The House Judiciary Committee, for amend and vote only, heard SB 156 on partition sponsored by Rep. Koch and Rep. Foley. This bill establishes a new procedure for partitioning real and personal property that requires a court to refer the matter to mediation to order that the property be sold at auction if the parties are not able to reach an agreement. An amendment to the bill changed the mediation procedure. The bill passed as amended with a vote of 11-0.
The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 322, tort immunity for DOC employees and contractors, sponsored by Rep. Steuerwald. This bill provides for tort immunities for governmental entities and public employees for employees of the Department of Correction (DOC) and contractors of DOC who provide monitoring services or sex offender treatment for certain offenders. It also provides that a governmental entity or government employee is not liable if a loss results from an injury to a person or property of an individual who is on parole. The bill was amended to add qualified immunity to law enforcement officers when providing roadside assistance. Testimony was heard against the bill by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and in support of the bill by a representative of a company that provides products and services for home detention. This bill passed as amended with a vote of 11-1.
The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 329 on eminent domain filing deadlines sponsored by Rep. Messmer and Rep. Battles. This bill specifies that a party to an eminent domain action aggrieved by the assessment of benefits or damages in a report of the appraisers filed with a court may file written exceptions to the assessment in the office of the circuit court clerk after the report of the appraisers is filed with the court not later than 45 days after the date the circuit court mails the report. The bill passed 10-0.
The Senate Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters Committee heard HB 1040 concerning immunity for fast responders sponsored by Sen. Miller. Author Rep. Grubb explained that the bill is intended to establish a structure for community fast responder services in rural areas. Testimony in support of the bill was heard from an EMT, the American Heart Association and the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. An amendment was adopted extending immunity protections to schools when the general public is invited on the premises to engage in physical fitness activities. The amended bill passed 10-0.