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Mental health witnesses, nonsupport bills move to governor’s desk

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The Indiana Senate Wednesday concurred with changes made to legislation outlining who a court may appoint in determining whether a defendant is insane. On Tuesday, senators approved language in the expungement bill granting the Board of Law Examiners access to sealed expunged conviction records.

Senate Bill 88 breaks down mental health witnesses into two categories: those who can be appointed in cases in which the defendant is not charged with a homicide offense under I.C. 35-42-1 and those who can be appointed when a defendant is charged under that statute. The bill passed 48-1.

Senators also concurred with changes the House of Representatives made to SB 63 regarding nonsupport of a child. The legislation changes the penalty enhancement for nonsupport of a child from a Level 6 felony to a Level 5 felony if the person has a previous conviction for the offense. Current law says the felony level increases if the total amount of support owed is at least $15,000. The bill also outlines when the sentencing court may lower a conviction for nonsupport. It passed the Senate 42-6.

SB 27 on petitions for adoptions passed the Senate on a concurrent vote of 48-0. The legislation prohibits an adoption while certain appeals are pending and also provides that the court in which a petition for adoption has been filed has exclusive jurisdiction over the child if there is a petition for adoption and a paternity action pending at the same time.

The bill also asks for a study committee to look at whether a father who has abandoned a birth mother during pregnancy should be required to consent to the adoption of the child.

Senators Tuesday voted 42-6 to pass House Bill 1155 on expungement. The bill rectifies the current inconsistent procedures for expunging arrest records and specifies where a petition for expungement must be filed. The bill grants a defense attorney and probation department access to expunged records if authorized by a court order. HB 1155 also grants access to expunged records to the Indiana Supreme Court and State Board of Law Examiners to determine a person’s fitness for admission to the bar.

Senators voted 45-2 to pass HB 1006, which reconciles technical and substantive conflicts between the legislation overhauling the criminal code, HEA 1006-2013, and other bills on criminal law. It went to the House with amendments, which the House dissented on Wednesday, sending the bill to a conference committee.
 

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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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