Probate Judge Fuhrmeister announces retirement

Shelby County Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister recently announced that he will not be running for an additional term during the 2018 county elections. Fuhrmeister, who was first elected almost 10 years ago, will end his final term in January 2019.

“I have done all I can do, and it is time for a younger, energetic person with big, bold ideas to lead the Probate Office forward,” Fuhrmeister wrote in a letter posted on Facebook. “Shelby County has a great reputation around the state for working to solve big problems, and I am proud of the contributions I have made.”

During his years in office, Fuhrmeister said he is especially proud of the establishment of the county’s first mental health court and the progress that has been made by the county in focusing on mental health.

“Two years ago, Allison Boyd joined my staff as Mental Health Programs Coordinator and Legal Counsel,” Fuhrmeister wrote. “She has regularly scheduled round table discussions with law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel to open communication between these various departments,” Fuhrmeister wrote. “Out of this has come training courses for recognizing and successfully dealing with cases involving a mentally ill person. These training sessions are free to the agencies and their officers.”

He also said the Probate Office conserved taxpayer funds by reducing the size of the Probate Office and made several technological advancements in the land records department.

“(We installed) new software in the land records department and (are) accepting instruments for recording over the internet by pre-qualified filers and free access to the land records on the internet through the Shelby County website,” Fuhrmeister wrote.

Fuhrmeister said the Probate Office also instilled a “more efficient” comprehensive case management system under his leadership.

“In the future, it will allow registered users to file judicial documents by email. This will allow our staff to process the vast amount of filings we receive more efficiently thus helping those who have pending cases,” Fuhrmeister said.

While Fuhrmeister has not publicly endorsed a candidate to fill his position he said the Probate Office is “taking steps to improve the election day experience for Shelby County voters by improving technology at all precincts while ensuring the integrity of our election results.”