Unified courts, judicial nomination bills move

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Several bills of impact on the courts saw action this week before the Indiana General Assembly shut down for two days after a winter storm hit the state.

Senate Bill 91, which establishes a unified Circuit Court in Henry and Madison counties; and SB 499, which would change the selection of Lake Superior judges from election to nomination, passed second readings Monday.

SB 169, which deals with probate, trusts, and transfer on death transfers, was placed back on second reading Jan. 27 and reread and passed with amendments on Monday.

House Bill 1153, which deals with problem-solving courts, was passed 98-0 by the full House of Representatives Monday. The House judiciary committee also passed HB 1548, which recognizes foreign country money judgments. Also on Monday, the Committee on Local Government amended and passed HB 1311, which deals with changes to planning and zoning law. One part of that bill eliminates review of zoning decisions by certiorari and establishes a judicial review procedure.

Senate Bill 97 passed out of the judiciary committee Jan. 27 with amendments. The bill establishes a procedure for a company to provide a loan to a plaintiff in an action in exchange for the contingent right to receive a part of the potential proceeds of the action. Also on Jan. 27, the committee passed SB 301, which would increase the automated record keeping fee a court clerk can charge with the extra money going to the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee to pay for Odyssey, the statewide case management system. The committee reassigned the bill to the Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy.

Because the weather shut down the General Assembly for two days, committee hearings were postponed and are in the process of being rescheduled. As of Indiana Lawyer deadline, the House of Representatives was still working on the new schedule and planned on releasing a new calendar today.

Jennifer Mertz, principal secretary of the Indiana Senate, said in an e-mail that Wednesday morning committees have been authorized to schedule an additional meeting on the morning of Feb. 11. Wednesday afternoon committees may schedule an additional meeting the afternoon of Feb. 11. Tuesday committees are able to schedule an extra meeting after session on Feb. 8 or 10. She said it’s up to each committee chair to determine if they will schedule more bills at their usual committee time next week or hold an additional meeting.

A complete list of bills is available on the legislature’s website.


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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.