Kimberly S. Dowling was born in Decatur, Illinois, in 1959. Kim graduated from the
University of Denver in 1981 with her Bachelor of Arts degree, and earned her Juris Doctor
degree from the University Of Colorado School Of Law in 1984.
Kim and her husband, Ralph, moved to Muncie in 1984. Ralph began teaching at Ball State
University. Kim began the private practice of law in Muncie in 1985 and continued that
practice until 2012 when she was elected Judge of the Delaware Circuit Court # 2.
Judge Dowling served as deputy prosecutor in 1990, Master Commissioner for the late Judge
A.J. Hall from 1997-98, and Title IV-D Commissioner from 1998-2000. As Master Commissioner,
Kim presided over several jury trials, both criminal and civil.
As Judge of Delaware Circuit Court # 2, Kim presides over a court of general jurisdiction.
This means she hears all types of cases from general civil law, family law, and all levels
of criminal cases. Judge Dowling also supervises the Title IV-D Court and the Juvenile
Court. She is also the judicial supervisor of the CASA program.
Judge Dowling is a member of the Indiana Judicial Center Education Committee, which develops
all education programs for Indiana’s judicial officers. Judge Dowling was selected by the
Indiana Supreme Court to participate in a Judicial Leadership course offered by the National
Judicial College in Reno, NV. She also serves on the board of the Indiana Juvenile and
Family Judge Council.
While in private practice, Judge Dowling was committed to providing legal access to people
with limited financial resources, and she has continued that interest as Judge. She became
aware early in her judicial career of the number of self-represented litigants in her
courtroom and courtrooms throughout Indiana. After she researched this issue, the Indiana
Supreme Court nominated her to attend a workshop on self-represented litigants at the
National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. Kim brought what she learned back to Indiana and
began to address the pressing need for pro bono legal assistance in Indiana. As a result of
this work, the Indiana Supreme Court nominated her to assist in redeveloping the Indiana Pro
Bono Commission. Kim was appointed to the Coalition for Court Access and chairs its Best
Practices Committee. Her work on that Committee is addressing the development and accessibility
of court forms to help Hoosiers represent themselves, and will also help develop self-help
centers in courthouses across Indiana.
Judge Dowling’s first passion is addressing the issue of juvenile human trafficking in
Delaware County and Indiana. She has attended several state and national trafficking
conferences, and has become a state expert on the topic. She has presented at numerous
state and national conferences, and numerous local schools and organizations to educate the
public about the growing problem. Kim was appointed to the Indiana Supreme Court’s working
group to develop screening tools to help citizens, educators, health care providers,
government employees, and law enforcement personnel in Indiana to identify victims of human
trafficking. As a result of that work, the Indiana Supreme Court recommended developing a
subcommittee of the Indiana Commission on the Improvement of the Status of Children to continue
the work started by the working group. Judge Dowling was named chair of that committee. She has
also worked with legislators in Indiana to modify and create new laws to assist victims
In her private practice, Kim enjoyed a general civil practice of law, focusing on family law.
Kim represented thousands of clients in divorce, custody, and child support and visitation cases.
Kim has also tried civil jury trials, handled appeals, and represented clients in misdemeanor
Kim and Ralph are the proud parents of two children, Carrie and Sean. Carrie is a graduate of both
Purdue and Ball State Universities and works for Orange Business Services in Chicago. Sean is a
Purdue University graduate and works for Transitions Academy of Indiana in Carmel—a facility caring
for troubled children. Sean is married to Erica, who works for Eli Lilly in Indianapolis.
Kim has volunteered time to her community, which she feels is an important part of giving back. She
worked for many years as a board member and board president of Cambridge House. She served on the
board of SEED (Supporting Educational and Economic Development), which oversaw activities and
programs directed at meeting the needs of children in the community. Kim was a member of the Child
Protection Team and currently serves on the board of Prevent Child Abuse Delaware County. Kim has
also volunteered as a mentor through Project Leadership since 2013. Kim has also volunteered with
Secret Families, an organization dedicated to seeing that every family in Delaware County enjoys
Christmas. She is also a member of Rotary, where she volunteers time to community projects, and has
been a member of the Whitely Community Council since 2011.
Kim also has volunteered her time at her church. She worked in the bookstore at Union Chapel
Ministries, helped with SERVE and other community clean up and assistance projects there, serves
as an usher at Commonway Church, and has participated in Harvest Fest and many activities.
In the legal community, Kim spent years serving as an officer and President of the Muncie Bar
Association and oversaw its participation in a food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank. She was
named to the Board of Governors of the Indiana State Bar Association from 2012-14.