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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. The voices of the prophets are more on blogs than subway walls these days, Dawn. Here is the voice of one calling out in the wilderness ... against a corrupted judiciary ... that remains corrupt a decade and a half later ... due to, so sadly, the acquiescence of good judges unwilling to shake the forest ... for fear that is not faith .. http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2013/09/prof-alan-dershowitz-on-indiana.html

  2. So I purchased a vehicle cash from the lot on West Washington in Feb 2017. Since then I found it the vehicle had been declared a total loss and had sat in a salvage yard due to fire. My title does not show any of that. I also have had to put thousands of dollars into repairs because it was not a solid vehicle like they stated. I need to find out how to contact the lawyers on this lawsuit.

  3. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  4. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  5. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

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