Chroback seeking re-election as Circuit Court clerk

Chroback

 Press release submitted

La Porte County Circuit Court Clerk Kathy Chroback has announced that she is seeking re-election. Chroback, who was elected clerk in 2016, previously worked as deputy clerk beginning in 2012.

The Circuit Court clerk, who is an officer of the court, performs all official duties imposed by state statute or by lawful authority of the court. La Porte County has five courts with five judges and three magistrates. During the past 3 years Chroback has worked diligently to improve the working relationship between the clerk’s offices and the judges and court staff.  “We work hand in hand with the courts and it is imperative that we have a good working relationship with all the courts,” Chroback stated. The clerk serves as the ministerial officer who is the custodian of the clerk’s record and seal; issues, processes and accepts filings of commencement of actions in litigation; enters judgments and orders of the court; certifies copies of records; and issues many miscellaneous licenses. Some of the many duties of the office include initiating cases into the court system, some of which include civil collections, child support establishment, dissolution of marriage, domestic relations, estates, guardianships, juvenile cases, protective orders, criminal misdemeanors, and felony cases. The office of the clerk documents and keeps a running record of a case from its inception until decided by the court as settled or dismissed. One of the other duties of the clerk, which most folks are not aware of, is that the clerk is also in charge of the election process, working closely with the Election Board, overseeing candidate filing, setting the ballot, programming the Microvote machines, setting up the polling locations, training poll workers, and certifying the election results to the State of Indiana.

Many changes have taken place since Chroback took office. In 2012, La Porte County transitioned to the State-wide Court Management System Odyssey.  Over the last three years the process has been updated to include an online filing system that is utilized by roughly 60 of the 92 counties in the State of Indiana. This system allows for the court filings to be submitted to the clerk’s office electronically through the on-line Odyssey program, thereby eliminating the need for a physical court file or a paper trail in approximately 90 percent of the cases.  The program is utilized by all five clerk’s offices and all five county courts, which required many hours of training prior to its inception. This process has streamlined court filing, allowing attorneys the convenience of filing documents into the court system 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  In 2019, the county added the INcite program, allowing prosecutors to file new criminal cases electronically, expediting the process.  

Chroback brings to the office of Circuit Court Clerk 13 years prior experience in the law field. She worked for former Mayor Dennis Smith as a legal assistant in the Law Firm of Smith & DeBonis. Chroback has been very active in the community over the years, serving as La Porte’s first female mayor for two terms (2000-04 and 2008-12) and prior to that she served two terms as a member of the La Porte City Council.  During her tenure as mayor, she founded The Greater La Porte Economic Development Corp. (GLEDC) with the cooperation of the La Porte Chamber of Commerce and the La Porte Economic Advancement Foundation.  She successfully obtained federal funds for the renovation and reconstruction of Central Station Plaza, formerly the old La Porte Railroad Depot. She also initiated the cleanup and the development of La Porte’s Brownfield property, now known as NewPorte Landing; and she successfully obtained the state designation of Urban Enterprise Zone for the City of La Porte. She currently serves on the Salvation Army Board of Directors; she is past president of La Porte Kiwanis Club.  Chroback is a member of St. Peter Catholic Church. She has one daughter and one grandson.

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