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Center Township Constable appears in court following eviction controversy captured on video

Center Township Constable Denise Hatch.png
Posted at 9:51 PM, May 18, 2023

CENTER TOWNSHIP — A controversy involving a constable and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer has entered into the courts.

Thursday, a judge ordered Center Township Constable Denise Paul Hatch to explain why she allegedly interfered with a court ordered eviction.

The judge said the purpose of constable Hatch's court appearance was to make sure that she will fulfill orders from her.

Hatch says that won't be a problem.

"I will fulfill all lawful orders from the court," said Hatch.

Hatch took over as constable for Center Township in 2022.

A constable is an elected official. They don't report to a mayor or town manager. Her attorney says they mostly handle property rights matters like evictions from small claims courts.

"Constables as a law enforcement officer has the responsibility to of maintaining peace in the courtroom, has the responsibility of serving summons, complaints, serving rits to remove people from properties after there has been a judgment rendered against them and those are many of things she is not being allowed to do the way she is supposed to," said her attorney.

Hatch's ability to follow the rule of law came under question following a heated video posted on YouTube. The video shows Hatch and an off duty IMPD officer in a heated argument over a court ordered eviction.

"Chantal had an application for a stay, she had a stay. Ya'll don't understand what was at stake here," Hatch said. "[The officer came in saying he was going to arrest her. That's what police said. She has four children, two disabled, those children would've been taken by CPS and she would be in jail. That's a horrifying experience to a mother."

On Thursday, the judge for Center Township Small Claims Court, ordered a special constable to handle that eviction along with any other eviction related to property owner, which is Street Lane Homes.

Hatch disagrees with the decision and says constables are paid per service.

"If you take away all the cases that takes away all of her income," her attorney said. "She's not paid a salary. She's paid by the delivery and she has employees she has to pay as well. So if you take away 20 cases then that's 20 amounts of money she wont get to pay herself and her staff."

Hatch's attorney is asking the judge to recuse herself claiming she is bias.

The judge has set a second hearing to determine if Hatch and her deputies can carry out future orders of the court.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department says their Special Investigation Unit is investigating the exchange between the officer and Hatch to determine if any rules or laws were broken.