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Guardianship, power of attorney bills on 3rd reading

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A bill that would prevent the termination of the guardianship of an incapacitated minor once the minor turns 18 and legislation that allows a copy of a power of attorney to have the same effect as the original are before the Indiana House of Representatives on third reading Monday.

In the House, legislators will hear Senate Bill 32, which looks to prevent the courts from ending the guardianship of a minor who has been adjudicated as an incapacitated person once the minor turns 18. The bill also will allow a minor who hasn’t been adjudicated an incapacitated person and the minor’s guardian to jointly petition the court to extend the guardianship beyond the minor’s 18th birthday to a termination date set forth in the petition or the date the minor turns 22, whichever occurs first.

In addition to providing that a copy of a power of attorney has the same force and effect as the original if the person granting the POA certifies that the copy is true and correct, SB 157 also urges the Legislative Council to study issues related to powers of attorney during the 2012 interim session.

In the Senate, legislators will discuss Simple Resolution 9, authored by Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, which urges the Legislative Council to establish a study committee to look at Public Law 209. Last session, House Bill 1402 made changes to Indiana law that now require undocumented immigrants to pay out-of-state tuition to attend college. That resolution is eligible for adoption.

Also being discussed on the Senate floor Monday on second reading:
•    HB 1033 on sentencing and criminal history matters. The bill includes a definition of a “criminal history provider” and discusses when a court can convert a Class D felony to a Class A misdemeanor.
•    HB 1049 on problem-solving courts, courts, and inspector general matters. The bill allows problem-solving courts to collect program fees and also allows the inspector general to directly institute civil proceedings against people who haven’t paid civil penalties imposed by the state ethics commission.
•    HB 1258 on estate planning matters, which includes a provision that the practice of law by someone who isn’t an attorney is considered racketeering for purposes of the law concerning racketeer influence and corrupt organizations.
•    HB 1273, which asks for the Legislative Council to study the idea of creating a centralized department of administrative law judges within the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.

Both the House and Senate reconvene at 1:30 p.m.

The House Judiciary Committee met Monday morning to discuss several bills, including SB 152, which would give Allen Circuit Court a second full-time magistrate; SB 190, which denies parenting rights to rapists; and SB 156, which establishes a new procedure for partitioning real and personal property that requires a court refer the matter to mediation.

On Tuesday, the Senate Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters Committee meets to discuss four bills, including HB 1204 on matters involving the sex and violent offender registry. On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear three bills, including HB 1365 on dual juvenile and criminal jurisdiction.

Feb. 29 is the last day for third reading of House bills in the Senate; Senate bills have through March 5 to make it out of the House of Representatives. House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, recently said he and Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, want to wrap up the session early. The session is formally scheduled to end March 14.

 

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  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

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