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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. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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