(BLOOMINGTON) – The Honorable Judith Benckart announced on Monday her 2020 candidacy to retain Monroe Circuit Court Judge, Seat 5. Judge Benckart was appointed to the bench by Governor Holcomb in 2018 when Honorable Judge Kenneth Todd retired with two years left in his term.
Judge Benckart was born, raised and educated in Indiana and has lived in Monroe County since 1988. She has a 30-plus year legal career that includes a variety of experiences that have prepared her well for the challenging issues presented on the small claims/domestic relations docket.
Judge Benckart’s civil law experience includes serving as an Administrative Law Judge for the Public Service Commission (now known as the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission). She has also worked as been a supervisor for the Indiana Department of Revenue, and as an associate attorney and partner in the law firm of Jones, McGlasson & Benckart PC. Her private practice included small claims, corporate law, wills and trust, estates, and motor carrier law.
Before being appointed to the bench, Judge Benckart was a deputy prosecutor in Judge Marc Kellams’ court. Judge Benckart stated “working with Judge Kellams taught me that justice and compassion go hand in hand. That is why my guiding principle is ‘do what is right, not what is easy.’ I put this principle into action every day as I listen carefully and respectfully to both sides of a case before making any decision, whether it involves dissolution of marriage, child custody, protective orders, or small claims.”
This principle is also why Judge Benckart joined with Judge Catherine Stafford in establishing the Monroe County Eviction Assistance Working Group to assist tenants in their quest for safe and affordable housing. This group has secured resources to have lawyers, social services, and mediators at all eviction hearings in Monroe County, with the goal of helping both
tenants and landlords find the best resolution.
In addition to her legal experience, Judge Benckart has worked as a secretary, waitress, manager, bookkeeper, and mom. She has driven for Meals on Wheels and served on the Monroe County Red Cross Board and the St. Charles Board of Education.
Judge Benckart’s life and work experiences have prepared her to be a Judge. She understands there are two or more sides to every situation and that life is unpredictable.
“As a Judge, I do my absolute best to use my experience, within the confines of the law, to help folks with the difficulties that bring them to the courtroom. In fact, I firmly believe that it is my absolute duty to my community to do so.”