Civil Law

April 9, 2015 | Category: Civil

The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 98 concerning lawsuits against gun manufacturers sponsored by Reps. Smaltz and Torr.  Rep. Smaltz presented the bill, which seeks to amend provisions in Title 34 to prohibit bringing or maintaining certain lawsuits against weapons manufacturers, effective retroactively to August 26, 1999.  After receiving testimony and committee discussion, the bill passed 7-4.

The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 282 concerning unclaimed property act and savings bonds sponsored by Rep. Wesco.  The bill authorizes the Attorney General to process unclaimed savings bonds held for more than 20 years as unclaimed property. The bill also authorizes the Attorney General to claim unclaimed savings bonds held by the federal government if the bond was purchased in Indiana or held by an Indiana resident.  A representative for the Attorney General’s office testified in support, and the bill passed 9-0.

The House Judiciary Committee continued its discussion from a few weeks ago on SB 307 concerning consumer protection authored and presented by Sen. Bray. The Committee adopted an amendment by consent that clarifies that telephone service providers are not subject to the provisions of this bill.  The committee also accepted a second amendment by consent to provide that the issuer of life insurance must include certain disclaimers that the insurance policy is not a contract for prepaid services or merchandise under IC 30-2-13, or a funeral policy; and the proceeds are not guaranteed to be exempt as a resource from Medicaid. The Committee considered an amendment relating to the home improvement fraud provisions of the bill. After discussion on those provisions and the amendments, the Committee removed the home improvement fraud sections of the bill.  A representative from the Attorney General’s office testified on the bill and the amendments.  The amended bill passed 7-3.

The House Judiciary Committee continued its discussion from last week on SB 524 concerning tax deeds and conveyance documents authored and presented by Sen. Zakas.  An amendment was offered that makes the provision on tax deeds and tax sales effective January 1, 2016, and the provision on recording certain documents effective upon passage; clarifies that if a purchaser fails to include the specified documents with the verified petition, the tax deed is not prima facie evidence of the sale; clarifies that if verified petitions are filed by the county auditor under an agreement with the county treasurer, the tax deed constitutes prima facie evidence of the validity of the sale upon timely production of all copies of the notices, etc., in response to a challenge to a tax deed; and specifies that if the issuance of a tax deed does not constitute prima facie evidence, then the purchaser has the burden of proving the validity of the sale by a preponderance of the evidence.  The amendment was adopted by consent.  The Indiana State Bar testified in support of the amended bill.  The bill passed as amended 10-0.