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Bills heading to governor’s desk

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As the legislative session heads toward its March 14 close, several bills have passed both houses and are on their way to Gov. Mike Pence for his signature.

Senate Bill 3 was approved Tuesday in the House of Representatives 91-4. The legislation makes battery a Level 6 felony instead of a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed against certain judicial officers while they are engaged in official duties. Battery becomes a Level 5 felony instead of a Class B misdemeanor if the offense results in bodily injury while a judicial officer is engaged in official duties or if the person who committed the offense placed certain infected bodily fluids or wastes on the judicial officer.

The bill also outlines when and where certain judicial officers may possess a firearm.

Senate Bill 339, which allows alcohol sales at the Indiana State Fair, passed 75-20 Tuesday in the House of Representatives. The bill will end a nearly 70-year-old ban on beer and alcohol sales at the fair. Indiana is the only state that continues to ban alcohol from its state fair.

Senate Bill 101, dubbed the “ag-gag” bill, passed the House 73-25 Tuesday. The legislation states that a person commits criminal trespass if, without an owner’s permission, he enters a portion of an agricultural operation used for production or any part of the real property of an agricultural operation, and causes property damage.

The bill, as introduced, allowed agricultural operators to post a notice that lists prohibited acts that may compromise the operation’s trade secrets or operations. Someone who intentionally or knowingly committed an act at the agricultural operation that is prohibited and listed on that notice would have committed a Level 6 felony. The introduced bill also raised the penalty for criminal trespass if certain levels of pecuniary loss result from the criminal trespass.

The bill was opposed by animal rights groups and the Hoosier State Press Association, which believe it is intended to silence or punish whistleblowers regarding agricultural and animal conditions.

Other bills are heading back to their house of origin after being amended. House Bill 1140, which requires the Department of Correction to create policies that provide for a schedule of progressive parole incentives and violation sanctions, passed the Senate 47-0 with amendments.

The House returned Senate Bill 27 to senators after approving the petitions for adoption legislation 95-0 with amendments. The bill, among other things, provides that the court in which a petition for adoption has been filed has exclusive jurisdiction over the child if there is a petition for adoption and a paternity action pending at the same time.
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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