Study committee to discuss civil forfeiture, indigent defense

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Indiana lawmakers are preparing to return to the statehouse and consider legal issues such as civil forfeiture and indigent defense services when the Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary meets for the first time next week.

The 17-person committee is scheduled to gather for its first 2017 meeting on Aug. 16. The August agenda includes the topics of civil forfeiture — which was sent to the committee via House Enrolled Act 1123 — and providing indigent defense services to people charged with misdemeanors and parents whose children are alleged to be children in need of services.

The study committee is led by Sen. Rod Bray, a Martinsville Republican and attorney with Bray Bray & Bray, also in Martinsville. Members of the committee who are not state lawmakers include Allen Circuit Judge Tom Felts, Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey and LaPorte County Councilman Mark Yagelski.

Other Senate lawmakers on the committee include Sen. Randy Head; Sen. Brandt Hershman; Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane; Sen. Lonnie Randolph; Sen. Jack Sandlin; and Sen. Greg Taylor. On the House side, the committee includes Rep. Greg Steuerwald, vice chairman; Rep. John Bartlett; Rep. Pat Bauer; Rep. Ryan Dvorak; Rep. Karen Engleman; Rep. Chris May; and Rep. Thomas Washburne.

After its initial August meeting, the committee is then scheduled for two additional sessions in September and October, when items such as adult protective services and requests for new courts or judicial officers are on the agenda. Next week’s meeting is set to begin at 1 p.m. in Room 431 of the Indiana Statehouse.

The full list of the committee’s meetings and agendas can be accessed here.

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