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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. 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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