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Meltzer takes seat as Circuit Court judge

His first case Friday morning was an uncontested divorce, but no doubt many others await the new judge of the Shelby Circuit Court.

Trent Meltzer has taken his seat on the bench of the Circuit Court following his appointment by Gov. Eric Holcomb last week.

He was sworn in by his predecessor.

Retired judge Charles O’Connor, who stepped down from the Circuit Court bench after 36 years, administered the oath to Meltzer late Thursday afternoon in the Circuit courtroom at the Shelby County Court House, 407 S. Harrison St., as Trent’s father, Kris Meltzer, held a family Bible with his son’s left hand on it.

County judges are elected in Indiana, and Trent Meltzer is the Republican candidate for judge of the Shelby Circuit Court in this year’s general election on Nov. 6. He has no opposition.

After his swearing in ceremony, Meltzer said his appointment by the governor came after O’Connor officially retired on Aug. 23.

Local officials petitioned to have Holcomb go ahead and appoint him to the local Circuit Court bench since there was no other candidate for the office, Meltzer said.

That freed O’Connor to pursue the next phase of his legal career, as a legal mediator.

“I have an opportunity to do some mediation work with a group in Indianapolis,” said O’Connor, following the swearing in ceremony.

O’Connor, a Republican, announced last year he would not seek another 4-year term in office.

His decision set off a busy 2018 primary race for the Circuit Court seat. Six GOP candidates filed to run, and Meltzer prevailed in the May 8 primary to secure a place on the November ballot.

No Democrats ran for the office in the primary, but the party leadership in June named attorney Mark McNeely to run. He withdrew shortly afterward.

Meltzer graduated from Ball State University in 2006. He graduated Cum Laude from the Robert H. McKinney School of Law at Indiana University in 2009.

Since 2010, Meltzer has served at the city attorney for Shelbyville; more recently he was also named the director of the city’s Redevelopment Commission.

Mayor Tom DeBaun said he’s chosen a replacement, someone Meltzer knows well.

“I’m going to appoint his wife as city attorney,” said the mayor.

Jenny Meltzer has trial experience, DeBaun said, and after a couple of interviews, he felt she would be a fine choice for the position. She will also serve as director of the Redevelopment Commission, he added.

She will start working for the city on Sept. 10, DeBaun said.

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