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Jeffersonville City Council President Dustin White announces bid for judge

A headshot of Dustin White
Courtesy of Dustin White
Dustin White

Dustin White, a Democrat who recently started his third term on the Jeffersonville City Council, will run for Clark County Circuit Court No. 4 judge, which will become vacant at the end of the year.

White said he’s long considered seeking a judgeship. But Circuit 4 Judge Vicki Carmichael’s retirement at the end of this year is what he said made now the right time.

Circuit 4’s docket includes felony and murder cases, juvenile criminal cases, juvenile paternity and guardianship cases, adoptions and cases involving Children in Need of Services (CHINS).

White said his work in family law, criminal and CHINS cases — along with public defense — have equipped him with the skills and expertise for that. He also does corporate advising for elected officials and nonprofit organizations.

“I think with the portfolio that court has, matched with my experience … I think I would be a good judge for Clark County,” he said. “... Be fair, unbiased with all the people and cases that come before me, and be able to follow the law to render a result that’s fair and equitable.”

He also said he wants to help continue the work in problem-solving courts, which can help defendants with issues not suited to a traditional court setting. In some cases this can mean addressing substance use issues and helping with family reunification.

Along with working with Circuit 4’s Family Recovery Court as a public defender, White has been involved with the Veterans Court of Southern Indiana which spans both Clark and Floyd counties. He also does pro bono work through his private practice for Circuit 3’s IMPACT court, which addresses DUIs.

“So I’ve seen the wraparound services that those courts provide,” he said. “... And I’ve seen firsthand the transformation that’s made on not only the participants’ lives, but the lives of their families.”

After graduating from Jeffersonville High School, White earned his J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 1996 and a Master of Laws degree through the University of Leicester in 2006. He has been practicing law since 2007.

Carmichael was first elected as a county judge in 2006, and has also served as presiding judge in the court system since 2012.

White was recently elected as president of the Jeffersonville City Council, which flipped to a Democratic majority after the November election.

Coverage of Southern Indiana is funded, in part, by Samtec Inc., the Hazel & Walter T. Bales Foundation, and the Caesars Foundation of Floyd County.

This story has been updated.

Aprile Rickert is LPM's Southern Indiana reporter. Email Aprile at arickert@lpm.org.