Bill Watch

Marion County small claims reform faces hurdles in Legislature

September 10, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court’s recommendation to merge Marion County’s nine township small claims courts with Marion Superior Court may be too bold for the Indiana General Assembly, a key senator said.
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Correctional services consolidation bill drawing fire

January 29, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Community corrections advocates are worried that a proposal to consolidate the Marion County probation and community corrections departments would take local decision-making away from community members and give more control to judges.
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Does marriage amendment need to be amended?

January 15, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Legislature offers companion bill to explain the intent of the constitutional provision banning marriage between same-sex couples.
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Concerns exist over proposed sentencing bill

January 1, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
The balance struck between the opposing demands of the prosecutors and public defenders in the proposed criminal sentencing bill may be upended during the 2014 legislative session, which could force Indiana to squeeze hundreds of millions of dollars from the state budget to build a new prison.
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Support strong for treatment instead of incarceration in the DOC

December 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
David Powell, executive director of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, strongly believes that addressing drug dependency and mental health issues can reduce the state’s recidivism rate and, in turn, lower the crime rate.
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Criminal code overhaul shifts focus to sentencing

December 18, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The exploding prison population was a key motivator for revising the state’s criminal code, but an independent research group has concluded the new statute will cause a quicker increase in the number of inmates.
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Many efforts arise to address abandoned property, few go forward

March 27, 2013
Dave Stafford
State Sen. Jim Merritt wanted to help an eastside Indianapolis church gain possession of some long-abandoned, derelict houses, tear them down and establish a neighborhood park. But it turned out there wasn’t much the law allowed the church to do.
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Giving felons a chance to wipe their records clean

February 27, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana General Assembly moving forward with expungement bill.
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Indiana Sen. Mike Delph's bills raise brows in legal community

February 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
Senator drops "loser pays" attorney fees plan, but other bills target grand juries and propose retention supermajority.
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6 bills in Indiana Statehouse aimed at slowing the manufacture of meth

February 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
The description Rodney Cummings gives of Madison County makes the central Indiana area sound like a war zone. The source of the problem is the manufacture and abuse of methamphetamine, a volatile mix of medicine and toxins that forms a highly addictive drug.
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Eliminating judges’ mandatory retirement to get hearing

February 5, 2013
Dave Stafford
A bill to eliminate mandatory retirement at age 75 for Indiana Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
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Protecting students from the worst

January 16, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
An increased focus on school safety is expected in Indiana Legislature this session.
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Proposals would add visas for STEM workers

June 6, 2012
Dave Stafford
Highly skilled immigrants are the focus of 2 bills introduced in Congress.
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Indiana legislative round-up

March 28, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
A snapshot of key points from bills heard in the 2012 legislative session. All enrolled acts were signed by the governor by March 20.
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Bill would increase funds for pro bono districts

January 18, 2012
Jenny Montgomery
The modest filing fee could help offset declining IOLTA funds.
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Environmental bills to watch

February 16, 2011
Rebecca Berfanger
A number of bills with environmental impact have been introduced in both houses of the Indiana Legislature for 2011.
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Anti-piracy legislation tackles IP enforcement

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The notion of pirates pillaging treasures and bartering it on the high seas isn’t that far fetched for Indianapolis intellectual property attorney Jonathan Polak.
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Legislature's end suspenseful for legal community

March 15, 2010
Michael Hoskins
As the Indiana General Assembly got down to its final hours in a short-session, significant changes for the Hoosier legal community were on the table to possibly increase the number of appellate judges, change how one county chooses its trial judges, and impact how juveniles can be placed outside the state.
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Lawmakers mull veto override on merit selection

March 11, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Vetoed legislation that would scrap St. Joseph County's merit selection for judicial elections and also add a new three-judge panel to the Indiana Court of Appeals is back in play.
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House OKs child support-casino billRestricted Content

March 3, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Lawmakers have passed a bill that allows the Indiana Department of Child Services to more efficiently collect delinquent child support, including a gaming intercept requiring casinos to check whether gamers are on a state delinquency list before releasing large jackpots to them.
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What the attorney general is watching

February 5, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The session is about halfway over, but there are still several bills making their way through the General Assembly that the Indiana Attorney General's Office is watching.
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Juvenile justice bill passes SenateRestricted Content

February 3, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
A bill that incorporated suggestions from attendees and organizers of an Indiana State Bar Association-sponsored juvenile justice summit last summer passed the Indiana Senate 45-3 Feb. 18.
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Bill seeks to repeal placements statuteRestricted Content

January 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Lawmakers are considering legislation that would repeal a last-minute 2009 special session provision that gave the Indiana Department of Child Services key control in deciding whether juveniles should be placed outside the state.
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Provision in new bill would withhold 'big' wins from deadbeat parentsRestricted Content

January 20, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State lawmakers want to crack down on child support collections and make it tougher for deadbeat parents to not pay what's owed.
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Summit spurs school-focused billRestricted Content

January 20, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
A juvenile justice summit by the Indiana State Bar Association in August has led to the introduction of a bill that would change how students are treated in schools and hopefully decrease the number of school suspensions while increasing statewide graduation rates.
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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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