Editor’s Note: This report is a condensed version of the full report prepared by the Indiana Judicial Center.
S.E.A. 156, P.L. 41-2012
This law establishes a new procedure for partitioning real and personal property that (1) requires a court to refer the matter to mediation and (2) requires the court to order that the property be sold using a method the parties agree upon, or, if the parties are not able to reach an agreement, at auction.
Security Deposits and Motor Vehicle Laws
S.E.A. 271, P.L. 47-2012
This law prohibits a landlord from requiring a lien on a motor vehicle that is owned by a tenant as a security deposit or to secure the payment of rent and also provides that, if a landlord accepts a lien on a motor vehicle as a security deposit, the landlord must file or record the lien and comply with requirements concerning security deposits to enforce the lien.
Mortgages and Liens on Real Property
S.E.A. 298, P.L. 130-2012
The statute changes the applicable expiration periods for mortgage and vendor’s liens. It also provides that at any time after a judgment and decree of sale is entered in an action to foreclose a mortgage on an interest in real property in Indiana, an interested person or an omitted party may bring a civil action concerning an omitted party’s interest in the property.
Eminent Domain Filing Deadlines
S.E.A. 329, P.L. 50-2012
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.
Criminal History and Sentencing—Infractions
H.E.A. 1033, P.L. 69-2012
The court shall, on its own initiative, order the clerk not to disclose infraction records to a noncriminal justice organization or an individual if the infraction defendant (1) was not prosecuted or if the complaint was dismissed; (2) was acquitted of the infraction; or (3) was adjudged to have committed the infraction but the judgment was vacated. The law contains additional provisions that regulate the proceedings. Five (5) years after the date a person satisfies a judgment imposed on a person for the violation of an infraction, the clerk of the court shall prohibit the disclosure of information related to the infraction to a noncriminal justice organization or an individual.
Agricultural Operations—Restitution for Methamphetamine and Marijuana
H.E.A. 1091, P.L. 73-2012
A court must order a person who manufactures methamphetamine or marijuana on property owned by another to pay certain liquidated damages as restitution to the property owner.
Finding of Abandonment for Mortgaged Property
H.E.A. 1238, P.L. 102-2012
This law provides a procedure by which the court having jurisdiction over an existing mortgage foreclosure action may find that the mortgaged property is abandoned. It specifies rights for parties affected by the procedure.
S.E.A. 1, P.L. 161-2012
This law amends existing statutes concerning what circumstances must be present to justify the use of reasonable force against a public servant. It amends existing law to specify that a person is not justified in using deadly force against a public servant whom the person knows or reasonably should know is a public servant unless (1) the person reasonably believes that the public servant is (a) acting unlawfully or (b) not engaged in the execution of the public servant’s official duties and (2) the force is reasonably necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person.
S.E.A. 4, P.L. 1-2012
This law amends the offense of promoting human trafficking by adding the element that the perpetrator’s promotion be by “force, threat of force, or fraud” and adds “participating in sexual conduct” as one of the activities the victim is coerced to do. It also creates a new crime of human trafficking and expands the reach of the existing statute governing that offense.
S.E.A. 97, P.L. 117-2012
This statute amends the offense of public intoxication to provide that one may not be convicted of that offense unless he (1) endangers his life; (2) endangers the life of another person; (3) breaches the peace or is in imminent danger of breaching the peace; or (4) harasses, annoys, or alarms another person. It prohibits a person from maintaining an action against a law enforcement officer based on the officer’s failure to enforce certain laws concerning public intoxication offenses.
Lab Technician Testimony in Criminal Cases
S.E.A. 246, P.L. 44-2012
This new penal code chapter requires a prosecuting attorney who intends to introduce a laboratory report into evidence at a criminal trial to file a notice of intent at least 20 days before trial, and requires a defendant who wishes to cross-examine the technician who prepared the laboratory report to file a pretrial demand for cross-examination not later than 10 days after receiving the notice from the prosecutor. It provides penalties for the failure to comply.
Immunity for Certain Alcohol Offenses
S.E.A. 274, P.L. 93-2012
A law enforcement officer may not take a person into custody for the crime of public intoxication or minor possession, consumption, or transportation of an alcoholic beverage if the officer, after making a reasonable determination and considering the facts and surrounding circumstances, reasonably believes that the person needed emergency medical assistance and meets other requirements. A person meeting the requirements is immune from criminal prosecution for public intoxication or minor possession, consumption or transportation of an alcoholic beverage.
Criminal History and Sentencing—Converting D Felony to A Misdemeanor
H.E.A. 1033, P.L. 69-2012
A court may convert a Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor conviction under certain specified conditions. This statute provides that, if a person whose felony conviction was converted is convicted of a felony within five years after the conversion, then a prosecuting attorney may petition a court to convert the person’s Class A misdemeanor conviction back to a Class D felony conviction.
H.E.A. 1080, P.L. 72-2012
This law amends existing statutes to define as a sex offender a service provider who commits sexual misconduct with a child who is subject to lawful detention. It also amends the offense of felony sexual battery and creates a defense to the offense of recruiting, harboring, or transporting a child less than 16 years of age with the intent of inducing him or her to participate in sexual conduct.
H.E.A. 1196, P.L. 78-2012
This statute changes the term “synthetic cannabinoid” to “synthetic drug” in certain statutes governing marijuana and amends controlled substance statutes to add additional chemical compounds to the definition of synthetic drugs as well as expands the definition of synthetic drugs to include certain chemical compounds that are structurally related to synthetic drugs.
Various Corrections Matters
H.E.A. 1200, P.L. 147-2012
A sentencing court must inform the Department of Correction (DOC) that a person sentenced is a credit restricted felon. The court must also state certain information in its sentencing order and abstract of judgment, which is to be completed in an electronic format approved by the DOC and the Division of State Court Administration. The court must include in the abstract of judgment (1) each offense the person is convicted of, (2) the sentence received by the person, and (3) whether the person is a credit restricted felon. The statute requires the Judicial Conference to adopt rules concerning swift and certain sanctions that a probation officer may use in supervising persons on probation and provides procedures for sanctions to be imposed by probation officers. It further provides for reductions of credit time earned by certain offenders and for probationers to be responsible for certain costs. Please note that the Indiana Supreme Court incorporated the requirement for the completion of an electronic abstract of judgment into Criminal Rule 15.2 and extended the requirement to all felony convictions, not just those in which the defendant is sentenced to the DOC.
FAMILY AND JUVENILE LAW
Duty to Support a Child
S.E.A. 18, P.L. 111-2012
The duty to support a child, which does not include support for educational needs, ceases when a child becomes 19 years of age with certain statutory exceptions recognized. The Indiana Judicial Center has released an advisory memorandum that discusses the legal issues relevant to reducing the age of emancipation to 19 years.
S.E.A. 32, P.L. 115-2012
A minor who has not been adjudicated an incapacitated person and the minor’s guardian may jointly petition the court to extend the guardianship beyond the date the minor attains 18 years of age. The court may extend the guardianship until age 22 if it is in the best interests of the protected person.
Study of Termination of Parental Rights in Rape Cases
S.E.A. 190, P.L. 156-2012
The legislative council is urged to assign to the Indiana Child Custody and Support Advisory Committee the task of studying the termination of parenting rights of an individual with a child who was conceived by an act of rape by that individual.
Record of Marriage
S.E.A. 249, P.L. 2012
A clerk of a circuit court may forward a record of marriage to the State Department of Health in a paper or an electronic form, but, if forwarded electronically, the record need not be forwarded in paper form.
Education concerning Child Abuse
H.E.A. 267, P.L. 46-2012
This statute requires the DOE and DCS to develop educational materials for schools using evidence based models to teach children about reporting child abuse.
Department of Child Services
S.E.A. 286, P.L. 48-2012
This law makes numerous changes in child services laws including the responsibilities of DCS and the courts. It provides that a court may appoint a court appointed special advocate or a guardian ad litem only if the person has training appropriate for that role, including training in (1) the identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect, and (2) early childhood, child, and adolescent development. The Division of State Court Administration is currently developing a training curriculum to meet the requirements of the law.
Military Custody and Parenting Time
H.E.A. 1065, P.L. 55-2012
Upon motion by a parent who has received military deployment or temporary duty orders, a court must hold an expedited hearing to determine or modify custody or parenting time and allow the parent to present evidence by certain electronic means under certain circumstances. This law permits a court to delegate all or a portion of the parent’s parenting time while deployed if doing so is in the best interests of the child.
Allen Circuit Court
S.E.A. 152, P.L. 39-2012
This statute converts the Allen Circuit Court hearing officer to a magistrate on July 1, 2013.
Pro Bono Legal Services Filing Fee
H.E.A. 1049, P.L. 136-2012
Among other things, this law imposes, until July 1, 2017, a pro bono legal services fee of $1.00 on parties who file certain civil actions that is to be transferred to the Indiana Bar Foundation, where it is to be used to assist or establish approved pro bono legal services programs.
Johnson Superior Court and Wabash City Court
H.E.A. 1092, P.L. 74-2012
This law adds a fourth judge to the Johnson Superior Court as of January 1, 2015 and provides that the Wabash City Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Wabash Circuit Court in civil cases in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $1,500.00.
Power of Attorney and Attorney In Fact
S.E.A. 157, P.L. 42-2012
A copy of a power of attorney has the same force and effect as the original if the grantor of the power certifies that the copy is true and correct. A child of the principal may request an accounting with respect to transactions entered into by an attorney in fact.
Immediate Detention Orders
S.E.A. 176, P.L. 62-2012
A court may order an individual to be transported to an appropriate facility (excluding a state institution) for a preliminary medical and psychological evaluation if the court has reasonable grounds to believe that the individual (1) has a mental illness, (2) is dangerous, and (3) is in immediate need of hospitalization and treatment.
S.E.A. 293, P.L. 157-2012
This law, among other inheritance tax changes, phases out the inheritance tax over a 9 year period beginning in 2013.
Various Estate Administration Matters
H.E.A. 1258, P.L. 149-2012
This law makes numerous changes in matters involving estate administration, including taxes on transfers to various entities, probate of foreign wills, fees of a surrogate attorney, powers of a standby guardian, amendments of trusts, and amendments regarding a personality’s rights of publicity.