WARSAW — Almost exactly a year removed from the signing by Gov. Eric Holcomb to establish a fifth court in Kosciusko County, four candidates are finishing up the application process and awaiting news on who will be given the gavel of Kosciusko Superior Court 4.
The following is the second of four profiles on the four candidates for the judgeship, which is scheduled to begin adjudicating cases July 1.
Lindsey A. Grossnickle, a deputy prosecutor in Whitley County, has an extensive history related to the judiciary.
“Being a judge is a professional dream of mine,” said Grossnickle. “In law school, I had an externship with then Porter County Judge, Nancy H. Vaidik (now Chief Judge, Indiana Court of Appeals). My first job out of law school was clerking for the Honorable Patricia A. Riley, Indiana Court of Appeals. Both are brilliant and great judges and mentors. They taught me to look for the right outcome in a case.”
Grossnickle graduated from Alma College in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in English and political science and followed that up at Valparaiso University, where she earned her law degree in 2000. She is a registered family law mediator. In addition, she is a co-coordinator for Judicial Detention Alternatives Initiatives in both Kosciusko and Whitley counties.
Grossnickle said workload on the county’s current core of judges made the addition of another court a necessity.
“The data deemed it necessary,” she said. “The approval process to add another court in any county is not a matter of want, it is a matter of need. There has not been a new judicial officer in Kosciusko County in over 20 years. The judges and their staff compiled the data, and it showed the four judges have the workload of almost six judges.”
Grossnickle said her law experience could play well into the role of the new court.
“The proposal for this court is primarily domestic and civil,” she said. “In my almost 19 years of practicing law, I have extensive experience in these areas, particularly domestic relations. I am a registered family law mediator, having experience helping parties resolve cases by way of settlement. Furthermore, I have extensive courtroom experience, including jury trials. Since 2002, I have been in a courtroom on a regular, typically weekly, basis. I have also done appellate work, which requires honed skills in legal research and writing.”
The Whitley County-based attorney added that as a judge, she will be responsible for settling cases when both parties coming before her have failed to find a resolution.
“Many cases, particularly family law, should use judicial intervention as a last resort,” she said. “If we are not worried about the fight, and want the right outcome for clients, parties and especially children, we should all be motivated to do what it is right and reasonable and settle cases. When the parties cannot come to an agreement and must go before a judge, the judge will not be worried about the fight. The judge will do what is right and reasonable, within the confines of the law.”
Grossnickle said if selected, she hopes to enjoy a lengthy tenure on the bench.
“I am excited for this opportunity,” Grossnickle said. “I want this to be my last job, and serve the residents of Kosciusko County for many years to come.”