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Governor signs DCS, new judge legislation

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Gov. Mitch Daniels signed legislation last week that gives Johnson Superior Court a fourth judge and Allen Circuit Court another full-time magistrate, and an enrolled act that makes changes to the Department of Child Services.

In addition to giving Johnson Superior Court a new judge in 2015, House Enrolled Act 1092 states that a City Court in a city that has between 10,500 and 11,000 residents has concurrent jurisdiction with the Circuit Court in civil cases in which the amount in controversy doesn’t exceed $1,500. Senate Enrolled Act 152 gives Allen Circuit Court a second full-time magistrate beginning July 1, 2013.  

Senate Enrolled Act 286, among other things, requires DCS to conduct a criminal history check of certain people before a child is reunited with a parent or guardian. It also states that an audio recording of a telephone call to the child abuse hotline is confidential and can only be released upon a court order. It requires that if a hearing regarding a petition to terminate parental rights isn't commenced or held within a certain time frame, the court should dismiss it.

The governor has also signed:

•    HEA 1065, on military custody and parenting time matters.

•    HEA 1273, which requests the Legislative Council study the topic of creating a centralized department of administrative law judges within the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.

•    SEA 156, which establishes a new procedure for partitioning real and personal property.

•    SEA 157, on copy of power of attorney.

•    SEA 246, on lab technician testimony in criminal cases.

•    HEA 1033 on conversion of a Class D felony to a Class A misdemeanor.

Daniels has received all of the legislation approved by the General Assembly this session. He has seven days from the date he received the enrolled act to sign or veto it. If he takes no action by the seventh day, it becomes law without signature.



 

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  1. I was wondering about the 6 million put aside for common attorney fees?does that mean that if you are a plaintiff your attorney fees will be partially covered?

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  3. I expressed my thought in the title, long as it was. I am shocked that there is ever immunity from accountability for ANY Government agency. That appears to violate every principle in the US Constitution, which exists to limit Government power and to ensure Government accountability. I don't know how many cases of legitimate child abuse exist, but in the few cases in which I knew the people involved, in every example an anonymous caller used DCS as their personal weapon to strike at innocent people over trivial disagreements that had no connection with any facts. Given that the system is vulnerable to abuse, and given the extreme harm any action by DCS causes to families, I would assume any degree of failure to comply with the smallest infraction of personal rights would result in mandatory review. Even one day of parent-child separation in the absence of reasonable cause for a felony arrest should result in severe penalties to those involved in the action. It appears to me, that like all bureaucracies, DCS is prone to interpret every case as legitimate. This is not an accusation against DCS. It is a statement about the nature of bureaucracies, and the need for ADDED scrutiny of all bureaucratic actions. Frankly, I question the constitutionality of bureaucracies in general, because their power is delegated, and therefore unaccountable. No Government action can be unaccountable if we want to avoid its eventual degeneration into irrelevance and lawlessness, and the law of the jungle. Our Constitution is the source of all Government power, and it is the contract that legitimizes all Government power. To the extent that its various protections against intrusion are set aside, so is the power afforded by that contract. Eventually overstepping the limits of power eliminates that power, as a law of nature. Even total tyranny eventually crumbles to nothing.

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