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. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.