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Legislature announces summer study committees

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The Legislative Council of the Indiana General Assembly has assigned the study topics various committees will examine this summer and fall. Some of the areas include creating a centralized department of administrative law judges and review of various Department of Child Services practices.

The Commission on Courts will look at whether ALJs should be organized under one department within the Office of the Indiana Attorney General. The commission will look at the fiscal impact and logistics of implementing what is known as the “Texas model.”

Senate Enrolled Act 286 spelled out several areas that the Department of Child Services Interim Study Committee will take a look at this year, including progress and improvements made by the department since its creation in 2005. The committee will also look at how it’s determined whether a family or child is eligible for DCS services, critical problems within DCS, and the communication between family court and DCS to collaborate on families’ involvement in each entity.

The Commission on Mental Health and Addiction is also going to look at juvenile matters brought up in SEA 286. The commission will study whether prosecuting attorneys should be allowed to file a petition alleging a child is in need of services under Indiana Code 31-41-1-6. A Morgan County judge recently ruled in a CHINS case that DCS is correct that a prosecutor does not have statutory authority to file a CHINS petition. The Morgan County prosecutor met with DCS prior to filing the CHINS petition, but DCS did nothing until the prosecutor filed the CHINS 6 petition. DCS argued that only it had the authority to file CHINS petitions.  

Morgan Circuit Judge Matthew G. Hanson wrote in his May 15 order that it seemed like a “grave mistake” for the Legislature to previously remove prosecutors or anyone else from the ability to file these cases. Hanson wrote that the issue presented in this case cannot be left to die as it is one that is likely problematic throughout the state in regards to how DCS is refusing to handle mental health and disease cases as they should be.

The Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee will examine the provisions of I.C. 24-4-18 regarding criminal history providers and the need for any legislation to amend that statute before it takes effect July 1, 2013. As of that date, a criminal history provider must update its records annually to remove inaccurate information and information that has been expunged, restricted or limited; and only disclose certain information relating to a conviction. House Enrolled Act 1033 makes it a Class B infraction for an employer to ask if a person’s criminal records have been sealed or restricted and sets out the method for a court to convert a Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor conviction.

The committee will also study the criteria necessary to require someone to register as a sex or violent offender, how long one should remain on the registry, and what constitutes relief when registration requirements have been fulfilled.

A complete list of the study committees and topics is available here.

 

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  1. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  2. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  3. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

  4. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

  5. And so the therapeutic state is weaonized. How soon until those with ideologies opposing the elite are disarmed in the name of mental health? If it can start anywhere it can start in the hoosiers' slavishly politically correct capital city.

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