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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. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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