Seventeenth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Thomas R. Ensor
Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Seventeenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends by a vote of 9-0 that Judge Thomas R. Ensor BE RETAINED.
Judge Ensor, a District Court Judge for the Seventeenth Judicial District, was appointed to the County Court in 1978 and the District Court in 1984. Prior to taking the bench Judge Ensor served as a Deputy District Attorney for the Seventeenth Judicial District starting in 1973. Judge Ensor graduated in 1968 from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree, and obtained his Juris Doctor in 1970 from Indiana University School of Law. Judge Ensor’s caseload is presently 100% criminal.
In arriving at their recommendation, Commission members interviewed Judge Ensor after reviewing survey results provided by lawyers, parties, and other individuals who appeared in front of Judge Ensor or otherwise observed him in court. Of attorneys completing the survey, 70% recommended to retain, 16% not to retain, and 13% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation. Of non-attorneys completing the survey 90% recommended to retain, 9% not to retain, and 0% elected to not make a recommendation. These amounts do not equal 100% due to rounding. Commission members also reviewed Judge Ensor’s self-evaluation, observed him in court, and reviewed a number of decisions rendered by the judge.
During this election cycle, the Commission's survey results revealed that, with the exception of demeanor, both attorneys and non-attorneys gave Judge Ensor ratings that were generally slightly greater than the statewide average among all district court judges standing for retention. With regard to demeanor, attorneys rated Judge Ensor noticeably lower than the statewide average among all district court judges standing for retention. The Commission believes that Judge Ensor is an asset to the bench. He keeps up-to-date on the law and applies it fairly and appropriately. He is demanding of attorneys who appear in front of him but has a high regard for his position and the public he serves. Based on its review of returned surveys, several of Judge Ensor’s decisions, courtroom observations, and an interview of Judge Ensor, the Commission unanimously recommends that Thomas R. Ensor BE RETAINED.