Another day, another judge: Seventh judge in Kosciusko County racing suit drops out

by David Slone, Times-Union

It’s another day and another judge appointment to the Kosciusko fairgrounds motorized racing lawsuit.

On Friday, Administrative Judge Dean A. Colvin appointed Elkhart Superior Court IV Judge Gretchen Lund as a special judge to the case. But on Monday, she disqualified herself.

Tuesday, Colvin appointed Elkhart Superior Court II Judge Stephen R. Bowers as a special judge in the case.

Bowers confirmed his appointment to the case today.

A case management conference was set for 10 a.m. Aug. 3 in Elkhart Superior Court II, 315 S. Second St., Elkhart. Counsel may participate by phone.

Bowers is the seventh judge to be handed the case; Elkhart County Circuit Court Judge Michael A. Christofeno disqualified himself July 6; Kosciusko County judges David Cates, Torrey Bauer and Joe Sutton recused themselves before that; and Circuit Court Judge Michael Reed, the original judge in the case, granted the defendant’s motion on June 12 for a change of judge.

On June 11, Kosciusko County Community Fair Inc. filed motions seeking a new judge and change of venue in the court case to determine the future of motorized racing at the fairgrounds, as well as a motion to dismiss Count I of the plaintiffs’ complaint. No rulings as of this morning have been made on the change of venue and dismissal motions.

On May 16, Reed granted a preliminary injunction against the Fair Inc. – the defendants in the case – from having motorized racing at the fairgrounds. The hearing on the plaintiffs’ motion for a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction was in Reed’s court May 10.

According to the injunction, the Fair is prohibited from conducting or allowing motorized racing on fairgrounds property or otherwise violating the restrictive covenants that were put into place in 1990.

The plaintiffs – four homeowners – requested an injunction against motorized racing after some motorized racing events took place earlier this year.

The Fair filed a motion to appeal Reed’s order on June 8.

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