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Last day for legislators to file bills

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Today is the deadline for state senators to file Senate bills to be considered during the 2011 session. State representatives’ deadline for filing House bills was Tuesday and they have until today to file vehicle bills.

Several bills filed in the past week may be of interest to the Indiana legal community.

Senate Bill 344 proposes to eliminate the death penalty in Indiana. The bill would commute the sentence of anyone currently on death row to a sentence of life in prison without parole. SB 413 establishes the Office of the Child Advocate, and its duties would include taking all possible action to ensure the legal, civil, and special rights of children. The governor would appoint the child advocate. The office would also be required to create an annual report on its activities and the status of children in Indiana.

In the House of Representatives, House Bill 1153 tackles two issues: problem-solving courts, and judges carrying handguns. The bill expands the types of people that may participate in court-established alcohol- and drug-services programs and the procedures to be used to end a person’s participation in these kinds of programs. The bill also says a judicial officer who isn’t required to have a license to carry a handgun may not be prohibited from possessing a handgun on land or in buildings or other structures owned or leased by the state or political subdivision of the state; or in or on school property or property that is being used by a school for a school function, or a school bus.

HB 1215 provides that for purposes of a hearing concerning the admissibility of certain statements or videotapes made by a protected person, that person may attend the hearing through the use of closed-circuit television.

HB 1266 establishes a unified Circuit Court for Clark County.

HB 1332 deals with bias crimes and also requires law enforcement officers to receive training in identifying, responding to, and reporting bias crimes.

HB 1335 requires the Indiana Tax Court to try de novo appeals from final determinations of the Indiana Board of Tax Review and the distressed unit appeal board.

Senate Joint Resolution 13 defines marriage between one man and one woman. This proposed constitutional amendment must be adopted by two consecutive General Assemblies and be ratified by a majority of the state’s voters to become effective. It has not been previously agreed to by a General Assembly.

A complete list of legislation is available on the state’s website

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  2. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  3. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  4. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  5. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

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