Highlights from the 2010 Indiana General Assembly for Courts and Clerks
June 16, 2010 by
The Indiana Judicial Conference has compiled an excellent and extensive digest of all legislation passed by the 2010 Indiana General Assembly. The legislative digest of these laws can be found at www.in.gov/legislative/reports/2010/DIGEST_OF_ENACTMENTS.PDF. If you would like to see the entire text of any law, as well as any other legislative action, you may access this information at www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo. This article highlights those new laws that directly impact our courts and clerks in the administration of their duties.
Courts duty to notify the Indiana Attorney general
This law requires courts, both trial and appellate, to certify to the attorney general if the constitutionality of a state statute, ordinance, or franchise affecting the public interest has been called into question and to permit the attorney general to intervene and present arguments and evidence that relate to the question of constitutionality. Authorizes the attorney general’s intervention in cases in which a party bases a claim or defense on a statute or executive order administered by a state officer or agency. It also provides that the attorney general may file an amicus brief in any matter pending before “any state court” without consent of the parties or leave of the court. S.E.A. 394, P.L. 40-2010
Uniform enforcement of foreign judgments act
This legislation revises IC 34-54-11, the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. It adds a new requirement that the clerk must “send notice of the filing of the foreign judgment” to the judgment debtor. It also provides that the judgment creditor “shall mail a notice of the filing of the judgment to the judgment debtor; and file proof of mailing with the clerk.” The legislation does not specify the type of notice to be sent by the clerk or the type of mailing to be used by the judgment creditor, but it does provide that “lack of mailing notice by the clerk does not affect the enforcement of proceedings if proof of mailing by the judgment creditor has been filed.” H.E.A. 1062, P.L. 63-2010
Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee
This law establishes the new Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee and expands the responsibilities of the Committee to include a broad spectrum of criminal law issues.
Committee membership will differ from present Sentencing Policy Study Committee, including a change to a single judicial member appointed by the Chief Justice, and the addition of a probation member appointed by the Probation Officers’ Professional Association. S.E.A. 81, P.L. 100-2010
Bail law changes and court duty to include cost of incarceration in sentencing orders
Changes are made to the Indiana bail law concerning: (1) notices to sureties and bond agents; and (2) failure to appear. The legislative council is urged to assign to the Sentencing Policy Study Committee the issue of whether courts should include the costs of incarceration in sentencing orders, which is set to expire on June 30, 2012. S.E.A. 340, P.L. 105-2010
Court orders in domestic battery cases
Courts may require a person convicted of domestic battery to complete a certified batterer’s intervention program, and may require that a person charged with domestic violence wear a GPS tracking device as a condition of bail. H.E.A. 1234, P.L. 94-2010
Makes a number of child support changes, including the following:
A court must immediately withhold child support in all cases, rather than only Title IV-D cases, unless the parties submit a written agreement in the record which meets certain requirements and is approved by the court. It establishes the information to be included in an income withholding order.
A parent must supply the following information to the Clerk for entry into ISETS: (1) mailing address, (2) telephone numbers, (3) date of birth, (4) driver’s license number, and (5) social security number. The address does not have to be supplied in the case of a participant in the address confidentiality program under IC 5-26.5.
A party affected by a support order must notify the Clerk and the State Central Collection Unit of any change of address not more than 15 days after the party’s address is changed. When a support order is issued or modified, the parties shall inform the child support bureau of the receipt of any AFDC, TANF and the social security number of a child affected by the order.
A court or administrative agency in any child support enforcement action must deem state due process met for a party if a diligent effort was made to ascertain the location of the party in child support cases. Diligent effort in this case means mailing written notice to the party at the most recent residential or employer address filed with the clerk or state central collection unit.
A court may not consider a parent’s absence or relocation due to active duty service as a factor in determining custody or permanently modifying a child custody order. If a court temporarily modifies a custody order due to active duty service, the temporary modification order terminates automatically not later than 10 days after the date the parent notifies the temporary custodian in writing the parent has returned.
A court must order the parent(s) in a support modification proceeding to provide medical support for the child if a Title IV-D agency petitions for the modification and the coverage is available to the parent at a reasonable cost.
Withheld income must be distributed pro rata among the persons entitled to receive the support and in manner that will not result in one of the current child support obligations not being honored. S.E.A. 163, P.L. 80-2010
The Judicial Nominating Commission may certify as Senior Judges magistrates who meet certain criteria. S.E.A. 36, P.L. 3-2010
Interlocal agreements concerning courts
A city or town, without a city or town court, may enter into an interlocal agreement with a city or town, in the same judicial circuit, that has established such a court to hear and dispose of ordinance violations. A city or town that has not established an ordinance violations bureau may also enter into an interlocal agreement with a municipal corporation located in the same judicial circuit that has established an ordinance violations bureau to hear and dispose of ordinance violations. The sums collected under these interlocal agreements shall be accounted for and paid as provided in the interlocal agreement. H.E.A. 1186, P.L. 55-2010
Problem Solving Courts
Establishes the certification of problem solving court models for the judicial monitoring of treatment and rehabilitation including: (1) drug courts, (2) reentry courts, (3) mental health courts, (3) family dependency drug courts, (4) community courts, (5) domestic violence courts, and (6) veterans’ courts. Courts with civil, criminal or juvenile jurisdiction may establish a problem solving court. Eligible criminal defendants and juveniles may participate in a problem solving court pre- or post-conviction or disposition. The board of directors of the Indiana Judicial Conference must adopt rules for the certification and operation of problem solving courts. The Indiana judicial center will oversee the certification of problem solving courts. It also repeals the current drug court and reentry court statutes. H.E.A. 1271, P.L. 108-2010.
Courts may appoint volunteer advocates for incapacitated adults and seniors
This provides that, rather than individual advocates, a court will appoint volunteer advocates for seniors programs or for incapacitated adults programs. It makes changes to the reporting requirements for, duties of, and appointments to programs. A program representative may petition the court for reasonable compensation or reimbursement of expenses. Probate courts in adjacent counties may establish joint or multiple county programs. Probate courts may contract with an Indiana nonprofit or municipal corporation to provide programs. Programs will have the duties of a guardian of a minor. Programs will have certain guardianship responsibilities concerning minors in the program, and regarding the property of an incapacitated adult or senior. H.E.A. 1169, P.L. 72-2010.