. In every criminal case that has been appealed to the Court of Appeals, the Court of Appeals has upheld Trout's decision.
He also has civil experience with cases such as wrongful death, defective products, breach of contract, insurance claims, divorce, child custody, child support and juvenile law. Trout has worked cases in 19 different counties. The Court of Appeals has upheld all but one of Trout's decisions in all of the civil court cases that have been appealed.
In addition, Trout has agreed to spend extra time each week to assist the local school corporation with court order placement for the education program.
"When a person is elected judge, you can put as much or as little into it as you wish," Trout said. "In the past six years, I've worked hard to be the kind of circuit court judge you can be proud of."
If elected, Trout, who has lived in Clay County for 48 years, hopes to continue to expand and implement the court's services in regard to family and children.
"I have empathy for the children of divorce, children who are in need of services because of abuse or neglect and children who are making bad decisions," he said. "As for children who are making bad decisions, I would like to expand services offered for rehabilitation. I have spoken with several youth ministers and counselors about starting a mentoring program for such children, and I would like to be able to pursue that if elected."
Trout said he would also like to look into having a family court facilitator like Putnam County has for children of divorce. He believes there is grant money available for such a position.
Trout has been married to his wife Nancy for 33 years. They have three children and four grandchildren.
The 2012 election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.