S.E.A. 486, P.L. 83-2013
Effective July 1, 2013
Allows the judges of the Hamilton superior court to jointly appoint a third full-time magistrate. Allows the judges of the Hendricks superior court to jointly appoint two full-time magistrates. Adds a second judge to the Owen circuit court, and establishes a unified circuit court in Owen County with two judges as of January 1, 2015. (The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the commission on courts.)
Problem solving courts
H.E.A. 1016, P.L. 95-2013
Effective July 1, 2013
Provides additional circumstances under which a person can participate in a problem solving court program. Provides that a problem solving court may provide rehabilitative services. Simplifies the problem solving court fee transfer process. Urges the legislative council to require the Commission on Courts to evaluate the funding of veteran’s courts during the 2013 interim.
H.E.A. 1061, P.L. 100-2013
Effective July 1, 2013
Allows the judges of the Marion superior court to appoint 12 full-time magistrates after December 31, 2013. Allows the judges of the Warrick circuit and superior courts to jointly appoint a magistrate.
Judicial technology and automation
H.E.A. 1393, P.L. 284-2013
Effective July 1, 2013
Establishes the judicial technology oversight committee (committee) to: (1) conduct a continuous study of information technology applications for Indiana’s judicial system; (2) make recommendations to the division of state court administration (division) for the establishment of a pilot program concerning electronic filing; (3) allow public court records to be available on the Internet; (4) study the appropriate use of private sector vendors; and (5) make recommendations to the supreme court concerning the implementation of policies, standards, and rules that promote the effective use of technology and automation in Indiana courts. Provides that the committee consists of: (1) the chief justice of the supreme court; (2) the chief information officer of the office of technology; (3) two members of the senate; (4) two members of the house of representatives; (5) one trial court judge; (6) two circuit court clerks, with one clerk for a county that does not operate under the state’s automated judicial system and one clerk for a county that operates under the state’s automated judicial system; (7) one attorney admitted to the practice of law in Indiana; and (8) an individual affiliated with a taxpayer organization. Requires the division to develop and implement a standard protocol for sending and receiving certain court data by December 31, 2013, and requires the standard protocol to permit vendors to access the system on an equitable basis. Allows the budget committee to release funds for the judicial technology and automation project after the division certifies in conjunction with the Indiana office of technology that the judicial technology automation project is in compliance with certain information sharing and exchange requirements. Provides that the automated record keeping fee increases for two years from $5 to $7 for all civil, criminal, infraction, and ordinance violation actions except actions resulting in the accused person entering into a: (1) pretrial diversion program agreement; or (2) deferral program agreement. If the county is not operating under the state’s automated judicial system as follows the fee is distributed as follows: (1) 80% to the state before July 1, 2013 and after June 30, 2015, (2) $5 to the state after June 30, 2013 and before July 1, 2015. Provides that the automated record keeping fee is $5 for all civil, criminal, infraction, and ordinance violation actions resulting in the accused person entering into a: (1) pretrial diversion program agreement; or (2) deferral program agreement.
The Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 124, sponsored by Rep. Frizzell, removing the requirement that Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges retire at 75 years of age. The Committee held the bill to research its effects.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 1124, sponsored by Sen. Holdman and Sen. Head, regarding city and town court late payment fees. Rep. Mahan explained that the bill authorizes city and town courts to collect late payment fees on Class C and D infractions for handicap parking violations. Jodie Woods, General Counsel for the Indiana Association of City and Towns, testified in support of the bill stating that city and town courts believed that trial courts already had the ability to charge late payment fees in these cases. Michelle Goodman, staff attorney for the Indiana Judicial Center, testified on behalf of the Judicial Conference Special Courts Committee. Ms. Goodman explained that trial courts do not currently have the authority to charge late payment fees in these cases and requested that the Committee consider amending the bill to allow all courts to charge late payment fees. The Committee adopted an amendment authorizing all courts to charge late payment fees as specified in the bill. The amended bill passed, 7-0.
The Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee heard HB 1393 on the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (“JTAC”) sponsored by Sen. Kenley, Sen. Hershman and Sen. Broden. Sen. Kenley provided an overview of the bill. The Committee adopted an amendment reducing the oversight committee membership by removing the circuit court clerk seat from a non-JTAC county, mandating at least quarterly meetings of the oversight committee in 2013 and 2014 and biannual meetings thereafter, and authorizing the collection of a $7 automated record keeping fee until July 1, 2017. The amended bill passed, 10-1.
The House Ways and Means Committee heard SB 486, sponsored by Rep. Heaton, on adding judicial officers. As recommended by the Commission on Courts, this bill allows the judges of the Hamilton superior court to jointly appoint a third full-time magistrate and the judges of the Hendricks superior court to jointly appoint two full-time magistrates. This bill also adds a second judge to the Owen circuit court, and establishes a unified circuit court in Owen County with two judges as of January 1, 2015. The bill passed, 18-0.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 1393, sponsored by Sen. Kenley, Sen. Hershman, and Sen. Broden, on the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC). The bill establishes an eleven member JTAC oversight committee drawn from all branches of government in addition to increasing the JTAC fee from $5 to $7. The bill was amended to stagger the terms for appointed members on the oversight committee. It would also specify that members may be reappointed, and would require that the oversight committee must meet at least once per year or at the call of the chair. The amendment also requires the committee to study the allocation of JTAC fees between state and local government, change bill language on independent providers, and require the oversight committee to develop and implement a standard protocol for sending and receiving information to the protective order registry by Dec. 31, 2013. The amendment adds language that the committee shall permit private sector vendors to send and receive court information on an equitable basis and at an equitable cost. The last aspect of the amendment would define “formal written commitment” language in the bill to mean that after a county has adopted a written ordinance and “entered into a commitment” it would then be considered to be operating under the state’s judicial automation system for purposes of fee allocation between JTAC and the county. Justice Massa, JTAC’s Mary DePrez, and Donna Edgar testified about JTAC and the present implementation of Odyssey and INcite programs. Justice Massa pointed out that the bill’s change from $5 to $7 fees pays not just for Odyssey, but also for INcite programs like the protective order registry and the e-ticket traffic ticket system. He said that the bulk of extra money from the fee increase will pay for data conversion in courts that want Odyssey, noting that there are at least 20 more counties that want it. Justice Massa testified that the Supreme Court is leaving the decision about case management system providers to be made locally. Testimony in favor of the bill’s oversight committee was received from Doxpop and CSI owners, the Association of Indiana Counties, and the Elkhart County Clerk. Judge Bill Hughes of Hamilton Superior 3 spoke in favor of the bill, pointing out the advantages for his county in converting to the Odyssey case management system. The bill passed as amended 9-0.
The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 103, sponsored by Rep. Koch, on the Judicial Nominating Commission. The bill requires the non-attorney members of the Judicial Nominating Commission appointed by the Governor be from a list of recommended candidates submitted by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the Senate, and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. An attorney member of the Judicial Nominating Commission provided the Committee with information regarding the work of the Commission in selecting applicants to submit to the Governor for appellate court vacancies and reviewing complaints involving judicial ethics violations, but did not take a position on the bill. The bill passed, 8-3.
The House Employment, Labor and Pensions Committee heard SB 527, sponsored by Rep. Burton, regarding judges’ pensions. This bill urges the Legislative Council to assign to the Pension Management Oversight Commission the task of studying the retirement, disability, and death benefits currently provided to judges and full-time magistrates. The bill passed, 11-0.
The Senate Appropriations Committee heard HB 1061, sponsored by Sen. Becker, on magistrates. This bill authorizes the judges of the Marion Superior Court to appoint 12 full-time magistrates after December 31, 2013, and authorizes the judges of the Warrick Circuit and Superior courts to jointly appoint a magistrate. The bill passed, 12-0.
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 486, sponsored by Rep. Steuerwald, adding certain judicial officers. Author Sen. Steele explained that the bill, approved by the Commission on Courts, would add a new full-time magistrate for Hamilton Superior, two new magistrates for the Hendricks Superior Courts, and, effective Jan. 1, 2015, a second judge for Owen County while establishing a unified Owen Circuit Court. The bill passed, 11-0.
The Senate Judiciary Committee continued discussion on HB 1016, sponsored by Sen. Steele and Sen. Lanane, regarding problem-solving courts. This bill makes various changes to the problem-solving courts statutes. An amendment was adopted removing the funding language added on second reading in the House and urging the Legislative Council to evaluate the funding of veteran’s courts and make recommendation to the General Assembly. The amended bill passed, 6-0.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 1061, sponsored by Sen. Becker, pertaining to magistrates. Rep. Bacon explained that the bill authorizes the judges of the Marion Superior Court to appoint 12 full-time magistrates after December 31, 2013, as added by the House Ways and Means Committee, and authorizes the judges of the Warrick Circuit and Superior courts to jointly appoint a magistrate. Judge Certo from Marion Superior Court, and a representative of the Warrick County Bar Association testified in support of the bill. The bill passed, 7-0.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 1016 concerning problem-solving courts, sponsored by Sen. Steel, Sen. Lanane, and Sen. Randolph, and presented by Rep. Koch. The bill makes several changes to the problem-solving court statutes, including expanding eligibility, authorizing the provision of rehabilitative services to problem-solving court participants, and simplifying the proble- solving court fee transfer process. The bill also included an amendment from the House regarding the establishing a pilot project in Lake County to use 50% of the county drug free community fund to support a veteran’s court. The Indiana Judicial Center testified specifically in support of the proposed changes to the current problem-solving court statutes. There was extensive testimony regarding the Lake County pilot project. Those speaking in favor of the pilot project included: Rep. Reardon, Sen. Mrvan, Lake Co. Sheriff, representatives from the American Legion, Fraternal Order of Police, Public Defender Council, Northwest Indiana Veterans Action Coalition, and the Mayor of Gary. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute’s Substance Abuse Services Division Director testified on the current role of the Local Coordinating Council’s (LCC) funding in supporting local programs and services to further the mission of the Governor’s Commission for a Drug-Free Indiana. In testifying, the Director pointed out that LCCs statewide currently provide grants to existing problem solving courts under the priorities outlined for the use of these funds and opposed diverting additional LCC funds as proposed in this legislation. In addition, representatives from the Lake County LCC and agencies currently funded by the LCC testified that they support problem-solving courts and the need for a veterans court, but did not support this proposed funding source since it would negatively impact the current services in the area. The Committee held the bill to further review funding options for the Lake County pilot project.
|Bill No.||Bill Title||Committee||2nd Reading||3rd Reading||Sponsor(s)|
|SB 24||County extradition and sheriff’s assistance fund||1/17/13 Do Pass||1/24/13 Engrossed||1/29/13 Passed 47-0||Mahan|
|SB 33||Deposit of sex or violent offender fees||1/17/13 Do Pass||1/22/13 Engrossed||1/24/13 Passed 47-0||Lehman|
|SB 103||Judicial Nominating Commission||2/7/13 Do Pass||2/11/13 Engrossed||2/14/13 Passed 46-2||Koch|
|SB 124||Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges||2/7/13 Do Pass||2/11/13 Engrossed||2/12/13 Passed 36-12||Frizzell|
|SB 474||Historic county courthouses||2/12/13 Do Pass –A||2/14/13 Engrossed||2/18/13 Passed 49-0||Huston|
|SB 486||Judicial officers||1/24/13 Do Pass
2/18/13 Do Pass
|2/21/13 Engrossed||2/25/13 Passed 50-0||Steuerwald|
|HB 1016||Problem solving courts||1/17/13 Do Pass –A||1/22/13 Engrossed –A||1/23/13 Passed 91-1||Steele, Lanane|
|HB 1061||Magistrates||2/7/13 Do Pass
2/18/13 Do Pass –A
|2/20/13 Engrossed||2/21/13 Passed 94-0||Becker|
|HB 1124||City and town court late payment fees||1/31/13 Do Pass||2/4/13 Engrossed||2/5/13 Passed 99-0||Holdman, Head|
|HB 1393||Judicial technology and automation||2/18/13 Do Pass –A||2/20/13 Engrossed –A||2/25/13 Passed 70-24||Kenley, Hershman, Broden|
|HB 1411||Court staff attorney pilot program||2/14/13 Do Pass –A||2/18/13 Engrossed||2/19/13 Passed 90-0||Delph, Banks, Tomes|
The House Ways and Means Committee heard Rep. Bacon’s HB 1061 on magistrates. The original bill allowed the judges of the Warrick circuit and superior courts to jointly appoint a magistrate. The amended bill adds Rep. Speedy’s HB 1384 on converting Marion Superior Court commissioners to magistrates. Judge Certo explained that amended language is a part of an ongoing conversion of 20 Marion Superior commissioners into magistrates (of the 20, conversion of 4 has already been authorized by statute). Judge Certo observed that the amended bill allows for the conversion of 4 additional commissioners to magistrates in 2013 and 8 more commissioners to magistrates after 2013. The bill passed as amended 19-0.
The House Ways and Means Committee considered HB 1393 on the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC). An amendment increases the JTAC oversight committee membership from seven to nine, by adding a court clerk from a non-Odyssey county and a member affiliated with a taxpayer organization, both appointed by the governor. Another amendment increases the “automatic recordkeeping fee” from $5 to $7, $3 less than the $10 in the introduced version of the bill. Pursuant to the amendment, all of the $2 fee increase imposed in Odyssey counties will go to JTAC, but in non-Odyssey counties $1 of the increase will go to JTAC and the remaining $1 will go to the county. The amendment also provides that the fee increase sunsets at the end of the biennium following implementation based on the proposition that the expenses necessitating the fee increase are one-time Odyssey or INcite program installation costs, so that after extension of Odyssey to counties awaiting it and completion of current INcite projects the increase will no longer be needed. Rep. Dermody inquired about reports that there is a very large balance in the JTAC fund. Rep. Braun said that the budget has been in the $7 million range, and the fee increase under the amended bill would provide an increase of $1.3 million. Rep. Thompson asked for a list of the counties (approximately 20) waiting for Odyssey installation. Rep. Leonard observed that, while he supports JTAC, he has heard there is a 10 million dollar balance in their funds and cannot support a fee increase with that kind of balance. Rep. Steuerwald said that a number of counties are getting ready to come on with Odyssey and that may explain a significant balance. Rep. Huston said he does not like the fee increase, but approves of the bill’s addition of an oversight board; he observed he does not think it is good from a “competitive” standpoint to have fee money going to JTAC from non-Odyssey counties. Rep. Braun replied that the fee increase is only for the biennium, noted the frustration in counties which have decided to go with Odyssey at having to wait and pointing out the fee increase will help with the conversion of the “backlog” of courts wanting Odyssey. He also noted that the INcite programs are critical for “cross information” between government agencies. The bill passed as amended, 14-7.
The Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee heard SB 474, authored by Sen. Merritt and Sen. Buck, on preserving historic county courthouses. In this bill, for purposes of the county adjusted gross income tax, certified shares may be allocated or appropriated to maintain, rehabilitate, preserve, or restore a historic county courthouse and for purposes of the county economic development income tax, a project that maintains, rehabilitates, preserves, or restores a historic county courthouse is an economic development project. This bill also creates a traveling exhibit that describes the role of historic courthouses in the history, architecture, and art of the counties and the state by the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, in cooperation with the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites Corporation. It also establishes the Historic Courthouse Rehabilitation and Restoration Revolving Fund to provide loans to counties for rehabilitation, restoration, preservation, or maintenance of county courthouses that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The bill was amended to remove the need for appropriations. The Department of Natural Resources, Indiana State Museum, Indiana Landmarks, and the Association of Indiana Counties testified in support of the bill. The amended bill passed, 9-1.
The Senate Appropriations Committee heard SB 486 on judicial officers authored by Sen. Steele. This bill addresses judicial officer needs in Hamilton, Hendricks, and Owen counties. The Committee passed the bill, 10-0.
The House Courts and Criminal Code resumed consideration of HB 1384 on converting the commissioners of the Marion Superior Court to Marion County magistrates. Although the Commission on Courts did not approve the bill, the Commission on Courts had approved the beginning phase of a project for the conversion of Marion Superior commissioners to magistrates. An amendment removed the introduced bill’s $34 fee for persons placed in a Marion County infraction deferral program. The amended bill passed, 13-0.
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard HB 1411, Rep. Washburne’s bill to establish a Judicial Center court staff attorney pilot program. Rep. Washburne noted that in complex cases it takes a great deal of time to write orders resolving motions to dismiss or for summary judgment, and many courts do not have law clerk assistance to help with these time-intensive motions. The bill establishes a program to assist the judges in five counties (two with populations under 50,000, two with populations of 50,000 to 200,000, and one with a population over 200,000) with the preparation of orders granting or denying, as amended, “complex motions” including motions to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, or other motions considered by the Judicial Center to be complex. The amendment defines a Judicial Center “staff attorney” as “an attorney, a senior judge, or a third year law student.” The Center will administer the pilot program for two years and make reports in 2013 and 2014 on the usage and costs of the two-year pilot and the projected costs of expanding the program to cover the entire state. A party in an action in a pilot program county may petition the court to have a staff attorney from the program assist the court in preparing “a judicial opinion that explains the reasons for granting or denying the complex motion.” The Judicial Center may require a fee from the petitioning party. In addition, a judge in a pilot program county may request “research and drafting assistance to aid” in preparing “an opinion that explains the reasons for granting or denying the complex motion;” when a judge requests the service, no fee is authorized to be charged to the parties. The Center may take the amount in controversy into account in determining whether a motion is “complex.” Former Chief Justice Randall Shepard testified in favor of the bill, and noted that the lack of any additional funding for the Judicial Center for the two-year pilot program was probably workable but that a statewide program “can’t be for free” and will require funding. Judicial Center Executive Director Jane Seigel testified in favor of the bill, observing that the bill “has a direct impact on us,” as the Center provides research but does not presently provide drafting assistance to judges. She said that the two-year pilot aspect of the bill as well as the flexibility it would afford the Center in administering the pilot program were good features. The Indiana Judges Association, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and the Southwestern Indiana Chamber of Commerce also testified in favor of the bill. The amended bill passed, 11-0.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard Sen. Steele’s SB 103 making changes to the process of appointing the Judicial Nominating Commission. This bill attempts to include the legislative branch in choosing members of the Judicial Nominating Commission by providing that the non-attorney members of the Judicial Nominating Commission shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of recommended candidates submitted by the president pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the minority leader of the Senate, and the minority leader of the House of Representatives. A member of the Judicial Nominating Commission and Indiana Trial Lawyers Association testified in favor of the bill. The bill passed, 7-1.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard Sen. Buck’s SB 124 removing the requirement that Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges retire at 75 years of age. The bill passed, 6-2.
The Senate Appropriations Committee, for amend and vote only, heard Sen. Smith’s SB 233 on local funds. The bill specified that money in certain county funds may be paid from those funds only upon appropriation by the county fiscal body. The bill repealed a provision specifying that the adult and juvenile supplemental probation services funds may not be used to replace other funding of probation services, provided that money in the county supplemental adult and juvenile probation services funds may be used only to provide probation services and to pay part or all of the salaries of probation officers, and specified that the county fiscal body determines the amount of any appropriations made from the county supplemental adult probation services fund. Under current law, money in the funds may be appropriated only for supplementing those services and supplementing those salaries. The Committee amended the bill to restore the probation user fee provisions to current law, but kept the repeal of provisions specifying that the adult and juvenile supplemental probation services funds may not be used to replace other funding of probation services. The amendment added a provision requiring the judge of a court that expends money appropriated from the supplemental probation services fund to appear before the county fiscal body when requested to report on the expenditure of funds. Similar changes were made with respect to the recorder’s and sheriff’s funds. The amended bill was defeated, 2-9.
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard Rep. Bacon’s HB 1061 allowing the judges of the Warrick Circuit and Superior Courts to jointly appoint a Warrick County courts magistrate. The Commission on Courts made this recommendation in 2010. Warrick County judges, Judge David Kelley, Judge Keith Meier, and Judge Robert Aylsworth testified in support of the bill. The bill passed, 13-0.
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard Rep. Speedy’s HB 1384 on Marion County courts. This bill allows the Marion Superior Court judges to convert 12 full-time commissioners to magistrates after December 31, 2013. In Marion County, it also provides that when a traffic violation infraction enters the deferral program, the defendant shall pay a fee of $35 in addition to the other deferral program fees. The additional fees must be transferred to the Marion County dedicated fund used to pay for compensation of the commissioners and the costs of the county’s guardian ad litem program. Judge David Certo, presiding judge of Marion Superior Court, stated that converting the commissioners to magistrates is supported by the Supreme Court’s Strategic Plan and that he had started discussion with the Commission on Courts regarding this plan. The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council and the Marion County Prosecutors Office testified against raising the price of the deferral program. The Committee held the bill to attempt to address concerns of the Committee.
The House Ways and Means Committee heard HB 1393, authored by Rep. Steuerwald and coauthored by Rep. Richardson, Stemler, and Delaney, on Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (“JTAC”). This bill establishes the Judicial Technology Oversight Committee (“JTOC”) to conduct a continuous study of information technology applications for the judicial system, develop a long range strategy for technology and automation in the judicial system, and make recommendations to the Supreme Court concerning the implementation of policies, standards, and rules that promote the effective use of technology and automation in the courts. The Committee will consist of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Chief Information Officer of the Office of Technology, a member of the Senate, a member of the House of Representatives, a trial court judge, a circuit court clerk; and an attorney admitted to the practice of law in Indiana. This bill also increases the automated record-keeping fee from $5 to $10 for all civil, criminal, infraction, and ordinance violation actions except actions resulting in the accused person entering into a pretrial diversion program agreement, or deferral program agreement. The automated record-keeping fee is $5 for all civil, criminal, infraction, and ordinance violation actions resulting in the accused person entering into a pretrial diversion program agreement, or deferral program agreement. Because counties that do not use the Odyssey CMS get to retain 20% of the automated record-keeping fee presently, the increase in that fee to $10 means that those non-Odyssey counties will keep $2 of each fee. Justice Mark Massa and Donna Edgar of JTAC aided the author in presenting the bill and answering the Committee’s questions. Floyd County Circuit Court Clerk Linda Moeller, the Indiana State Bar Association, and on behalf of the Indiana Judges Association Hamilton County Superior Court Judge William Hughes testified in favor of the bill. Julie Fox, the president of the Clerk’s Association, testified that the Association is neutral. The Association of Indiana Counties, Rep. Peggy Mayfield, and the presidents of Doxpop and CSI testified against the bill. The Committee held the bill for more information.