Judge Elizabeth Tavitas '85, '90 J.D. named to Indiana Court of Appeals

Author: Notre Dame Law School

Elizabeth Tavitas

Governor Eric Holcomb has selected Elizabeth Tavitas ‘85, ’90 J.D. to serve as a judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals, the state’s second-highest court.

The governor made the announcement Thursday in Indianapolis.

“Judge Tavitas is deserving and the right choice for the Indiana Court of Appeals,” Holcomb said.

“She has a deep understanding of our Constitutions, laws and rules, and she applies them fairly and equitably. When faced with complex and challenging cases, she is tenacious, perseveres, and gets the job done,” the governor said. “Judge Tavitas is well known for her quiet strength, resolve, and willingness to roll up her sleeves and create workable solutions with the resources she has. It is my great honor to appoint her to our state’s second-highest court.”

Tavitas has served as a Lake County Superior Court judge since 2006. Her docket consists primarily of domestic relations and protection order cases, but she is also experienced in civil commercial cases and tort law jury trials.

She will succeed Judge Michael Barnes on the 15-member Indiana Court of Appeals. Barnes retired in June after 18 years on the court.

“I’m humbled by the opportunity to serve the State of Indiana on the Court of Appeals,” Tavitas said. “It is an honor to succeed Judge Barnes – a respected, lifetime public servant. I am grateful for Governor Holcomb’s confidence in me, and I am looking forward to working with all of my future colleagues on the appellate court.”

Tavitas has devoted much of her judicial career to working with families in crisis.

As a referee for Lake County Superior Court’s Juvenile Division from 1998 to 2006, she presided over approximately 1,200 termination of parental rights cases as well as numerous adoptions, guardianship, and child-in-need-of-services cases. Tavitas began her legal career as a Lake County deputy prosecutor in 1990 and has also been a public defender, federal law clerk, adult probation officer, and a private practitioner.

Tavitas has also remained connected with Notre Dame Law School. She is a Notre Dame Law Association board member, and she has served as a judge for the Law School’s Trial Advocacy Program.