Maxine Gordon - Chief Deputy Clerk of Marion County

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Maxine Gordon - Chief Deputy Clerk of Marion County

Postby admin » October 31st, 2010, 5:55 pm

JURY PRESENT AND SEATED.

WITNESS SWORN BY THE COURT.

MAXINE GORDON , a witness called on behalf of the defendant Gertrude Baniszewski,
being duly sworn by the court, testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION,
QUESTIONS BY MR. WILLIAM ERBECKER, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT,
GERTRUDE BANISZEWSKI

Q. State your name, please.

A. Maxine Gordon.

Q. What is your business or occupation?

A. Chief Deputy Clerk of Marion Circuit Court.

Q. How long have you had that position?

A. About five years.

Q. And among your multitudinous duties does it encompass keeping the records of divorces?

A. Yes.

Q. Also accepting and recording support payments in divorces?

A. Yes, it does.

Q. I ask you if, pursuant to a subpoena, you brought the records in a divorce entitled Gertrude Baniszewski vs John Baniszewski?

A. Yes, I have them.

Q. Was that filed in Marion Superior Court Room Two?

A. Yes, it was.

Q. What is the cause number?

A. S633817.

Q. Those are the official records of that court?

A. Yes, sir, they are.

Q. And does that include also the divorce decree?

A. Yes, it does.

Q. Are you the official custodian of that also?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Please give us a brief resume how you keep the records, how you come by them, how they come to your office?

A. The is the folder and everything pertaining to S633817 is kept in the court until it is disposed of and then they are taken down to our record room and kept. This record was back in the court though. There was a new action.

Q. What was the occasion of that?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Can you make photostatic copies of the record we are talking about?

A. Yes, sir, if I am ordered to.

Q. May I see the original records? Do you have the original records made at the very inception of the case, the very start of the case?

A. They are all in the folder.

Q. This folder here?

A. Yes.

Q. Now, Miss Gordon, I will hand you Defendant's Exhibit "F" and ask you if that is the complete record in the divorce case you just testified to?

A. Yes.

Q. It contains all the entries from the start of the divorce up to and including February 1966?

A. It should.

Q. Does it, do you know?

A. Yes, it is the only one we have.

Q. Now, pursuant to the decree of the divorce entered in this case, if it was, do you keep any record of support payments?

MR. NEW: We object. It is not material to this case, not a matter of defense.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

Q. Miss Gordon, do you know whether or not the person who is named as plaintiff in Defendant's Exhibit "F", which is in your custody, named Gertrude Baniszewski, is one and the same person who is seated in back of me and is a defendant in this instant case, do you know that?

A. No, I would not know. I have never seen her before.

Q. Who makes these entries in Defendant's Exhibit "F", you or the court or who?

A. The court.

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. ERBECKER: The defendant now offers in evidence Defendant's Exhibit "F".

MR. NEW: To which the State objects. It is not properly identified, not a matter of defense.

THE COURT: May I see it first? Objection sustained.

Q. Who made Defendant's Exhibit "F", Miss Gordon, who made that?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. ERBECKER: The defendant would like to make an Offer to Prove for the purpose of laying a foundation here, in the absence of the jury.

THE COURT: To the last question?

MR. ERBECKER: To the introduction of the whole exhibit, Your Honor.

THE COURT: The last question was "Who made the records" and the objection was sustained. What Offer of Proof can you make on that. Next question, please.

MR. ERBECKER: May I make an Offer to Prove?

THE COURT: On the last question? Yes, sir. You are limited to the last question though.

MR. ERBECKER: The defendant offers to prove by this witness, if permitted to testify, the witness will answer substantially that some entries in this exhibit are made by the attorney for the plaintiff, Gertrude Baniszewski; that some entries are made by Hon. Wilbur Grant, Judge, Marion Superior Court Two; some of the entries are made by John R. Hammond, Attorney for Plaintiff or petitioner. Some of the entries are made by Gertrude Baniszewski Wright. Some of the entries are made by one of the entries is made by R.C. Tacoma; that one of the entries is made by the clerk's office. That one of the entries is made by Wilbur Grant approved by John R. Hammond and Ralph Tacoma. An October entry was made by John R. Hammond, attorney for defendant. One of the entries was made by Attorney Ralph Tacoma. One of the entries is made by the Office of the Clerk. Another entry was made by Wilbur Grant. Another entry was made by John Hammond. An affidavit by Gertrude Baniszewski, attested to. Another entry which is signed Gertrude Baniszewski, attested to by Odessa Price.

THE COURT: On the Offer of Proof and objection the ruling stands. Objection sustained. The jury will ignore the Offer to Prove you heard made in open court in arriving at a verdict in this case.

Q. Miss Witness, do you have with you records of support payments in the cause we are talking about, 63-3817, yes or no, do you?

A. Yes.

Q. Are they reflected by this book here?

A. Yes.

Q. Is there a particular page relative to Gertrude Baniszewski?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Overruled.

Q. Designate it so I can have the reporter put it on that particular page.

A. It is alphabetical.

Q. Is this the only page? I ask the reporter to put it on the specific page designated by the witness.

THE COURT: What page?

MR. ERBECKER: There is no number, sir.

A. There is no page number, sir, they are filed by the man's name.

Q. I will hand you Defendant's Exhibit "G" and ask you if that pertains to the support payments of John Baniszewski to the office of the clerk for the use and benefit of Gertrude Baniszewski? Yes or no?

A. Yes.

Q. And does it show the balance owing, if any?

A. Yes, sir, it does.

Q. Where does it show the balance?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Do you have any records that show the balance, if any, due and owing to Gertrude Baniszewski as a result of the information in Defendant's Exhibit "F"?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. ERBECKER: The defendant now Offers to Prove the balance due and owing.

THE COURT: Ladies and Gentlemen, for this Offer of Proof, leave the court room for about a minute. Don't talk among yourselves and don't let anyone talk to you about this case or any subject connected therewith. Don't form or express any opinion on the case till it is finally submitted to you. Jury and Alternate Jurors leave the court room just a minute.

JURY EXCUSED.

THE COURT: Now make your Offer of Proof. The jury is out of the court room.

MR. ERBECKER: The defendant Offers to Prove by this witness, if permitted to testify, that there is a balance shown, due and owing to the defendant Gertrude Baniszewski, the sum of approximately $1400.00.

A. No, not on this one, 1963, you could only take September 17 to the end of the year on this, from the order of what he was supposed to pay.

THE COURT: Let the lawyer make the Offer to Prove instead of the witness.

MR. ERBECKER: May I speak to the witness, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Sure. Miss Court Reporter you were not supposed to take the whispered conversation.

MR. ERBECKER: What was the question for the Offer to Prove, please.

THE REPORTER READ THE LAST QUESTION.

MR. ERBECKER: The answer is "She does".

THE COURT: I did not have to send the jury out for that. You were offering to prove a sum of money. Objection sustained to that kind of proof. Objection sustained. Bring in the jury.

JURY PRESENT AND SEATED.

THE COURT: Next question, please.

Q. Miss Witness, do you have any other records with you pertaining to the case you testified to, namely Gertrude Baniszewski vs John Baniszewski, being Cause S631738, Marion Superior Court No. 3?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you have them with you?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. From the book I have in my hand, which I will request to be designated Defendant's Exhibit "G", is it only two pages?

A. Yes.

MR. ERBECKER: Miss Court Reporter, please make the pages designated here as being the pages pertaining to that, please.

THE COURT: Make it "H".

Q. Now, Miss Witness, do you have further records pertaining to the case we are talking about, namely S631738?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. I will hand you Defendant's Exhibits "G", "H", and "I" and ask you if they are official records of the clerk of Marion circuit Court and include the records of Marion Superior Court Room 3, ask if they are official support records in the cause entitled Gertrude Baniszewski vs John Baniszewski, Cause S63-3817, Marion Superior Court Room 3?

A. Yes, they are.

MR. ERBECKER: The defendant now offers in evidence Defendant's Exhibits "G", "H" and "I".

MR. NEW: The State objects to Defendant's tendered Exhibits "G", "H" and "I" for the reason the matters are extraneous to the issues before the jury and not a matter of defense.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Do you have any other official records pertaining to this case of S63-1378, Superior Court Room 2?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. This document I have is the remaining record you have?

A. Yes.

MR. NEW: We object. It is not identified.

THE COURT: Overruled. Let the answer stay in.

Q. Now, Miss Gordon, I will hand you Defendant's Exhibit "J" and ask you if that is part of the official record of the cause entitled Gertrude Baniszewski vs John Baniszewski, Cause S63-1378, Marion Superior Court Room No. 2?

A. Yes, sir.

MR. ERBECKER: The defendant offers into evidence Defendant's Exhibit "J".

MR. NEW: The State objects to defendant's tendered exhibit for the same reasons assigned to Exhibits "G", "H" and "I".

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Now, Miss Gordon, at my instance and request did you check these exhibits of the defendant, namely "G", "H", and "I" to determine an arrearage, if any, appears in these payments?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

MR. ERBECKER: We will make an Offer to Prove, and do it in open court.

THE COURT: I don't want any figures stated in front of the jury. Read the question and see if you can do it in open court.

MR. ERBECKER: May I make an Offer to Prove in open court?

THE COURT: If you limit it to the question.

MR. ERBECKER: If the witness is permitted to answer the question, she will answer "yes".

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained.

MR. ERBECKER: May I continue?

THE COURT: Yes, sir.

Q. Now, Miss Witness, what is that arrearage?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. Ladies and Gentlemen, retire to the jury room just one minute. During this retirement, do not talk among yourselves and don't let anyone talk to you about this case or any subject connected therewith. Do not form or express any opinion on the case till the case is finally submitted to you.

JURY EXCUSED.

THE COURT: Now make your Offer to Prove. The jury is not here.

MR. ERBECKER: The defendant offers to prove by this witness, if she is permitted to answer the last question here, her answer will be "Yes".

Q. What is the amount?

A. The only think I can testify to is the amount of money he paid in on our records.

Q. It shows an arrearage?

A. $55.00 per week which was the court order.

Q. It shows an arrearage?

A. $4,490.00.

Q. $4,490.00.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. Bring in the jury.

JURY PRESENT AND SEATED.

THE COURT: Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury and Alternate Jurors, you will ignore the answer to the question to the Offer to Prove made in your presence in arriving at a verdict in this case as to any of the parties. Again, Ladies and Gentlemen, recesses and having the jury leave the courtroom from time to time is necessary in the trial of this case. Do not, even though it is brief like that, don't hold it against anybody in arriving at a verdict in this case. Next question.

Q. Are these records, as shown by Defendant's Exhibits "F", "G", "H" and "I" kept in the orderly course of keeping all the records of all the litigation filed in Marion County?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. That is the usual standard method of keeping the records, is it?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. There is no deviation in these particular records from the normal course of business, is there?

A. No, sir.

Q. How are these records handled from the time the litigation is instituted until the case is closed?

A. They are kept in book form bound like this in alphabetical order by the man's name.

Q. Has any outsider got access to the entries, to make entries?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Are entries made by authorized persons?

A. Yes.

Q. Authorized persons would be whom?

A. To make records - our support clerks.

Q. Your support clerks?

A. Yes.

Q. Nobody else makes them, do they?

A. No, sir.

Q. And the support clerks, where do they get the information to put in those records?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Those support records, are they taken from the records of the particular court in which the litigation has been filed or pending?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Does anyone other than the clerks office and the authorized personnel of the court have access to those records?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Would it be possible in this particular case for one of the parties litigant to it, to have made a record of arrearage in this case?

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained.

Q. Now, the records you have shown me for my offer into evidence, they are the records that are kept in the regular course of business in the Office of the Clerk of Marion Circuit Court, also the Clerk of the Marion Superior Court 2 appears in those records you brought in court, are they not -

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Sustained. Repetitious.

MR. ERBECKER: At this time the defendant renews the offer of all exhibits.

MR. NEW: We object.

THE COURT: Objection sustained. Cross examine, State?

MR. NEW: No.

THE COURT: Other defendants?

MR. BOWMAN: No questions.

WITNESS EXCUSED.

MR. ERBECKER: At this time we ask permission to make copies to substitute.

THE COURT: Under Rule 1-1E the clerk is authorized to make photostatic copies at the cost of the defendant, Gertrude Baniszewski. Next witness, please.
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