Traffic Law

February 21, 2014 | Category: Traffic

The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee heard HB 1279 authored by Representative McMillin and sponsored by Senator Young concerning various motor vehicle issues. An amendment was adopted by consent that: (1) changes the effective date in almost all sections of the bill to Jan 1, 2015; (2) rules out amelioration; and (3) addresses license suspensions while a person is incarcerated by removing language providing suspensions are stayed during incarceration as the BMV has trouble tracking the stays. This legislation is the Title 9 companion to HB 1006 that came from a summer study committee. The bill (1) gets rid of surplus language, (2) has Title 9 changed to conform to technical provisions of 1006, and (3) clears up suspension laws to make them consistent and to assist everyone in knowing what a suspension is. The bill also removes mandatory minimums for suspensions, to free up courts to have discretion to allow “specialized privileges.” The authored clarified that the bill also addresses the window tint statute to address the issue of “pretextual” stops, but does not change the percentage of tint permitted on windows. The bill addresses the regulation and monitoring of ignition interlock devices. The bill also creates an enhancement penalty by creating a habitual vehicular substance offender penalty provision – more than two vehicular substance offenses in a ten year period becomes an aggravator with a sentence enhancement of one to eight years.  Additionally, the bill makes some changes to the notification requirements for individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents or accidents involving damages to property. Issues were discussed related to the interlock devices, and Representative McMillin said authorizing the Department of Toxicology to certify the devices is intended to ensure the equipment meets appropriate specifications. The traffic safety resource attorney for the Prosecuting Attorneys Council testified in favor of the bill and explained several of the ignition interlock provisions and habitual vehicular substance offender section. A representative from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles also testified in support of the amendment addressing license suspensions while incarcerated and delaying the bill’s effective date, while remaining neutral overall on the bill. The amended bill passed 10-0.

[Permalink]

General Information

February 14, 2014 | Category: General

This is the sixth weekly installment of the Legislative Update for the 2014 legislative session. If you are interested in reading the text of any bill introduced this session, you may find the bill information at the link below:

All Introduced Bills

This week the Senate and House committees heard the following bills of interest to the judiciary:

[Permalink]

Criminal Law

February 14, 2014 | Category: Criminal

The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 227, sponsored by Rep. McMillin and Rep. Frye, on alcohol and medical emergencies. This bill provides that a person is immune from arrest or prosecution for certain alcohol offenses if the arrest or prosecution is due to the person: (1) reporting a medical emergency; (2) being the victim of a sex offense; or (3) witnessing and reporting what the person believes to be a crime. It also establishes a mitigating circumstance for the sentencing of a person convicted of a controlled substance offense if the person’s arrest or prosecution was facilitated in part because the person requested emergency medical assistance for an individual in need of medical assistance due to the use of alcohol or a controlled substance. The bill also permits a court to defer entering a judgment of conviction for an individual arrested for an alcohol offense if the individual was arrested after a report that the person needed medical assistance due to the use of alcohol if certain conditions are met. Additionally, the bill permits an emergency medical responder, a firefighter, or a law enforcement officer to administer an overdose prevention drug to a person suffering from an overdose. An amendment was adopted that requires the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana to study and evaluate crimes of sexual violence against children and the impact of social media, wireless communications, digital media, and new technology on crimes against children. The amendment also requires the State Department of health or the Office of Women’s Health to conduct a study to determine the number of persons who are the victims of crimes of domestic or sexual violence, the reasons why these crimes are underreported, best practices to improve reporting, and the most effective means to connect victims with appropriate treatment services.  Testimony was heard in favor of the bill.  The bill passed 12-0.

The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 236, sponsored by Rep. Steuerwald and Rep. McMillin, on the criminal law provisions of IC 7.1. This bill revises numerous provisions of IC 7.1 that deal with criminal liability. It also removes the requirement that the driver’s license of a minor shall be suspended if the minor commits certain offenses related to the unlawful purchase, use, or consumption of an alcoholic beverage if the offenses do not involve the use of a motor vehicle, and makes certain juvenile offenses infractions. The bill was amended by consent to strike a portion that increased penalties for a specific crime. The amended bill passed 11-1.

The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee heard Rep. Steuerwald’s HB1006, sponsored by Sen. Steele and Sen. M. Young, that reconciles technical and substantive conflicts between HEA 1006-2013 (the criminal code revision bill) and other bills concerning criminal law. Rep. Steuerwald presented the bill (a full description of the bill as amended in the House may be found in the January 24, 2014 edition of this blog).  A number of the changes made in the House were the subject of the extensive testimony in the Senate Committee. The bill had been amended by the House to raise the penalty levels adopted last year for drug-dealing crimes and to cut back some of the relaxations in sentence suspendibility.  To help offset the potential increases in prison populations these changes pose, the House changed the standard credit time “one day for three days served” policy in last year’s reform legislation to make an exception for misdemeanants and the lowest level felons (Level 6), who will instead earn one day of credit time for each day. The House also  reduced the “drug  free zone” penalty enhancement for drug crimes from the  500 foot radius adopted last year to a 250 foot radius from schools and parks. The House also removed the 2013 legislation’s requirements that children be present in the zones and also added back family housing complexes and child care facilities as hubs for the zones.  The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council spoke at length about these and other aspects of the bill believed to offset possible increases in Department of Correction inmate levels the House changes may bring. Several prosecutors also spoke in favor of the House version of the bill. Defense attorneys and public defenders urged the Committee to strike the House additions increasing drug dealing penalties, habitual offender minimum sentences, restrictions in suspendibility discretion, and the addition of child care facilities and family housing complexes as hubs for “drug free zones.”

The Indiana Public Defender Council expanded upon the earlier remarks from public defenders, urging the Committee to add language prohibiting prosecutors from requiring plea bargain waivers of the sentence modification remedy and to consider raising the amounts of controlled substances required to bump up the lower felony levels for drug offenses. Hendricks County Superior #1 Judge Robert Freese approved of the bill’s authorization for prosecutor pretrial diversion programs for persons charged with Level 6 and 5 felonies, saying he expected it could have a “huge” impact in reducing the caseloads for offenses like theft or driving while suspended.  After Committee discussion, Sen. Young presented an amendment adding a new section allowing the option of charging persons based on the aggregate amount of a drug they possessed, sold, or manufactured over a thirty day period, instead of charging them on the basis of the amounts possessed in individual instances within the thirty days.  He observed that this was done in the federal system, and said that he proposed it primarily to have the Senate version of the bill differ from the House version so as to insure the bill would go to a conference committee. That amendment was adopted by a 5-3 vote. Sen. Steele introduced an amendment that was adopted by consent specifying that a person held in jail awaiting trial on multiple charges would be assigned to the credit time earning class applicable to the most serious of the charges.  Sen. Steele’s amendment also provided that, if a person was convicted of charges which were more serious than the ones he had been held on pending trial, his pretrial confinement credit time would be calculated based on the credit time class for the most serious of the offenses of which he was convicted. The amended bill passed 6-2.

The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee heard HB 1268, Rep. Steuerwald’s bill sponsored by Sen. M. Young and Sen. Steele on probation and community corrections treatment. This bill requires use of evidence-based practices in community corrections programs and will enact cooperative grant-making procedures for community corrections and probation to be used by the Department of Corrections (“DOC”) and the Indiana Judicial Center. Rep. Steuerwald praised the cooperation between the DOC community corrections personnel and the Judicial Center. Sen. Young brought an amendment that would put into HB 1268 the language in his SB 235 on the Marion County mental health and forensic treatment pilot project, modified to be of statewide applicability and with all funding provisions removed to avoid appropriations consideration. Sen. Young’s amendment was adopted by consent. The Probation Officers Professional Association of lndiana, Community Mental Health Centers, Mental Health of Indiana, Monroe County Community Corrections, Prosecuting Attorneys Council, and Public Defender Council all testified in support of the bill, which passed as amended 9-0.

[Permalink]

Family & Juvenile Law

February 14, 2014 | Category: Family/Juvenile

The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 19, sponsored by Rep. Steuerwald and Rep. McMillin, regarding access to juvenile court records. The introduced version of the bill was prepared by the Commission on Courts. This bill makes paternity, custody, parenting time and child support juvenile case records involving parents who are not married to each other publically accessible. The Indiana State Bar Association, Family and Juvenile Law Section and the Hoosier State Press Association testified in support of the bill. The bill passed 10-0.

The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 63, sponsored by Rep. Steuerwald and Rep. McMillin, changing the penalty enhancement for nonsupport of a child from a Level 6 felony to a Level 5 felony if the person has a previous conviction for the offense. It also changes the procedure for a court to lower the penalty for a person convicted of nonsupport of a child. The Prosecuting Attorneys Council testified in support of the bill. An amendment passed fixing a technicality and removing the requirement that the prosecutor agree to the reduction of the penalty. The amended bill passed 11-0.

[Permalink]

Judicial Administration

February 14, 2014 | Category: Administration

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 1095, sponsored by Sen. Merritt, allowing the judges of the Hamilton circuit court and the judges of the Hamilton superior court to jointly appoint three full-time Hamilton County magistrates. Current law only provides that judges of the Hamilton superior court have this power. The bill passed 6-0.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 1178, sponsored by Sen. Head, adding that an individual who is employed or was formerly employed as a judge of a federal court to the definition of “judge” for purposes of restricted addresses of judges. The bill passed 6-0.

[Permalink]

Miscellaneous

February 14, 2014 | Category: Miscellaneous

The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 24, the technical corrections bill sponsored by Rep. Steuerwald and Rep. McMillin. The introduced version of the bill was prepared by the Code Revision Commission to resolve technical conflicts between differing 2013 amendments to Indiana Code sections and make other technical changes to the Indiana Code. The bill passed 9-0.

[Permalink]

General Information

February 6, 2014 | Category: General

We have reached the mid-point of the legislative session and this week’s blog is a series of topical charts detailing the status of bills of interest to the judiciary heard on third reading. If a bill was amended at any stage in the legislative process, it is designated with an “-A” at the relevant stage.

If you are interested in reading the text of any bill introduced this session, you may find the bill information at the following link:

All Introduced Bills

[Permalink]

Civil Law

February 6, 2014 | Category: Civil

Bill No. Bill Title Committee 2nd Reading 3rd Reading Sponsor(s)
SB 19 Access to juvenile court records 1/9/14 Do Pass –A 1/13/14 Engrossed 1/16/14 Passed 42-1 Steuewald, McMillin
SB 40 Nonparty immunity 1/30/14 Do Pass –A 2/3/14 Engrossed 2/4/14 Passed 48-0 McMillin
SB 138 Victim advocates in civil proceedings 1/23/14 Do Pass 1/27/14 Engrossed 1/28/14 Passed 49-0 Kubacki, Lawson
SB 290 Medical debt collection procedures 1/30/14 Do Pass –A 2/3/14 Engrossed 2/4/14 Passed 47-1 DeLaney, Steuerwald
HB 1369 Garnishment of state tax refunds 1/28/14 Do Pass –A 1/30/14 Engrossed 2/3/14 Passed 95-0 Steele, Broden
[Permalink]

Criminal Law

February 6, 2014 | Category: Criminal

Bill No. Bill Title Committee 2nd Reading 3rd Reading Sponsor(s)
SB 28 Alcohol consumption by a minor 1/15/14 Do Pass –A 1/30/14 Engrossed 2/3/14 Passed 46-2 Wesco
SB 43 Child seduction 1/23/14 Do Pass –A 1/27/14 Engrossed 1/28/14 Passed 49-0 Ober, Culver
SB 52 Criminal penalties and DNR 1/30/14 Do Pass –A 2/3/14 Engrossed 2/4/14 Passed 48-0 Eberhart
SB 63 Nonsupport of a child 1/15/14 Do Pass –A 1/21/14 Engrossed 1/23/14 Passed 38-10 McMillin, Steuerwald
SB 64 Downloading of cell phone information by police 1/30/14 Do Pass 2/3/14 Engrossed 2/4/14 Passed 45-3 Speedy
SB 101 Agricultural operations and trespass 1/23/14 Do Pass –A 1/28/14 Engrossed –A 1/30/14 Passed 41-5 Steuerwald
SB 134 Fraudulent liens and encumbrances 1/23/14 Do Pass –A 1/27/14 Engrossed 1/28/14 Passed 48-1 Steuerwald, DeLaney
SB 169 Providing firearms to a felon 1/30/14 Do Pass –A 2/3/14 Engrossed –A 2/4/14 Passed 43-5 McMillin, Steuerwald
SB 170 Sexual misconduct by a service provider 1/30/14 Do Pass –A 2/3/14 Engrossed 2/4/14 Passed 48-0 Dermody, Lawson
SB 171 Community supervision 1/30/14 Do Pass –A 2/3/14 Engrossed 2/4/14 Passed 48-0 McMillin, Steuerwald
SB 227 Alcohol and medical emergencies 1/23/14 Do Pass –A 1/27/14 Engrossed –A 1/28/14 Passed 49-0 McMillin, Frye
SB 236 Criminal law provisions of IC 7.1 1/15/14 Do Pass –A 1/21/14 Engrossed 1/23/14 Passed 47-0 Steuerwald, McMillin
SB 251 Animal control and protection 1/30/14 Do Pass –A 2/3/14 Engrossed –A 2/4/14 Passed 37-11 Carbaugh, GiaQuinta
SB 291 Human trafficking investigations 1/23/14 Do Pass 1/27/14 Engrossed 1/28/14 Passed 49-0 Cox, McNamara
SB 305 Schedule I drugs and “spice” 1/23/14 Do Pass –A 1/27/14 Engrossed 1/28/14 Passed 48-1 M. Smith
SB 395 Bail 1/30/14 Do Pass –A 2/3/14 Engrossed 2/4/14 Passed 34-14 McMillin, Koch
HB 1006 Reconciles technical and substantive conflicts between HEA 1006-2013 (the criminal code revision bill) and other bills concerning criminal law 1/23/14 Do Pass –A 1/27/14 Engrossed 1/28/14 Passed 90-4 Steele, M. Young
HB 1009 Surveillance and privacy 1/28/14 Do Pass –A 1/30/14 Engrossed –A 2/3/14 Passed 85-11 Steele
HB 1140 Parole 1/16/14 Do Pass 1/21/14 Engrossed 1/23/14 Passed 81-15 Tomes
HB 1155 Expungement 1/16/14 Do Pass –A 1/21/14 Engrossed 1/23/14 Passed 81-15 Steele
HB 1268 Probation and community corrections treatment 1/23/14 Do Pass 1/27/14 Engrossed 1/28/14 Passed 94-0 M. Young, Steele
HB 1269 HEA 1006-2013 follow-up 1/23/14 Do Pass 1/27/14 Engrossed 1/28/14 Passed 92-1 M. Young, Steele
HB 1378 Familial DNA searches 1/23/14 Do Pass 1/27/14 Engrossed 1/28/14 Passed 98-1 Zakas
HB 1384 Downloading of cellular telephone information by police 1/27/14 Do Pass 1/29/14 Engrossed 1/30/14 Passed 87-3 Waltz
[Permalink]

Family & Juvenile Law

February 6, 2014 | Category: Family/Juvenile

Bill No. Bill Title Committee 2nd Reading 3rd Reading Sponsor(s)
SB 27 Petitions for adoption 1/16/14 Do Pass –A 1/21/14 Engrossed 1/23/14 Passed 48-0 Richardson, Head
SB 59 Guardian filing for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or annulment 1/23/14 Do Pass –A 2/3/14 Engrossed –A 2/4/14 Passed 42-6 Mayfield
SB 160 Courts and court officers 1/16/14 Do Pass –A 1/21/14 Engrossed 1/24/14 Passed 45-0 T. Brown, Goodin
HB 1110 Department of child services 1/16/14 Do Pass 1/21/14 Engrossed 1/23/14 Passed 95-0 Holdman
HB 1014 Dissolution in cases of domestic violence 1/28/14 Do Pass 1/30/14 Engrossed 2/3/14 Passed 96-0 Bray
[Permalink]

← Previous PageNext Page →