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Magistrate, attorney general bills become law

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Magistrates can now be certified as senior judges, and the parents who don't pay ordered child support but gamble at casinos can have their winnings withheld. Those are just two of the many bills Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed into law.

The Indiana General Assembly ended its 2010 session March 13, with the fate of the surviving bills in the hands of the governor. As of Indiana Lawyer deadline, Gov. Daniels had 98 bills before him and signed into law March 12 many of interest to the legal community including:

- Senate Enrolled Act 36 allowing magistrates who meet certain criteria to be certified as senior judges;

- SEA 65 on guardianships, estate administration, trust matters, and wills;

- SEA 394 that allows the attorney general to intervene in a declaratory judgment action which alleges a statute or ordinance to be unconstitutional, and to file a friend-of-the court brief without leave of the court; and

- House Enrolled Act 1350, which enacts the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act.

On March 17, the governor signed SEA 163, a child support bill that includes a provision garnishing casino winnings of parents who owe child support.

Also signed Wednesday were HEA 1044 regarding clerk liability; HEA 1062 enacting the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act; HEA 1154 about Marion County courts; and HEA 1193, which creates the law enforcement, school policing and youth work group.

The governor signed SEA 307 regarding Floyd County courts and HEA 1234 addressing criminal procedures and controlled substances Thursday. Many bills have yet to reach the governor's desk for signature, including HEA 1271 on problem-solving courts and SEA 224, which details how registered sex and violent offenders can have their names removed from the registry if they meet certain requirements.

One piece of legislation the governor won't see is Senate Bill 149, which dealt with Department of Child Services matters. The bill died in conference committee because the language would have reverted back to allowing the courts to decide whether to send juveniles to out-of-state placements. Last-minute revisions at the end of the 2009 special session allowed for DCS to make that decision. Rep. Dennis Avery, D-Evansville, said he heard Senate leadership was supporting the administration and felt the placement revision was an attempt to embarrass the DCS and Director James Payne.

Many enrolled acts have yet to reach the governor's desk for signature or have signing deadlines past IL deadline. The governor has seven days to sign legislation once he receives it. If he chooses not to sign it, it becomes law on the eighth day unless he vetoes it. Visit the governor's Web site to the check the status of bills awaiting his signature.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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