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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. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

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  3. This is happening so much. Even in 2016.2017. I hope the father sue for civil rights violation. I hope he sue as more are doing and even without a lawyer as pro-se, he got a good one here. God bless him.

  4. JLAP and other courtiers ... Those running court systems, have most substance abuse issues. Probably self medicating to cover conscience issues arising out of acts furthering govt corruption

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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