INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Vigo County Division 5 Judge Matthew Sheehan was found in contempt of court for the second time this year, according to a ruling filed on Thursday by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
The ruling stated Sheehan had not followed an order in a timely manner in connection to a memorandum decision issued in a case on January 26.
The case connected to the memorandum decision involved Tracy L. Wheeler Jr., who appealed after Sheehan denied a motion to have the state return a car and stereo equipment seized during a prior arrest.
The case was reversed and remanded on January 26 by the Court of Appeals, with the trial court (Sheehan’s court) ordered to enter default judgment against the State of Indiana.
On July 27, the court issued an order accepting Wheeler’s notice that the trial court had not complied with the January 26 memorandum decision, despite receiving the order and a copy of the decision. Wheeler had at that time “tendered a motion to compel the trial court to act”.
Sheehan was directed to comply with the January memorandum decision within thirty days and failed to do so, also failing to enter default judgment against the State of Indiana.
On October 25, Sheehan was once again directed to comply with the January memorandum decision and file a notice of compliance with the Court Clerk on or before November 6. The court order further directed Sheehan to appear before the court on November 8 to show cause as to why he should not be held in contempt of court for failing to comply with the aforementioned orders.
Sheehan filed the ordered notice and appeared in person on November 8, during which a hearing was held and evidence was gathered.
Sheehan acknowledged his failure to comply with the July order and the January memorandum decision, accepting responsibility for his failure and apologizing for the delay.
Sheehan was found in contempt of court for his aforementioned failure to comply, but because he complied with the October order as well as the November appearance order, Sheehan was found to have purged himself of the finding of contempt.
The order goes on to say “no further sanctions shall be imposed at this time”.
Owen County contempt case update
Sheehan was found to be in contempt of court in Owen County in August due to failure to comply with court orders regarding payment of expenses and child support in an ongoing divorce case.
Court records show a settlement agreement was filed in that case in October along with other online court entries regarding a notice of satisfaction from the other party listing a “release filed for judgment paid in full”. There are no other mentions of the contempt finding on the case listings.
The other party had, however, filed a “petition for rule to show cause” on September 29 requesting that Sheehan be found in contempt of court for not arranging for payments to be made nor reimbursing the other party for expenses that were ordered to be paid.
Mywabashvalley.com will continue to follow this story and any further developments.