This final legislative update summarizes portions of HEA 1001(ss), P.L.182 that was signed into law during the special session.

Criminal Law

July 2, 2009 | Category: Criminal

HEA 1001(ss) Section 493
Effective June 30, 2009
Establishes a seventeen member Criminal Code Evaluation Commission, which includes the Chief Justice or his designee, and two judges with criminal jurisdiction appointed by the Governor.  The Commission is staffed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and Legislative Services Agency and must submit a final report before November 1, 2011.

Family & Juvenile Law

July 2, 2009 | Category: Family/Juvenile

HEA 1001(ss) Various sections
Effective July 1, 2009 unless otherwise indicated

  • DCS Ombudsman (Section 55)

Adds Indiana Code § 4-13-19 to create the DCS Ombudsman, appointed by the governor within the Indiana Department of Administration.  The Ombudsman’s office may receive, investigate, and attempt to resolve a complaint alleging that DCS failed to protect the physical or mental health of any child or failed to follow specific laws, rules, or written policies.  The office may (1) take action, including establishing a program of public education, to secure and ensure the legal rights of children, (2) review policies and procedures with a view toward the safety and welfare of children, (3) refer people to law enforcement, (4) recommend changes in the investigations of abuse and neglect and overseeing the welfare of children under the jurisdiction of a juvenile court, (5) make the public aware of the ombudsman, (6) examine policies and procedures and evaluate the effectiveness of the child protection system, including DCS, the court, medical community, service providers, GAL/CASA, and law enforcement, and (7) review and make recommendations about the investigative procedures and emergency responses in an annual report. 

A state or local government agency or entity that has records relevant to a complaint or investigation by the ombudsman shall provide access to those records.  Information disclosed to the ombudsman may not be disclosed to the complainant or others if such information is confidential pursuant to law, rule, or regulation.  A person who knowingly or intentionally interferes with the work of the ombudsman commits a Class A misdemeanor.  Expungement of records by DCS that occurs by statute, judicial order, administrative review, or in the normal course of business shall not be considered intentional interference with the work of the ombudsman for criminal law purposes. 

  • Juvenile Code (Sections 373, 383-8)

Adds Indiana Code § 31-33-26-5 and amends Indiana Code § 31-39-2-6, Indiana Code § 31-39-4-7, and Indiana Code § 31-39-9-1 to permit the DCS Ombudsman access to the records of DCS, juvenile court, law enforcement and others.

Amends Indiana Code § 31-40-1-2 to provide that DCS is not responsible for payment of any costs or expenses for housing or services for a child placed by a juvenile court out of state if the placement is not recommended or approved by the director of the department or the director’s designee.   

Amends Indiana Code § 31-40-1-3 to provide that any parental reimbursement under this section shall be paid directly to DCS, not the local court clerk, in all open CHINS and Delinquency cases.  Amends Indiana Code § 31-40-1-6 to provide DCS may contract with a private collection agency for the collection of parental reimbursements.

  • Transfer of excess Family and Children funds (Section 476)

Adds a noncode provision to permit a county to adopt a resolution permitting the transfer of money in the county’s levy excess fund from the County Family and Children’s Fund and the Children’s Psychiatric Residential Treatment Services Fund in 2008 to the county’s rainy day fund.  Legislative Services Agency estimates the surpluses in these funds from 86 counties totals $103.3 million.

Judicial Administration

July 2, 2009 | Category: Administration

HEA 1001(ss) Sections 395-6
Effective July 1, 2009
Provides that the automated record keeping fee collected on pre-trial diversions under IC 33-39-1-8 and deferrals under IC 34-28-5-1 is distributed to the state auditor for deposit in the homeowner protection unit account.

*Note: There are no changes in the amount of court costs or fees.

Traffic Law

July 2, 2009 | Category: Traffic

HEA 1001(ss) Sections 284-5, 289, & 291-3
Effective July 1, 2009
Provides that city and town ordinances authorizing the use of golf carts on highways within their jurisdiction may not conflict with driver’s licensing requirements in the Indiana Code and that certain equipment, title, and registration requirements do not apply to golf carts operated under such ordinances.

This final legislative update contains summaries of select bills of interest or portions of bills that were signed into law in the regular session. The legislative digest for all bills passed this session can be found at http://www.in.gov/legislative/reports/2009/DIGEST_OF_ENACTMENTS.PDF.

If you would like to see the entire text of any law, as well as any other legislative action, you can find that information at http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo.

Civil Law

May 22, 2009 | Category: Civil

For information regarding wrongful death or injury of a child, please see S.E.A. 342 under the “Criminal Law” section.

Domestic violence programs & Indiana protective order registry
S.E.A. 345, P.L. 130
Effective June 30, 2009 (§ 29-31); July 1, 2009 (§ 1-28)
Transfers the administration of sexual offense services, domestic violence programs, the assistance to victims of human and sexual trafficking, the domestic violence prevention and treatment council, the domestic violence prevention and treatment fund, and the family violence and victim assistance fund to the Criminal Justice Institute. Establishes the Indiana protective order registry (registry) and requires the Division of State Court Administration (Division) to create, manage, and maintain the registry. Requires the Division to: (1) make the protective order registry available so that county case management systems may interface with the registry by December 31, 2009; (2) submit information concerning a standard protocol for county case management systems to each prosecuting attorney and court; and (3) develop standard protocols for the exchange of information by December 31, 2009 between the protective order registry and county court case management systems for certain case management systems to interface with electronic traffic tickets and between county case management systems and the case management system developed and operated by the Division.

Consumer practices & residential mortgage foreclosures
S.E.A. 492, P.L. 105
Effective May 7, 2009 (§ 1-3; 22-24); July 1, 2009 (§ 4-15; 17-21); January 1, 2010 (§ 16)
Provides, with respect to foreclosure filings, (1) the lender must send the borrower in default a presuit notice meeting certain requirements, (2) when the foreclosure complaint is filed the creditor must attach with the complaint a notice informing the borrower of its right to conduct a settlement conference as well as other information, and (3) if the borrower elects to conduct a settlement conference the court must include certain information in the notice of settlement conference sent to the parties (click here to see what the court notice of settlement conference must include).  If a settlement conference is conducted the lender must have someone at the conference with representative authority, and must inform the court whether an agreement was reached at the conference, if negotiations are continuing, or if no agreement was reached.  If an agreement is reached, it must be filed with the court.  Provides that if parties participate in a settlement conference it satisfies any local rule requiring mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution.

Establishes a $50 court fee for mortgage foreclosure actions that are filed after June 30, 2009, and before January 1, 2013, and provides that the fees are to be deposited in the home ownership education account administered by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

Provides that the electronic system to be established by the department of insurance not later than September 1, 2009, for the collection and storage of certain information concerning persons participating in or assisting with single family residential mortgage transactions must include the names of the buyer and the seller in a first lien purchase money mortgage transaction.

GPS monitoring & restraining orders
H.E.A. 1578, P.L. 116
Effective July 1, 2009
Permits a court to require a person who is subject to an order of protection to wear a GPS tracking device if the court finds that the person violated an order for protection. Provides that if a court orders GPS tracking, the court shall require the use of a GPS tracking device with certain notification capabilities. Requires the Division of State Court Administration to provide reports to the general assembly concerning GPS tracking. Requires the Division of State Court Administration to create, manage, and maintain an Internet-based registry of protective orders.

Other bills of interest:

Limited liability for certain asbestos claims
S.E.A. 469, P.L. 134
Effective July 1, 2009

Eminent domain and acquisition of public utility property
H.E.A. 1278, P.L. 172
Effective May 13, 2009 (§ 7); July 1, 2009 (§ 1-6; 8)

The rights of owners in coal lands
H.E.A. 1487, P.L. 94
Effective July 1, 2009

Criminal Law

May 22, 2009 | Category: Criminal

Theft of metal
S.E.A. 21, P.L. 158
Effective July 1, 2009
Expands the definition of “valuable metal,” and removes the exemption from reporting requirements for valuable metal transactions under $100. Specifies that the term “valuable metal” does not apply to a beverage can. Requires a valuable metal dealer to photograph the person from whom the dealer purchases valuable metal and the valuable metal being purchased, and to record the source of the valuable metal. Defines “key facility” and makes trespassing a Class D felony if committed on a facility belonging to a public utility or key facility. Raises theft and receiving stolen property to a Class C felony if the property taken or received is a valuable metal and relates to transportation safety or public safety or is taken from a health care facility, telecommunications provider, public utility, or key facility. 

Assisting a criminal
S.E.A. 34, P.L. 159
Effective July 1, 2009
Provides, for purposes of the crime of assisting a criminal, that it is not a defense that the person assisted has not been prosecuted, has not been convicted, or has been acquitted by reason of insanity. 

Child seduction & repeat sex offenders
S.E.A. 181, P.L. 125
Effective July 1, 2009
Provides that an attempted sex offense may be used to establish that a person is a repeat sex offender. Authorizes the release of certain medical or epidemiologic information of persons convicted of certain sex offenses.

Prosecution costs, litigation, and trafficking with inmates
S.E.A. 223, P.L. 128
Effective May 12, 2009 (§ 3); July 1, 2009 (§ 1-2; 4)
Provides that an offender who has filed at least three civil actions that have been dismissed as frivolous may not file a new complaint or petition as an indigent person unless the offender is in immediate danger of serious bodily injury, effective July 1, 2009.  Makes trafficking with an inmate (which is, without enhancement, a Class A misdemeanor) a Class C felony if the item trafficked is a cellular telephone, effective July 1, 2009. Makes it a Class A misdemeanor if a person possesses in or carries into a penal facility or a juvenile facility a controlled substance or a deadly weapon, effective July 1, 2009. Requires the Sentencing Policy Study Committee to evaluate whether the state should pay all costs of trial in a prosecution for an offense committed at a state correctional facility, effective May 12, 2009.

Sentence enhancement for feticide
S.E.A. 236, P.L. 40
Effective July 1, 2009
Provides that a person who, while committing or attempting to commit murder or felony murder, causes the termination of a human pregnancy may be sentenced to an additional term of imprisonment of six to 20 years. Increases the penalty for feticide from a Class C felony to a Class B felony. 

Compensation for victims of violent crimes [includes provisions relating to sex crime victims' cooperation with law enforcement and wrongful death or injury of a child]
S.E.A. 342, P.L. 129
Effective July 1, 2009
Amends several provisions regarding the compensation of victims from the violent crime victims compensation fund administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.  Removes provisions requiring a sex crime victim to cooperate with law enforcement. Specifies that the law concerning the wrongful death or injury of a child: (1) does not apply to a legally performed abortion; and (2) applies to a fetus that has attained viability. Provides that the law concerning the wrongful death or injury of a child does not affect or supersede any other right, remedy, or defense provided by any other law.

Identity deception
H.E.A. 1121, P.L. 137
Effective July 1, 2009
Creates the identity theft unit (unit) in the Office of the Attorney General. Authorizes certain agencies and persons to cooperate with the unit in investigating identity theft, and authorizes a prosecuting attorney to deputize the attorney general or a deputy attorney general to assist in the prosecution of an identity theft case. Provides certain rights to the victims of identity theft. Increases the penalty for identity deception committed against the person’s child to a Class C felony. Provides that unlawfully using identifying information that identifies a fictitious person or a person other than the person who is using the information, but that does not belong in its entirety to any live or deceased person, constitutes synthetic identity deception, a new Class D or C felony. 

Victim’s rights
H.E.A. 1175, P.L. 169
Effective July 1, 2009
Provides that if a motion is made to postpone a trial or other court proceeding involving certain sex offenses, the court shall consider whether a postponement will have an adverse impact on victims who are less than eighteen or are endangered adults. Provides that a victim of any offense has the right to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse throughout the criminal justice process.  Specifies that “defense counsel” includes an agent for defense counsel or for a defendant. Provides that, if defense counsel would like to interview a child less than 16 years of age who is a victim or alleged victim of a sex offense, defense counsel must contact the prosecuting attorney. Specifies that the prosecuting attorney may not instruct the child not to speak with defense counsel. Authorizes a court to impose reasonable conditions on an interview if the parties are unable to reach an agreement on the conditions of the interview without the intervention of the court.

Animal cruelty & commercial dog breeders
H.E.A. 1468, P.L. 111
Effective July 1, 2009 (§ 1-3; 5-15); January 1, 2009 (§ 4)
Authorizes the court, as a condition of bail or parole, or the parole board, as a condition of parole, to prohibit a person from owning, harboring, or training an animal, and, if the person is prohibited from having direct or indirect contact with an individual, from having direct or indirect contact with any animal belonging to the individual. Amends the list of permissible probation conditions in IC 35-38-2-2.3(a) to include refraining from direct or indirect contact with an individual or any animal belonging to the individual.

Other bill of interest:

Offender reentry administrative account
S.E.A. 244, P.L. 104
Effective July 1, 2009

Elections & Voting

May 22, 2009 | Category: Elections/Voting

Various election law matters
H.E.A. 1346, P.L. 120
Effective May 11, 2009 (§ 10); July 1, 2009 (§ 1-9; 11-13)

Family & Juvenile Law

May 22, 2009 | Category: Family/Juvenile

Various department of child services matters
S.E.A. 365, P.L. 131
Effective May 12, 2009 (§ 5; 38; 78-79); July 1, 2009 (§ 1-4; 6-37; 39-77)
Provides for numerous changes to the juvenile code including provisions relating to Department of Child Services, probation and courts, child support, adoption, guardians, CHINS, and delinquency cases.  The Judicial Center’s summary of this bill can be found at: http://indianacourts.us/blogs/legislative/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/sea-365-summary.pdf.

Youth shelters
H.E.A. 1063, P.L. 72
Effective July 1, 2009
Provides that an emergency shelter, a shelter care facility, or a program that provides services to homeless or low income individuals may provide shelter and other related services or items to a child without the permission of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian. Defines runaway or homeless youth as individuals who are at least 12 years old and less than 18 years old.  Provides immunity from civil liability for a youth shelter and its employees and volunteers for any act or omission related to admitting, caring for, or releasing a runaway or homeless youth, except for gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct.

Student discipline
H.E.A. 1419, P.L. 66
Effective July 1, 2009
Requires the governing body of a school corporation to develop an evidence based plan for improving behavior and discipline in the school corporation. Requires school corporation discipline rules to incorporate a graduated system of discipline, which includes actions that may be taken in lieu of suspension or expulsion. Requires the Department of Education to develop a master evidence-based plan for improving student behavior and discipline for use by school corporations. This master plan must include, among other items, policies to ensure students are not inappropriately referred to juvenile justice agencies and improving communications with juvenile justice agencies.

Suspension of Medicaid for delinquent children
H.E.A. 1536, P.L. 114
Effective May 7, 2009 (§ 5); July 1, 2009 (§ 2-4); January 1, 2010 (§ 1)
Requires the Division of Family Resources (DFR) to suspend a child’s Medicaid eligibility for up to six months before terminating the child’s eligibility if the child has been adjudicated to be a delinquent child and has been placed in a community based correctional facility, juvenile detention center, or a secure facility, not including a facility licensed as a child caring institution under IC 31-27, and would otherwise be ineligible to receive Medicaid. Requires the DFR to take action necessary to ensure that a delinquent child is eligible to participate in Medicaid if the division receives a dispositional decree or a modified dispositional decree and the Department of Correction gives the DFR at least forty (40) days notice of the child’s release from a secure facility, the DFR shall take action necessary to ensure a child is eligible to participate in Medicaid upon the child’s release. Effective January 1, 2010.

Requires a court to provide DFR a copy of the dispositional decree immediately if a predispositional report indicates a child receives Medicaid and the child is placed in a juvenile detention facility or a secure facility. Effective July 1, 2009.

Requires a court to provide DFR a copy of a modification of a dispositional order immediately of a child who receives Medicaid before disposition and the juvenile court previously placed or intends to place the child in a juvenile detention facility or a secure facility. Effective July 1, 2009.

Requires the Office of Medicaid Planning and Policy to amend the state Medicaid plan to carry out this act and file an affidavit with the governor attesting that the plan amendment filed is in effect. Effective upon passage.

Other bills of interest:

Adoption
S.E.A. 280, P.L. 58
Effective July 1, 2009

Adoption records
S.E.A. 303, P.L. 42
Effective July 1, 2009

Coordination of programs serving vulnerable individuals & high ability students
H.E.A. 1289, P.L. 173
Effective July 1, 2009

Joint legal custody in paternity determinations
H.E.A. 1511, P.L. 95
Effective July 1, 2009