Monday, September 1, 2014

2013 Legislative Review

August 16, 2013 by Editor

Editor’s Note: This report is a condensed version of the full report prepared by the Indiana Judicial Center (IJC) and only contains highlights of selected bills.

The IJC legislative report that contains summaries of all bills of interest passed in the 2013 session can be can be found at http://indianacourts.us/blogs/legislative

The entire text of any law, as well as any other legislative action, is available at http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo

Further information or requests on any legislation may be directed to Doyal McLemore at 317-232-2542 or by email at doyal.mclemore@courts.in.gov.


CIVIL LAW

Methamphetamine Vehicle Information Disclosure

S.E.A. 277, P.L. 76-2013
This law requires a dealer or seller who knows or reasonably should know that methamphetamine has been manufactured in a motor vehicle within the previous two years to disclose this fact, in writing, to a buyer, prospective buyer, lessee, or prospective lessee of the motor vehicle before the sale. The law also creates remedies for the buyer for the failure to make this disclosure.

Non-named Parties in Foreclosure Actions

S.E.A. 279, P.L. 189-2013
This law eliminates a provision under which certain omitted parties (parties who have an interest in the property subject to a mortgage foreclosure action but who are not named in the action) are bound by the court’s judgment in the foreclosure action as if they had been parties to it.

Fraud

S.E.A. 559, P.L. 197-2013
This statute establishes procedures for filing a civil action on behalf of the state to recover money owed to the state, plus civil penalties and damages, due to the filing of a false claim under the Medicaid program. It provides that the attorney general and the inspector general have concurrent jurisdiction to investigate such false claims. The statute also enacts other provisions concerning administration of the Medicaid program and the law of fraud generally.

Civil Immunity for Services in Emergency

H.E.A. 1027, P.L. 96-2013
Civil immunity is granted to a registered architect, land surveyor, or professional engineer who provides, without compensation, professional services related to a declared emergency.

Mortgages and Vendor’s Liens on Real Property

H.E.A. 1079, P.L. 18-2013
This law provides that if the record of a mortgage or vendor’s lien that was created before July 1, 2012, does not show the due date of the last installment, the mortgage or vendor’s lien expires 20 years (instead of 10 years under current law) after the date of execution of the lien. It also enacts additional provisions regarding the enforcement of mortgage and vendor’s liens.

Various Property Issues

H.E.A. 1084, P.L. 231-2013
A party filing a civil action to foreclose a mortgage is required to pay a $50 mortgage foreclosure counseling and education fee to be deposited in the home ownership education account.

School Liability

H.E.A. 1159, P.L. 220-2013
This law limits the liability of a public school or an accredited nonpublic school that provides community use physical fitness activities to the general public. It specifies that the tort claims act applies to charter schools, and provides tort claims immunity to a public or charter school for a claim based on the adoption or enforcement of a policy, or on the failure to adopt or enforce a policy.

Donations of Agricultural Products and Livestock

H.E.A. 1519, P.L. 155-2013
Agricultural products and livestock are added to the items for which a person, who in good faith donates the item to a charitable entity, is not liable for civil damages unless the damages are the result of that person’s intentional, knowing, or reckless misconduct. The statute restricts immunity under certain circumstances for gifts of food items to charitable entities and also limits a charitable entity’s liability for civil damages.

CRIMINAL LAW

Habitual Offender Charge Filing Deadline

S.E.A. 31, P.L. 24-2013
An indictment or information may be amended to include a habitual offender charge if the amendment is filed at least 30 days before trial and may be made at any time if it does not prejudice the substantial rights of the defendant. A continuance may be granted based upon such an amendment under certain circumstances.

Child Seduction

S.E.A. 53, P.L. 208-2013
This statute defines “professional relationship” and provides that a person who: (1) has a professional relationship with a child; (2) may exert undue influence on the child because of the professional relationship; and (3) uses the person’s professional relationship to engage in sexual conduct with a child at least 16 years of age but less than 18 years of age commits child seduction.

Statutes of Limitations Involving Child Sex Abuse

S.E.A. 142, P.L. 44-2013
This statute increases the statute of limitations for a civil action based on child sexual abuse as well as the statute of limitations for the criminal prosecution of certain sex offenses involving children.

Chemical Tests for Intoxication

S.E.A. 168, P.L. 237-2013
A bodily substance sample may be obtained by any person qualified through training, experience, or education to obtain a bodily substance sample, and a law enforcement officer may not obtain a blood sample if the blood sample is to be obtained from another law enforcement officer as a result of the other law enforcement officer’s involvement in an accident or alleged crime. The statute specifies other conditions for a law enforcement officer to obtain a bodily substance sample from someone who is not a law enforcement officer.

Child Exploitation and Child Pornography

S.E.A. 223, P.L. 181-2013
This law provides new definitions of child exploitation as a Class C felony and child pornography as a Class D felony.

Child Solicitation and Attempt

S.E.A. 347, P.L. 247-2013
This law raises the offense of child solicitation to a Class B felony if a person solicits the child to engage in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct and the person: (1) has a previous conviction; or (2) travels to meet the child after using a computer network to solicit the child. It specifies conditions for the sex offender’s probation, parole, or participation in a community transition program and establishes other crimes involving deviate sexual conduct and behavior.

Intimidation

S.E.A. 361, P.L. 123-2013
For the crime of intimidation, the word “communicates” in the statute includes posting a message electronically, including on a social networking web site. The statute provides that the offense is either a Class D felony or a Class C felony depending upon the person to whom the communication is directed.

Control of Ephedrine/Pseudoephedrine

S.E.A. 496, P.L. 193-2013
This law specifies that ephedrine or pseudoephedrine may be sold only by a pharmacy or a retailer that uses the NPLEx tracking system and allows a retailer who: (1) does not use the NPLEx tracking system; and (2) meets certain other requirements to sell ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in convenience packages until January 1, 2014. Limits on the amount of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine that may be sold or purchased in a 365 day period are established.

Human Trafficking

S.E.A. 509, P.L. 55-2013
The statute defines promotion of human trafficking of a minor as knowingly or intentionally recruiting, harboring, or transporting a child less than 18 years of age with the intent of (1) engaging the child in forced labor or involuntary servitude; or (2) inducing or causing the child to engage in prostitution or an unlawful performance that includes sexual conduct. It defines sexual trafficking of a minor as knowingly or intentionally selling or transfering custody of a child less than 18 years of age for sexual purposes.

Synthetic Drugs

S.E.A. 536, P.L. 196-2013
The attorney general is permitted to issue a civil investigative demand to obtain immediate access to records relating to the sale of synthetic drugs, and comprehensive provisions concerning the regulation of such drugs are enacted.

Various Changes to the Criminal Code

H.E.A. 1006, P.L. 158-2013
This law makes numerous changes to the criminal code, including removing the current four level felony penalty classification and replacing it with a six level felony penalty classification as well as assigning new felony penalties to each crime.

Killing a Law Enforcement Animal

H.E.A. 1093, P.L. 161-2013
This law requires a court to order a person convicted of the offense of: (1) striking, tormenting, injuring, or otherwise mistreating a law enforcement animal; or (2) interfering with the actions of a law enforcement animal while the animal is engaged in assisting a law enforcement officer, to make restitution to the person or law enforcement agency that owns the animal for reimbursement of replacement costs of the animal if it is permanently disabled or killed.

Sale of Electronic Cigarettes to Minors

H.E.A. 1225, P.L. 20-2013
The sale of electronic cigarettes to individuals less than 18 years of age is prohibited, and regulations and criminal penalties concerning electronic cigarettes are established.

Unlawful Possession of Items in Penal Facilities

H.E.A. 1256, P.L. 5-2013
This statute requires a court to impose a fine of at least $500 but not more than $5,000 on a person who is: (1) an employee of the department of correction or a penal facility; and (2) convicted of committing trafficking with an inmate as a Class A misdemeanor, if the article involved was a cigarette or tobacco product. The statute also creates additional felonies and misdemeanors for unlawful possession of items in penal facilities.

Restricting Criminal Background Checks

H.E.A. 1392, P.L. 112-2013
This law repeals a provision that required clerks to restrict disclosure of an infraction five years after it had been satisfied. However, under the new law, a person may petition a court to restrict disclosure of an infraction five years after it has been satisfied. It specifies that a clerk is not a “criminal history provider” under the law.

Expungement

H.E.A. 1482, P.L. 159-2013
A court shall expunge records concerning misdemeanor convictions and minor Class D felony convictions under certain circumstances, and may expunge records concerning certain more serious felony convictions. A court is required to seal the arrest records of a person who was arrested but not prosecuted or whose conviction was overturned on appeal. The law establishes procedures to expunge records generally and requires payment of the civil filing fee to petition to expunge a conviction. It makes numerous conforming changes in the law of expungement.

FAMILY AND JUVENILE LAW

Child Support

S.E.A. 6, P.L. 207-2013
Child support provisions in proceedings relating to dissolution are made the same as child support provisions in proceedings relating to paternity. Certain educational support petitions may be filed, and certain persons are permitted to file a subsequent petition for educational support.

Child Fatality Reviews and Commission on Children

S.E.A. 125, P.L. 119-2013
The commission on improving the status of children is established in Indiana to: (1) study issues concerning vulnerable youth; (2) review legislation; (3) cooperate with other entities; and (4) take other actions relating to children. A child services oversight committee is created to achieve corresponding objectives, and a local child fatality review team in each county is also established. Responsibilities for each of these new entities are specified so as to provide oversight for child fatalities.

Child in Need of Services Petitions

S.E.A. 164, P.L. 236-2013
A prosecuting attorney is allowed to request a juvenile court to authorize the filing of a petition alleging that a child is a child in need of services, and a prosecuting attorney is required to represent the interests of the state in the child in need of services proceeding, unless the prosecuting attorney and the department of child services agree that the department shall represent the interests of the state in that proceeding.

Petition to Modify Custody and Visitation

S.E.A. 202, P.L. 239-2013
This law provides that if a person files a petition to establish or modify a guardianship, visitation, or child custody, a party to the proceeding shall inform the court if: (1) a party has been determined to be a perpetrator in a substantiated report of child abuse or neglect; or (2) the child named in the petition has been the subject of a substantiated report of child abuse and neglect, has been determined to be a child in need of services, or has been involved in an informal adjustment.

Absenteeism

H.E.A. 338, P.L. 246-2013
This statute establishes a commission to study absences from school and to evaluate the effectiveness of voluntary agreements between school corporations and courts having juvenile jurisdiction in providing court supervised education, alternative or diversion programs for habitually truant, suspended or expelled students.

Budget Bill-Judge Calls DCS for Assessment of Abuse or Neglect

H.E.A. 1001, P.L. 205-2013
If a report of known or suspected child abuse or neglect is received from a judge or prosecutor requesting the Department of Child Services to initiate a child protection assessment, the department shall initiate an assessment in accordance with this section. When confronted with a potential case of child abuse or neglect, a judge who wishes to contact the department shall first use the child abuse hotline to report the suspected child abuse or neglect to the department.

Adoption History Information

H.E.A. 1029, P.L. 97-2013
This law adds a relative of an adoptee and a pre-adoptive sibling to the list of interested persons who may obtain medical history information and file a petition with an appropriate court to request the release of medical information, non-identifying information, or identifying information. It makes other corresponding changes in the law.

Sentencing Alternatives for Youthful Offenders

H.E.A. 1108, P.L. 104-2013
Sentencing alternatives are established for courts with criminal jurisdiction for: (1) offenders who are less than 18 years of age who have been waived from a juvenile court to a court with criminal jurisdiction and who are charged as adult offenders; and (2) offenders who are less than 18 years of age who do not come under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court because the offenders are charged with certain criminal offenses. Procedures to be followed in sentencing youthful offenders are created.

JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION

Judicial Technology and Automation

H.E.A. 1393, P.L. 284-2013
The judicial technology oversight committee is established to perform numerous functions relating to the effective use of technology and automation in Indiana courts, its membership is specified, and the automated record keeping fee is increased for two years from $5 to $7 for all civil, criminal, infraction, and ordinance violation actions with certain exceptions.

Judicial Officers

S.E.A. 486, P.L. 83-2013
The judges of the Hamilton superior court are allowed to appoint jointly a third full-time magistrate, and the judges of the Hendricks superior court are allowed to appoint jointly two full-time magistrates. A second judge is added to the Owen circuit court, and a unified circuit court is established in Owen County with two judges as of January 1, 2015.

Problem Solving Courts

H.E.A. 1016, P.L. 95-2013
Additional circumstances under which a person can participate in a problem solving court program are specified. A problem solving court may provide rehabilitative services, and the problem solving court fee transfer process is simplified.

Magistrates

H.E.A. 1061, P.L. 100-2013
The judges of the Marion superior court are authorized to appoint 12 full-time magistrates after December 31, 2013, and the judges of the Warrick circuit and superior court are authorized to appoint jointly a magistrate.

PROBATE LAW

Probate and Trust Administration

H.E.A. 1056, P.L. 99-2013
This law makes numerous changes concerning a personal representative’s employment of an attorney, the powers and duties of a personal representative, guardianships, and the rules of trust construction. It provides that a personal representative may acquire an interest in real property from the estate if the transaction is authorized by an order of the court after notice and hearing.

Immediate Detention

H.E.A. 1130, P.L. 4-2013
An individual who is gravely disabled, in addition to having a mental illness and being in immediate need of hospitalization, may be detained by a law enforcement officer and transported to the nearest appropriate facility.

TRAFFIC LAW

Parking for Persons with Disabilities

S.E.A. 387, P.L. 50-2013
This statute increases from $50 to $100 the minimum civil judgment imposed for certain infractions involving parking a motor vehicle in a space reserved for a person with a physical disability or a disabled veteran.

Various Motor Vehicle Issues

S.E.A. 538, P.L. 85-2013
Various changes to motor vehicle laws concerning credentials, convictions, restrictions, and suspensions are made. Amendments to definitions and certain requirements for driver’s licenses are established. The law also makes technical corrections and corresponding changes.

Proof of Financial Responsibility

S.E.A. 620, P.L. 59-2013
This law provides that a court shall recommend suspension of a person’s driving privileges for at least 90 days but less than a year for failure to provide proof of financial responsibility. The bureau shall impose the applicable minimum term of suspension required by law under certain conditions.

Court Late Payment Fees

H.E.A. 1124, P.L. 143-2013
A defendant who is found to have committed a violation constituting a Class D infraction or Class C infraction for unlawfully parking in a space reserved for a person with a physical disability shall pay a late payment fee of $25 if the defendant: (1) is required to pay a fine or civil judgment; (2) is not determined by the court imposing the fine or civil judgment to be indigent; and (3) fails to pay the fine or civil judgment on time.