Court matters

The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard SB 380 on court matters, sponsored by Rep. Steuerwald.  Sen. Koch presented the bill. The bill does the following:

  • adds a superior court in Hamilton County
  • allows the judges of the Decatur Circuit and Superior Courts to jointly appoint a magistrate to serve the Decatur County courts
  • allows the judges of the Hancock Circuit and Superior Courts to jointly appoint a magistrate to serve the Hancock County courts
  • allows the judges of the Huntington Circuit and Superior Courts to jointly appoint a magistrate to serve the Huntington County courts
  • allows the judges of the Knox Circuit and Superior Courts to jointly appoint a magistrate to serve the Knox County courts
  • allows the judge of the Lake Superior Court division No. 4 to appoint a magistrate to serve the Lake Superior Court division No. 4
  • provides that the: (1) clerk of a circuit court; (2) clerk of a city or town court; or (3) judge of a city or town court that does not have a clerk may retain as an administrative fee in an amount of up to $3 from the excess amount collected by the clerk for general court costs.

The committee amended the bill by consent to provide that the first judge of Hamilton superior court No. 7 shall: (1) be elected at the November 2022 general election; (2) take office January 1, 2023; and (3) serve a term of six years. The Committee also amended the bill by consent to make clarifying changes to the powers and duties of the Marion County courts executive committee; provide that an appointed judicial officer shall be vested by the judges of the family division with suitable powers for the handling of all probate matters of the court; remove or reallocate the powers and duties of a probate hearing judge, probate commissioner, juvenile referee, bail commissioner, and master commissioner; provide that the judicial selection committee nomination procedure shall be followed when filling a vacancy that occurs in a court.

AIM testified in support of the bill.  The amended bill passed 11-0.

Read the bill at:  http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/senate/380