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Ordinance 2024-01




WHEREAS, the Parke County Board of Commissioners are the executive body of Parke County, Indiana pursuant to I.C. 36-2-2-2, and have certain powers and duties relating to public buildings, including the Parke County Courthouse; and


WHEREAS, pursuant to I.C. 36-2-2-24, the Commissioners shall establish and maintain a County Courthouse and provide public buildings for the operation of County governmental offices; and


WHEREAS, pursuant to and in accordance with I.C. 36-8-2 the Commissioners shall establish a law enforcement system to preserve the public peace, promote public safety and the general welfare of citizens of Parke County, Indiana; and


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of Commissioners of Parke County, Indiana that:


  1. During normal business hours it is anticipated that all public entrances to the courthouse will be unlocked and available for the public to come and go; and

a The courthouse deputy on duty on a given day shall have the discretion to close any door to the public on a temporary basis. If access to the public is restricted in this manner notices shall be posted to direct the public to open doors for continued access.


  1. All persons entering the Parke County Courthouse, by entering the building do hereby consent to an inspection of their person, any package, briefcase, purse, or other object in which may be concealed certain dangerous devices or firearms.


  1. Any bags or packages carried by courthouse employees, or the public at large may be subject to search or scanning by the courthouse deputy. Screening may include metal detection or physical search (pat-down of exterior clothing) depending on the circumstances and at the discretion of the courthouse deputy. All purses, packages, or briefcases may be screened by passing through an X-ray-machine or similar equipment or a physical search by the on-duty courthouse deputy.


  1. Except for courthouse deputies and the exceptions listed below, no person shall be permitted to enter the Courthouse carrying or in possession of a firearm, knife, weapon, stun gun, club, explosive device, or any other material that, in the manner in which it is used, could ordinarily be used or is intended to be used and is readily capable of causing serious bodily injury (as defined by Indiana Code 35-41-1-25) as determined by the security officers employed by the courts.


  1. All such weapons may be confiscated by the courthouse deputy and disposed of in accordance with Indiana law.


  1. Law enforcement personnel who are appearing at the Courthouse  in the normal course of business may be allowed to retain their firearm while in the Courthouse. Off-duty  law  enforcement  officers  who  are in the  Courthouse  appearing  for  a hearing in a civil or criminal matter in which they or a family member are an interested party, witness, or litigant will not be allowed to enter the Courthouse with a firearm  (this does not include when the officer  is appearing  as a witness in a criminal or civil matter as a witness to something that they did in their capacity as a law enforcement officer regardless of whether the officer is on or off duty).


  1. The Board of Commissioners of Parke County recognizes that no one can predict every potential situation or circumstance  that may occur or present a danger  to people inside the courthouse.   To that end they delegate to the elected Sheriff of Parke County, Indiana or their designee the authority to make temporary exceptions to this ordinance as may be needed on a case-by-case basis to ensure the continued public welfare and safety.


  1. Specific areas of the Courthouse shall be designated as “private areas” and shall not be accessed by the general public. Each elected official, having an office inside the Parke  County  Courthouse  or  county  governmental  building  including  but  not limited to, courthouse, jail, annex  I, and prosecutor’s office, shall determine the Private Areas within their own office and shall post the location of the private area for all to see.   I.E. “public not allowed  beyond  this point” or similar  signage. Should a member of the general public attempt to access a Private Area, the office’s elected official, or their designee, shall cause the offending person to be removed from the Private Area.  If the offending person should refuse to leave the Private Area when ordered to do so, interfere with the employees or functions of the elected official’s office, or otherwise commit disorderly conduct as define in I.C. 35-45-1-3, the offending person may be removed from the Courthouse by the Parke County Sheriff or other police personnel.  Commission of disorderly conduct in this manner may result in the filing of a criminal action at the discretion of the Parke County Prosecutor in addition to any penalty described herein.


  1. The fine for violation of this ordinance shall be $100 per occurrence per day, up to the maximum legally allowable fine.


  1. Any person who fails to consent to search as described herein shall be denied entry to the Courthouse.


  1. Any ordinance  in  conflict  with  the  above  provisions  is  hereby  amended  as previously stated, in all other respects all previous ordinances shall remain in full force and effect.


  1. This Ordinance shall be effective upon its passage and due publication as required by Indiana law.


Unanimous consent of Parke County Commissioners who were present on the 19th day of February 2024 to consider the ordinance on the same date as introduced.


Board of Commissioners of Parke County, IN

Jim Meece

Bruce Hartman

Absent-Dan Collom


Ordinance Approved this 19 day of February 2024.


Board of Commissioners

of Parke County, IN

Jim Meece

Bruce Hartman

Absent-Dan Collom



Mary Anne Wood, Parke County Auditor