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Committees wrapping up business

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With legislative deadlines fast approaching for the Indiana General Assembly, lawmakers have reached crunch time in moving legislation through for consideration before the short session comes to a close.

Legislative committees must move legislation on by early next week in order for it to survive and be considered for final passage. In anticipation, key committees have been doubling up on some meeting times to consider issues that may impact the state's legal community.

The Senate Judiciary Committee conducted two meetings this week to discuss various bills and issues, such as problem-solving courts. The House Public Policy Committee also had two meetings this week - the first focusing on a bill that would require casinos to check a state child-support collection database before allowing anyone to receive large wins. Despite objections from the state's gaming industry, the committee voted unanimously to send it to the full House for consideration.

At the House Judiciary Committee meeting Tuesday, lawmakers delved into various bills - including two that involved the Indiana Attorney General's Office. One allows the solicitor general to be notified of any constitutional challenges filed in state courts and to be an amicus party on those cases if wanted. The committee passed that 5-2 and sent it to the full House for consideration.

The other is SB 224 that involves "sexting," a topic that is being referred to a study committee for further review. But an amendment offered and being discussed specifically relates to the Indiana Supreme Court ruling last year in Wallace v. State, No. 49S02-0803-CR-138, involving who must be placed on the state's sex offender registry if crimes were committed before laws changed and subsequently would have required them to register. Since that ruling, the Department of Correction has required offenders to get a court order before being removed, while local sheriffs' have interpreted the ruling to mean all pre-1994 offenders should be removed at the onset. An amendment introduced to SB 224 this week would require the court-order method, and while it's been sent back for revisions, the amendment is expected to be introduced Monday.

Lawmakers have through March 3 to cast final votes on legislation before returning bills to their house of origin where amendments or legislation will again be reviewed. The session is slated to end March 14.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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