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JTAC fee, court-reporter licensing bills proposed

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Court reporters would need licenses, there would be more money to implement the statewide case management system in trial courts, and convicted sex offenders would be banned from public libraries if these bills introduced this session become law.

Legislators went back to work Wednesday, filing more bills, many of which are of interest to the legal community.

Court reporters will need to be licensed if Senate Bill 206 passes. The bill establishes a court reporter board, which would determine the qualifications for licensing and continuing education.

Senate Bill 215 would amend the forfeiture statute by defining how much of seized property is considered law enforcement costs, depending on the value of the property seized. The bill also would allow a prosecutor to retain an attorney to bring a forfeiture action only if the Indiana Attorney General approves the compensation agreement. It would also cap the private attorney’s compensation depending on the amount of property seized. The law would prohibit a prosecutor from hiring a prosecuting attorney or deputy prosecutor to bring a forfeiture action.

SB 246 prohibits a class-action suit being brought on behalf of a person who hasn’t agreed to be a party to the class action.

SB 301 proposes increasing the automated record keeping fee from $7 to $10 between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2015. The fee would go back to $7 after July 1, 2015. The increased fee would go to the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee to pay for Odyssey, the statewide case management system it began implementing in late 2007. This isn’t the first time that this increased fee has been introduced. Last year, a similar bill was passed but died in conference committee.

SB 203 would establish a unified Circuit Court in Henry County. SB 212 provides that all Circuit, Superior, and Probate courts have original and concurrent jurisdiction in all civil and criminal cases and de novo appellate jurisdiction of appeals from city and town courts. In Marion County, these courts would have de novo appellate jurisdiction of appeals from Township Small Claims courts.

House Bill 1100 looks to ban sex offenders from public libraries. A registered sex offender who goes to the library would be committing a Class D felony, unless they are going there on Election Day to vote. Similar legislation was proposed during the 2010 session. HB 1108 would require a sexually violent predator or sex offender against children to inform their child’s elementary or secondary school that they are a sex offender. The legislation would only allow that offender on the school property if the offender is attending a meeting with a school official and is escorted by a school employee while on the property. All other sex offenders would be prohibited from being on school property unless the offender attends that particular school.

HB 1119 would create a rebuttable presumption that an award of joint legal custody is in the best interest of a child. The legislation also would repeal a provision that says a custodial parent may determine the child’s upbringing.

HB 1127 allows people who bring actions in court against the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to receive attorney’s fees for bringing the suit. It also establishes a litigation expenses reimbursement fund to compensate for attorney’s fees by depositing environmental civil penalties and 10 percent of the money the department would otherwise revert to the state general fund at the end of the fiscal year into the fund.

Legislators have until next week to file bills. A complete list of introduced legislation is available on the General Assembly’s website.
 

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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