General Information

May 27, 2011 | Category: General

This final legislative update contains summaries of select bills of interest or portions of bills that were signed into law in the 2011 legislation session. The legislative digest for all bills passed this session can be found at http://www.in.gov/legislative/reports/2011/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 http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo.

Civil Law

May 27, 2011 | Category: Civil

Procedures in administrative proceedings
S.E.A. 67, P.L. 32-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Establishes additional grounds for the disqualification of an administrative law judge and replacement procedures. Provides that the proceedings before an administrative law judge are de novo. Conforms summary judgment procedures and electronic service procedures in an administrative proceeding to the procedures under the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure. Provides that settlement of an administrative matter results in the issuance of a final order that effectuates the settlement in certain cases. Requires additional limited proceedings if the settlement of the matter includes the modification of an environmental permit. Provides that an environmental law judge has the same authority and responsibilities as an administrative law judge.

Disposition and interment of human remains
S.E.A. 146, P.L. 34-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Makes changes to the priority of individuals who may determine the final disposition of the remains of a decedent. Provides that if a person does not exercise a right to determine final disposition within 72 hours of notification of the death of the decedent, the person forfeits the person’s right to determine the final disposition of the decedent, and the right to determine final disposition passes to the next person listed in priority. Allows a crematory, cemetery, or funeral home that agrees to shelter the remains of a decedent while parties are in dispute as to the final disposition of the decedent to collect fees for storing the remains of the decedent. Requires that certain causes of action must be filed in the county where the decedent was a resident. Provides that a cemetery or funeral home that relies in good faith on a signed authorization for the cremation, interment, entombment, or inurnment of human remains is not liable for carrying out the disposition of the decedent in accordance with the instructions in the authorization. (Current law provides cemetery owners immunity for making a final disposition under a written authorization unless the cemetery owner has actual notice that the authorization is untrue.)

Environmental legal action statute of limitations
S.E.A. 346, P.L. 154-2011
Effective May 10, 2011
Specifies the statute of limitations for an environmental legal action, and an action for a contribution to pay for corrective action related to a release from an underground storage tank. Prohibits a person from reviving or raising new claims in an action that was finally adjudicated or settled prior to the effective date of the statute of limitations. Specifies that a person who brings an action prior to the effective of the statute of limitations for an environmental legal action may not amend the action or bring a new action based on the establishment of the statute of limitations.

Disclosure of firearm or ammunition information
S.E.A. 411, P.L. 17-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that a civil action may be brought against a public or private employer that has: (1) required an applicant for employment or an employee to disclose information under certain circumstances about whether the applicant or employee owns, possesses, uses, or transports a firearm or ammunition; or (2) conditioned employment, or any rights, benefits, privileges, or opportunities offered by the employment, upon an agreement that the applicant for employment or the employee forgo the otherwise lawful ownership, possession, storage, transportation, or use of a firearm or ammunition. Provides that a governmental entity may not restrict the possession of a firearm at a person’s residence during a declared emergency.

Settlement conferences in residential foreclosures
S.E.A. 582, P.L. 170-2011
Effective May 10, 2011 (§ 3-6, 8-14, 16); July 1, 2011 (§ 1, 2, 7, 15)
Amends the definition of “mortgage” in the statute governing settlement conferences in residential mortgage foreclosure actions to specify that the term does not include a land contract. For purposes of the statute, defines “loss mitigation package” as a set of documents, the components of which: (1) are specified by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (Authority); (2) provide certain financial information about a debtor; and (3) are necessary for a creditor to make underwriting decisions in connection with a potential foreclosure prevention agreement. Provides that in a residential foreclosure action filed after June 30, 2011, the creditor shall include with the complaint filed with the court the following most recent contact information for the debtor that the creditor has on file, including all telephone numbers and electronic mail addresses for the debtor, and any mailing address for the debtor other than the address of the mortgaged property. Provides that the following are excepted from the act governing access to public records and may not be disclosed: (1) the debtor’s contact information; and (2) any document submitted to the court as part of the debtor’s loss mitigation package. Requires the following with respect to a residential foreclosure action filed after June 30, 2011: (1) that the creditor include on the first page of the summons that is served on the debtor a notice that informs the debtor of the debtor’s right to participate in a settlement conference; (2) that upon the filing of the complaint by the creditor, the court shall send to the debtor a notice that informs the debtor of the debtor’s right to participate in a settlement conference; (3) that a debtor who requests a settlement conference must provide a copy of the debtor’s loss mitigation package to the creditor’s attorney and the court, not later than 30 days before the date of the settlement conference; and (4) that if the debtor requests a settlement conference, the creditor must send to the debtor, by certified mail and not later than 30 days before the date of the settlement conference: (A) a payment record substantiating the default; and (B) an itemization of all amounts claimed by the creditor as being owed on the mortgage. Provides that not later than June 1, 2011, the Authority shall prescribe a list of documents that must be included as part of a debtor’s loss mitigation package in a foreclosure action filed after June 30, 2011. Requires: (1) the Authority to make the list available on the Authority’s Internet web site; and (2) the Division of State Court Administration to make the list available on the Internet web site maintained by the State’s judicial branch. Provides that in a residential foreclosure action in which the debtor requests a settlement conference, the court shall do the following: (1) stay the granting of any dispositive motion in the action until the court receives notice that the settlement conference has concluded and that the creditor and debtor either have agreed to enter into a foreclosure prevention agreement, or were unable to agree on the terms of an agreement; and (2) treat the debtor’s request for a settlement conference as the entry of an appearance in the action. Provides that in a residential foreclosure action, any: (1) costs to a creditor associated with a settlement conference; or (2) civil penalty imposed on a creditor by the court for violation of a court order; may not be charged to or collected from the debtor. Provides that during the pendency of a residential foreclosure action filed after June 30, 2011, if the debtor continues to occupy the mortgaged dwelling, the court may issue an order requiring the debtor to continue to make monthly payments with respect to the mortgage on which the action is based. Provides that the court shall determine the amount of the payment, which: (1) may be based on debtor’s ability to pay; and (2) may not exceed the debtor’s monthly obligation under the mortgage. Provides that any payments made: (1) shall be held in trust for the parties by the clerk of the court or in an attorney trust account; and (2) may be disbursed only upon order of the court. Provides that any payments held shall be credited: (1) to the debtor if the parties subsequently enter into a foreclosure prevention agreement; or (2) against the amount of the judgment entered or the amount owed if a judgment of foreclosure is subsequently entered. Provides that any civil penalties imposed and collected by a court for violation of a court order in a residential foreclosure action shall be deposited in the home ownership education account to support programs conducted by specified entities to facilitate settlement conferences in residential foreclosure actions. Provides various provisions concerning vacant or abandoned property. Urges the Legislative Council to assign the following topics of study to the Commission on Courts or to another appropriate study committee: (1) short sale procedures in real estate transactions in Indiana; and (2) specified topics concerning non-judicial mortgage foreclosure procedures. Provides that any committee assigned the topics must issue a final report on the topics not later than November 1, 2011.

Secured transactions
H.E.A. 1321, P.L. 54-2011
Effective July 1, 2013
Makes changes to the Uniform Commercial Code pertaining to secured transactions to conform to recommendations made by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. Provides clarification regarding how a name of an individual debtor is to be provided on a financing statement. Provides clarification regarding how a debtor’s name should be included on a financing statement when the debtor is a corporation, limited liability company, or limited partnership and when the collateral is held in a statutory or common law trust or in a decedent’s estate. Makes changes regarding the filing of financing statements. Makes changes to assist a secured party having a security interest in after-acquired property when the debtor relocates to another state or merges with another entity. Eliminates the requirement to contain certain information on a financing statement. Repeals a statute that contains forms for a financing statement and a financing statement amendment.

Disinterment of human remains
H.E.A. 1432, P.L. 132-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that a court may authorize the removal of the remains of a deceased human from a cemetery for certain purposes if the consent of the owner of the cemetery cannot be obtained, or the identity of certain individuals from whom consent is required cannot be determined.

Recognition of foreign country money judgments
H.E.A. 1548, P.L. 213-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Enacts the Uniform Foreign Country Money Judgments Recognition Act. Provides a process for recognizing money judgments obtained in other nations for the purpose of enforcement.

Other bills of interest:

Motor fuel theft
S.E.A. 79, P.L. 97-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Permits a retailer to pursue the collection of the payment amount and a service charge associated with fuel theft from a vehicle owner. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is authorized to disclose certain information regarding the vehicle owner for purposes of fuel theft recovery. Provides that, if an owner does not pay the total pump price of the fuel pumped plus the service charge within 30 days after notice, the owner is also subject to liability to the retailer for other damages, costs, fees, and expenses.

Forfeiture
S.E.A. 215
VETOED

Various communications matters
S.E.A. 480, P.L. 219-2011
Effective July 1, 2011 (§ 5)
Grants jurisdiction to resolve certain matters concerning video service franchises to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission rather than a court with jurisdiction.

Agritourism liability
H.E.A. 1133, P.L. 3-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that an agritourism provider is not liable for the injury or death of an agritourism participant if the cause of the injury or death is an inherent risk of the agritourism activity. Establishes exceptions. Requires the agritourism provider to post a warning sign and place the warning notice in any contracts signed by the participant.

Volunteer fire department recovery of costs
H.E.A. 1365, P.L. 208-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Allows the first responding volunteer fire department to recover attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the department in an action to recover unpaid service charges.

Criminal Law

May 27, 2011 | Category: Criminal

Public voyeurism
S.E.A. 19, P.L. 75-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Makes it a Class A misdemeanor for a person to peep at the private area of an individual and record an image by means of a camera. Increases the penalty to a Class D felony if the person has a prior conviction or: (1) publishes the image; (2) makes the image available on the Internet; or (3) transmits or disseminates the image to another person. Provides a defense if an individual deliberately exposed the individual’s private area.

Synthetic cannabinoids and salvia
S.E.A. 57, P.L. 138-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Defines “synthetic cannabinoid” and “salvia” (salvia divinorum or salvinorin A). Makes possessing, dealing in, manufacturing, or delivering a synthetic cannabinoid, or salvia equivalent to possessing, dealing in, manufacturing, or delivering marijuana, hash oil, or hashish.

Alcoholic beverage matters
S.E.A. 78, P.L. 216-2011
Effective July 1, 2011 (§ 3)
Makes it a Class B misdemeanor for an alcoholic beverage permittee or an employee or agent of the permittee to recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally sell, barter, exchange, provide, or furnish another person who is or reasonably appears to be less than 40 years of age an alcoholic beverage for consumption off the licensed premises without first requiring the person to produce specified identification showing that the person is at least 21 years of age. (Current law makes it a Class B misdemeanor for an alcoholic beverage permittee or an employee or agent of the permittee to recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally sell, barter, exchange, provide, or furnish another person an alcoholic beverage for consumption off the licensed premises without first requiring the person to produce specified identification showing that the person is at least 21 years of age.)

Purchase of firearms
S.E.A. 94, P.L. 60-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Makes it a Class C felony for a person to knowingly or intentionally give false information on certain forms or offer false evidence of identity in purchasing or otherwise securing the delivery of a firearm.

Access to child pornography in criminal discovery
S.E.A. 216, P.L. 148-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Allows a court to permit a defendant to inspect, view, and examine material that constitutes child pornography at a state or local court or law enforcement facility if the defendant demonstrates that inspecting, viewing, and examining the material is necessary to the defendant’s defense. Requires a court to impose certain restrictions on the inspection, viewing, and examination of the material.

Official misconduct
S.E.A. 217, P.L. 102-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Specifies that a public servant commits official misconduct, a Class D felony, if the public servant knowingly or intentionally commits a crime in the performance of the public servant’s official duties.

Competency examination
S.E.A. 262, P.L. 151-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Authorizes a court to appoint two or three competent, disinterested psychiatrists, psychologists or physicians to examine a defendant who raises an incompetency claim; however, one of the appointees must be a psychiatrist or psychologist. Requires that a psychologist, psychiatrist, or physician appointed to examine a defendant have expertise in determining competency.

Preemption of local firearm regulation
S.E.A. 292, P.L. 152-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Prohibits, with certain exceptions, a political subdivision from regulating: (1) firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories; (2) the ownership, possession, carrying, transportation, registration, transfer, and storage of firearms, ammunition, and firearm accessories; and (3) commerce in and taxation of firearms, firearm ammunition, and firearm accessories. Allows a person to file an action against a political subdivision if the person is adversely affected by an ordinance, a measure, an enactment, a rule, or a policy of the political subdivision that violates the law.

Criminal background checks of licensed professionals [presentence investigations]
S.E.A. 363, P.L. 155-2011
Effective July 1, 2011 (§ 10)
Amends IC 35-38-1-9 pertaining to the presentence investigation to include gathering information with respect to whether the convicted person is licensed or certified in a profession regulated by IC 25.

Sale of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine
S.E.A. 503, P.L. 221-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Defines “retailer” and provides that the duties relating to the electronic tracking of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine (PSE) apply only to retailers. Requires a retailer to submit information relating to the purchase of nonprescription PSE to the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) administered by the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) before completing a sale, and prohibits a retailer from completing a sale if NPLEx generates a “stop sale” notice. Provides that the maximum amount of PSE that may be purchased by an individual in a 30-day period is 7.2 grams. Requires PSE containing substances to be kept behind the counter, and specifies that the PSE weight limits apply to the base amount of PSE in the drug. Provides that a retailer who uses the electronic sales tracking system is liable for any negligent, reckless, deliberate, or wanton act or omission committed in carrying out the duties required by this section, and provides that a retailer may be liable to a third party for a violation of the duties required in using the electronic sales tracking system. Specifies that: (1) a law enforcement official may access Indiana transaction information contained in the NPLEx; (2) information contained in the NPLEx may be shared only with law enforcement officials; (3) NADDI may not modify information shared with law enforcement officials; and (4) NADDI shall forward Indiana data contained in the NPLEx at least one time per week to the State Police Department.

Handgun possession
S.E.A. 506, P.L. 164-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Allows a person to carry a handgun without being licensed to carry a handgun if: (1) the person is in or on property, or in a vehicle, that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by the person; (2) the person is lawfully present in or on private property that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by another person, if the person has the consent of the owner to have the handgun on the premises, is attending a firearms related event, or is receiving firearms related services; (3) the person is lawfully present in a vehicle, that is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise legally controlled by another person; (4) the person is carrying the handgun at a shooting range, while attending a firearms instructional course, or while engaged in a legal hunting activity; or (5) the handgun is unloaded and securely wrapped. (Current law provides that a person who does not possess a valid handgun license may not carry a handgun in any vehicle or on or about the person’s body unless the person: (1) is in the person’s dwelling or fixed place of business or on the person’s property; or (2) is carrying the handgun unloaded and in a secure wrapper from the place where the handgun was purchased to the person’s dwelling or fixed place of business, between a handgun repair shop and the person’s dwelling or fixed place of business, or from one dwelling or fixed place of business to another.) Specifies that a person who has been convicted of domestic battery may not possess or carry a handgun unless the person’s right to possess a firearm has been restored by a court.

Illegal immigration matters
S.E.A. 590, P.L. 171-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Makes various changes concerning the enforcement of federal immigration laws, illegal immigration, and related criminal matters. Prohibits governmental bodies from limiting or restricting certain actions by other governmental bodies with regard to information of the citizenship or immigration status of an individual, and the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law. Allows certain persons to bring an action to compel a governmental body to comply with these provisions. Authorizes the Department of Workforce Development to file civil actions to obtain the reimbursement of amounts paid as unemployment insurance benefits from employers that knowingly employed unauthorized aliens. Establishes certain state crimes, including: (A) offenses related to consular identification; (B) false identity statement; (C) knowingly or intentionally transporting or moving an alien, for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the alien has come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of the law; and (D) knowingly or intentionally concealing, harboring, or shielding from detection an alien in any place, including a building or means of transportation, for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the alien has come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law. Requires a judicial officer in setting bail to consider that the defendant is a foreign national who has not been lawfully admitted to the United States as relevant to the risk of nonappearance. Establishes certain bond requirements if bail is set for a defendant who is a foreign national unlawfully present in the United States. Prohibits a law enforcement agency or law enforcement officer from requesting verification of the citizenship or immigration status of an individual from federal immigration authorities if the individual has contact with the agency or officer only as a witness to or a victim of a crime or for purposes of reporting a crime. Requires law enforcement officers to impound motor vehicles for violations of crimes related to moving, transporting, concealing, harboring, or shielding from detection aliens. Allows a law enforcement officer to arrest a person if the officer has a certain removal order, detainer, or notice of action issued for the person or if the officer has probable cause to believe the person has been indicted for or convicted of one or more certain aggravated felonies. Requires the Department of Correction to verify the citizenship or immigration status of criminal offenders. Requires state agencies, political subdivisions, contractors with public contracts for services with the State or a political subdivision, and certain business entities to use E-Verify. Requires certain subcontractors to certify that they use E-Verify. Allows a state agency or political subdivision to terminate a public contract for services with a contractor for breach of the public contract for services if the contractor knowingly employs an unauthorized alien. Urges the Legislative Council to: (A) assign to an existing study committee certain topics concerning immigration; and (B) urge the study committee to consult with the Lieutenant Governor on the topics.

Various criminal matters
H.E.A. 1083, P.L. 180-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides defenses to the crimes of disseminating matter that is harmful to minors, child exploitation, and possession of child pornography if a cellular telephone was used and the defendant and recipient of the matter are certain ages and meet other requirements. Provides that a school corporation may offer classes, instruction, or programs regarding the risks and consequences of creating and sharing sexually suggestive or explicit materials. Provides that discipline rules adopted by a school corporation must prohibit bullying through the use of computers, computer systems, or computer networks of a school corporation. Provides a defense to child exploitation and possession of child pornography if the acts constituting the offense were performed by a school employee in the course of the person’s employment. Requires the Criminal Code Evaluation Commission to study certain sex crimes against children during the 2011 interim.

Synthetic cannabinoids and salvia
H.E.A. 1102, P.L. 182-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Defines “synthetic cannabinoid” and “salvia” (salvia divinorum or salvinorin A). Makes possessing, dealing in, manufacturing, or delivering a synthetic cannabinoid, or salvia equivalent to possessing, dealing in, manufacturing, or delivering marijuana, hash oil, or hashish.

Arrest records
H.E.A. 1211, P.L. 194-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that a person charged with a crime may petition a court to restrict disclosure of arrest records related to the arrest if the person: (1) is not prosecuted or if charges against the person are dismissed; (2) is acquitted of all criminal charges; or (3) is convicted of the crime and the conviction is subsequently vacated. Provides that eight years after the date a person completes a sentence and satisfies any other obligations imposed on the person as a part of the sentence, the person may petition the sentencing court to restrict access to the person’s arrest and criminal records.

Closed circuit television testimony
H.E.A. 1215, P.L. 28-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that for purposes of a hearing concerning the admissibility of certain statements or videotapes made by a protected person in a criminal action, the protected person may attend the hearing through the use of closed circuit television.

Other bills of interest:

Criminal law study committees
S.E.A. 90, P.L. 98-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Relocates the statute establishing the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee. Extends the expiration of the Criminal Code Evaluation Commission until December 31, 2012.

Various natural resources matters
S.E.A. 532, P.L. 165-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Establishes various criminal penalties.

Indiana State Museum and historic sites
H.E.A. 537, P.L. 167-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Establishes that a person who knowingly or intentionally alters, without a permit, historic property located on property owned or leased by the State commits a Class B misdemeanor.

Conflict of interest
S.E.A. 559, P.L. 110-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Specifies certain definitions and defenses that apply to the crime of conflict of interest.

Budget bill [parole; diversion, deferral programs and plea bargaining study]
H.E.A. 1001, P.L. 229-2011
Effective May 10, 2011 (§ 287), July 1, 2011 (§ 104)
Makes the 24-hour electronic monitoring of certain parolees subject to the amount appropriated to the

Department of Correction for a monitoring program as a condition of parole. Requires the Criminal Justice Institute to study and report to the Budget Committee by December 1, 2011: (1) the use of diversion and deferral programs in Indiana; and (2) the use of plea bargaining in Indiana.

Crimes outside Title 35
H.E.A. 1054, P.L. 70-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Lists criminal statutes that are codified outside IC 35.

National fingerprint based criminal history checks
H.E.A. 1318, P.L. 127-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Prohibits certain individuals with mental illnesses from possessing a firearm, and establishes a procedure to remove this prohibition after the person is released from commitment or has completed treatment.

Child molesting and child solicitation study
H.E.A. 1324, P.L. 128-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Urges the Legislative Council to assign the topics of child molesting and child solicitation to an existing study committee to study the topic, including whether to elevate the sentences for the offenses under certain circumstances.

Criminal conversion of leased motor vehicles
H.E.A. 1325, P.L. 227-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Elevates criminal conversion of a leased motor vehicle from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony.

Tobacco matters
H.E.A. 1405, P.L. 10-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Defines “dissolvable tobacco product” and establishes penalties for the sale and purchase of dissolvable tobacco products involving persons less than 18 years of age.

Substance abuse study
H.E.A. 1502, P.L. 134-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Urges the Legislative Council to assign the topics of: (1) unlawful ingestion of controlled substances by pregnant women; (2) substance abuse by men; and (3) whether the penalty for unlawful use of a controlled substance should be based on the amount of active ingredient contained in the controlled substance; to an interim or a statutory study committee for study during the 2011 legislative interim.

Family and Juvenile Law

May 27, 2011 | Category: Family/Juvenile

Interstate compact for juveniles
S.E.A. 34, P.L. 137-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Adopts the interstate compact for juveniles. Creates a national interstate commission for juveniles made up of the compact administrators from states that join the interstate compact. Delegates to the interstate compact the authority to adopt rules concerning the transfer of juvenile probationers and parolees between states. Adds members to the state council for interstate adult offender supervision. Provides that the state council for interstate adult offender supervision is also the council for interstate juvenile supervision. Requires an offender and juvenile offender to pay a $125 application fee to apply for a transfer out of state. Requires counties to establish a county offender transportation fund.

Department of Child Services
S.E.A. 465, P.L. 162-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Permits DCS to execute more than one (1) consent to the adoption of a child if it is in the best interests of a child. Provides that a probate court that retains jurisdiction over a guardianship case or another appropriate court shall conduct additional proceedings regarding the guardianship of a minor as requested by the juvenile court that issued an order establishing or modifying the guardianship. Provides that if a juvenile court modifies child custody, child support, parenting time or paternity and thereafter terminates the CHINS or delinquency proceedings, the juvenile court’s order survives the termination of the CHINS or delinquency proceeding until a court having concurrent original jurisdiction assumes or reassumes primary jurisdiction and modifies the child custody, child support, parenting time or paternity order of the juvenile court in accordance with applicable modification statutes. Authorizes DCS to petition a court to order a parent, guardian or custodian to make a child that is the subject of an abuse or neglect investigation available for an interview by a caseworker if the parent, guardian or custodian refuses to allow DCS to interview the child. In a request for child records under IC 31-33-18-1.5, adds a requirement that a juvenile court that finds a child’s death or near fatality was the result of abuse, abandonment or neglect to make written findings and provide a copy of these findings along with the indictment, information or complaint to DCS. Provides that if a juvenile court creates a guardianship in a CHINS case and thereafter closes the CHINS case, the order creating the guardianship survives the closure of the CHINS case and authorizes the probate court to assume or reassume jurisdiction of the guardianship afterwards. Prohibits a juvenile court from approving a placement in a dispositional decree if the child will be placed with a person convicted of certain felony offenses within the past five years or had a juvenile adjudication for an act listed in IC 31-27-4-13(a) that, if committed by a an adult, would be a felony.

Budget bill [child services]
H.E.A. 1001, P.L. 229-2011
Effective July 1, 2011 (§ 255)
Amends IC 31-9-2-17.8, the definition of “child services,” to include kinship guardianship assistance under Title IV-E and other financial assistance provided to or for the benefit of a child who was previously adjudicated as a child in need of services or delinquent child, including a legal guardianship established to implement a permanency plan under IC 31-34-21-7.5(c)(1)(E) if IC 29-3-8-9 applies and the assistance is approved under a rule or published policy of the Department of Child Services.

Prevention programs for at-risk children
H.E.A. 1107, P.L. 183-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that a juvenile court may create a voluntary preventative program for at-risk children (program). Allows a court to appoint program staff and an early intervention advocate to implement, coordinate, and carry out the purposes of the program. Requires that staff and early intervention advocates who are likely to work with children to undergo a criminal history background check. Provides procedures for program staff and early intervention advocates participating in a program. Provides civil and criminal immunity to a person who: (1) requests that a child participate in a program; (2) provides information concerning a child to program staff or an early intervention advocate; or (3) participates in a plan for an at-risk child in a program. Specifies that, subject to the duty to report suspected child abuse or neglect, no information received under the program by staff or an early intervention advocate may be used against the child in a civil or criminal matter.

Release of adoption information
H.E.A. 1201, P.L. 191-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Makes various changes to the adoption laws regarding the release of identifying and non-identifying information. Establishes requirements regarding requests for information concerning pre-adoptive siblings and conforms those requirements to laws concerning the release of identifying information. Requires the Department of Child Services, a county office of family and children, a licensed child placing agency, a professional health care provider, an attorney, and a court to send a copy of a written consent, any signed writing that withdraws or modifies a consent to the release of identifying information, and a written non-release form to the State Registrar. Requires the Department of Child Services to provide, at least one time each month, to the State Department of Health a list certain children whose birth parents have had their parental rights terminated. Prohibits the State Registrar, the Department of Child Services, a county office of family and children, a licensed child placing agency, a professional health care provider, an attorney, and a court from releasing identifying information if the request involves an adoptee who is less than 21 years of age and whose name is on the list provided to the State Department of Health from the Department of Child Services. Repeals a provision that allows an individual who submits a request for the release of identifying information to request the State Registrar to search the death certificates for an adoptee or birth parent. Repeals provisions that are being replaced concerning: (1) requests for information concerning adoptees and pre-adoptive siblings; and (2) allowing an attorney, a licensed child placing agency, or a county office of family and children to charge reasonable fees for certain services and actual expenses. Repeals a redundant provision that: (1) allows the State Registrar to adopt rules; and (2) requires the State Registrar to prescribe certain forms.

Parental reimbursement for juvenile services
H.E.A. 1316, P.L. 204-2011
Effective May 10, 2011 (§ 6); July 1, 2011 (§ 1-5)
Establishes the Division of Youth Services Transitional Services Fund (fund) to provide juvenile transitional services to delinquent offenders. Permits a juvenile court to order a parent to pay the clerk of the court to provide funds to reimburse: (1) the Department of Correction (DOC) for the costs incurred by the DOC for a child who is committed to the DOC; and (2) a county for the payment of costs or services for the placement of a child in need of services or a delinquent child. Urges the Legislative Council to assign as study topics during the 2011 legislative interim whether there should be additional oversight of the fund, parental reimbursement, and other legislative recommendations.

Notice to parent, guardian or custodian
H.E.A. 1422, P.L. 131-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that if a child is named in a written report of a crime and the law enforcement agency that receives the report reasonably believes that the child may be a victim of a crime, the law enforcement agency shall make a reasonable attempt to: (1) notify the parent, guardian or custodian of the child about the report; and (2) provide the parent, guardian or custodian with certain contact information. Provides certain exceptions to the notification requirement.

Claiming child as dependent for tax purposes [child support]
H.E.A. 1427, P.L. 210-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Requires a court to specify in a child support order which parent of a child may claim the child as a dependent for purposes of federal and state taxes. Establishes factors the court must consider in determining which parent may claim the child as a dependent. Requires a court that specifies that the noncustodial parent of a child may claim the child as a dependent to order the custodial parent of the child to take all actions necessary to release the custodial parent’s claim to the exemption in the manner required under federal law. Requires a court to include in a court order that a parent who is ordered to pay child support may only claim the child as a dependent if the parent has paid at least 95% of the parent’s child support for the calendar year for which the parent is ordered to claim the child as a dependent by January 31 of the following year. Provides that a prosecuting attorney or private attorney who contracts or agrees to undertake activities required under Title IV-D is not required to mediate, resolve, or litigate a dispute between the parties relating to the assignment of the right to claim a child as a dependent for federal and state tax purposes.

Unauthorized adoption facilitation
H.E.A. 1558, P.L. 31-2011
Effective April 15, 2011
Makes it a Class A misdemeanor for a person to knowingly or intentionally provide, engage in, or facilitate adoption services to a birth parent or prospective adoptive parent who lives in Indiana. (Current law makes it a Class A misdemeanor for a person to knowingly or intentionally provide, engage in, or facilitate adoption services to a birth parent or prospective adoptive parent who resides in Indiana.) Provides that the crime of unauthorized adoption facilitation against prospective adoptive parents does not apply to child placing agencies licensed under any state’s law or attorneys licensed to practice law in any state. (Current law provides that the crime of unauthorized adoption facilitation does not apply to child placing agencies licensed under Indiana law or attorneys licensed to practice in Indiana.)

Judicial Administration

May 27, 2011 | Category: Administration

Mandatory retirement age for trial court judges
S.E.A. 463, P.L. 161-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Repeals or otherwise removes all provisions that establish a mandatory retirement age for superior court and county court judges.

Budget bill [court fees and judicial salaries]
H.E.A. 1001, P.L. 229-2011
Effective May 10, 2011 (§ 265); July 1, 2011 (§ 256-260, 262-264)
Specifies that the Budget Committee may release funds for the judicial technology and automation project after the Division of State Court Administration certifies that the judicial technology automation project is in compliance with the information sharing and exchange provisions of IC 33-24-6-3(a). Amends various provisions regarding the automated recording keeping fee to reduce the fee to $5.00 after June 30, 2011, specify where the fee is deposited and allocate the distribution of the fee. Increases the public defense administration fee from $3.00 to $5.00. Increases the allocation of state funds to the Public Defense Fund. Requires funds derived from a deferral program or pretrial diversion program to be dispersed only by the adoption of an ordinance appropriating the funds by the fiscal body of the city, town or county for one or more of the listed statutory purposes. Permits increases in judicial salaries only if approved by the chief justice.

Problem-solving courts
H.E.A. 1153, P.L. 187-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Expands the types of persons that may participate in court established alcohol and drug services programs. Establishes procedures to be used by a problem solving court to terminate an individual’s participation in a problem solving court program. Provides that the parent or guardian of a child: (1) who is adjudicated a delinquent child or in a program of informal adjustment approved by a juvenile court; and (2) who is accepted into a problem solving court program; is financially responsible for the problem solving court service fees and chemical testing expenses assessed against the child by the problem solving court. Specifies that a city or town user fee fund or county user fee fund includes problem solving court fees collected by the clerk of the court. Establishes the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee.

Various provisions concerning courts
H.E.A. 1266, P.L. 201-2011
Effective June 29, 2011 (§ 17); June 30, 2011 (§ 61, 117-119); July 1, 2011 (§ 1-16, 18, 20-34, 44-60, 62-114); December 31, 2011 (§ 116); January 1, 2012 (§ 19, 35-43, 115)
Changes the expiration date of the Commission on Courts from June 30, 2011, to June 30, 2015. Provides that all circuit courts, superior courts, and probate courts have: (1) original and concurrent jurisdiction in all civil cases and in all criminal cases; (2) de novo appellate jurisdiction of appeals from city and town courts; and (3) in Marion County, de novo appellate jurisdiction of appeals from township small claims courts. Repeals the law concerning the establishment and operation of county courts. (Since January 1, 2009, no county court exists in Indiana.) Establishes a unified circuit court for Clark County by combining the current judge of the Clark Circuit Court and the three judges of the Clark Superior Court into a unified circuit court with four judges. Specifies that the Clark Superior Court judges serving on December 31, 2011, serve as judges of the unified circuit court beginning January 1, 2012. Transfers all cases and other matters pending in the Clark Superior Court at the close of business on December 31, 2011, to the unified circuit court on January 1, 2012. Establishes a unified circuit court for Madison County by combining the current judge of the Madison Circuit Court and the five judges of the Madison Superior Court into a unified circuit court with six judges. Specifies that the Madison Superior Court judges serving on June 30, 2011, serve as judges of the unified circuit courts beginning July 1, 2011. Transfers all cases and other matters pending in the Madison Superior Court at the close of business on June 30, 2011, to their respective circuit courts on July 1, 2011. Establishes a unified circuit court for Henry County by combining the current judge of the Henry Circuit Court and the two judges of the Henry Superior Court into a unified circuit court with three judges. Specifies that the Henry Superior Court judges serving on June 30, 2011, serve as judges of the unified circuit court beginning July 1, 2011. Transfers all cases and other matters pending in the Henry Superior Court at the close of business on June 30, 2011, to the circuit court on July 1, 2011. Provides for the four judges of the Lake Superior Court County Division to be: (1) nominated by the Lake County Superior Court Judicial Nominating Commission and appointed by the Governor; and (2) subject to the question of retention or rejection by the Lake County electorate every six years. (Current law provides that the judges of the Lake Superior Court County Division are elected by the electorate of Lake County every six years.)

Another bill of interest:

Cass County deputy prosecuting attorneys
S.E.A. 96, P.L. 78-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Allows the prosecuting attorney of Cass County to appoint one additional deputy prosecuting attorney paid by the State.

Miscellaneous

May 27, 2011 | Category: Miscellaneous

Noncode statutes project
S.E.A. 266, P.L. 39-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Repeals a codified noncode statute relating to enforcement of child support orders that was held unconstitutional by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Technical corrections bill
S.E.A. 295, P.L. 42-2011
Effective April 20, 2011

Noncode statutes
S.E.A. 490, P.L. 220-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Repeals all noncode statutes enacted after the 1984 regular session of the General Assembly and before the 2010 regular session, except certain specifically preserved noncode statutes. Codifies other noncode provisions. Establishes general rules relating to the operation of legislative study commissions and committees. Relocates the statute establishing the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee. Repeals the statute enacted for temporary legislative study committees.

Jurisdiction of university and college police
H.E.A. 1406, P.L. 30-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that a police officer employed by a college or university may exercise the officer’s police power in any part of Indiana if: (1) the college or university adopts a resolution specifically describing the territorial jurisdiction of a police officer employed by the college or university; and (2) the board of trustees sends notice to the superintendent of State Police and the sheriff (or in the case of a consolidated city, the chief of police) of the county in which the institution is primarily located. Requires a police officer employed by a college or university to meet certain training requirements in order to exercise the officer’s police powers. Requires a police officer employed by a college or university that exercises the officer’s police powers outside of the county in which the institution is primarily located to notify the sheriff (or in a consolidated city, the chief of police) as soon as practicable.

Credit time
H.E.A. 1416, P.L. 228-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that, for an imprisoned person to earn credit time for successfully completing the requirements for a high school diploma through correspondence courses, each correspondence course must be approved in advance by the Department of Correction. Specifies that a period of confinement is consecutive even if an inmate was released on the basis of an erroneous court order, and requires the Department of Correction to identify an offender to the Parole Board and provide certain information if the offender has been consecutively confined for 21 to 25 years, depending on the amount of educational credit time earned by the offender.

Probate Law

May 27, 2011 | Category: Probate

Probate, trusts, and transfer on death transfers
S.E.A. 169, P.L. 36-2011
Effective April 20, 2011 (§ 1-3, 6-16); July 1, 2011 (§ 4, 5)
Provides that joint owners and other entities that own motor vehicles and watercraft may transfer title to a motor vehicle or watercraft as a transfer on death transaction. (Current law restricts the procedures to individuals who are the sole owners of motor vehicles or watercraft.) Specifies that in the case of an unsupervised estate in which it has been determined that a decedent died intestate, a will may not be probated unless it is presented before a closing statement is filed. Provides that the will of a decedent may be presented to the court for probate and admitted to probate at any time if no estate proceedings have been commenced for the decedent and an asset of the decedent remains titled or registered in the name of the decedent, and that the will may be probated for the sole purpose of transferring ownership of the asset. Provides that a domiciliary foreign personal representative may exercise all powers of a local unsupervised personal representative. Defines “discretionary interest.” Specifies that real property transferred to matrimonial trusts for estate planning purposes continues to enjoy the ownership protection of real property owned as joint tenants by the entireties. Provides that the terms of a matrimonial trust may restrict the transfer of matrimonial property. Specifies when property continues to be matrimonial property despite a settlor’s death, when claims against the property are barred, and when matrimonial trusts cease to be matrimonial trusts. Specifies that the transfer at death of an individual retirement account or a similar account or plan or of benefits under an employee benefit plan is not considered a non-probate transfer. Provides that the transfer on death act does not apply to certain transfers of retirement or employee benefits. Provides that the endorsement of the county auditor is not necessary to record a transfer on death deed. Removes a provision stating that a surviving spouse’s election to take against a will does not apply to a valid transfer on death transfer. Provides that the affidavit certifying the death of the transferor and cross-referencing the transferor’s transfer on death deed must be endorsed by the county auditor in order to be recorded.

Probate matters
H.E.A. 1055, P.L. 178-2011
Effective May 10, 2011 (§ 11); July 1, 2011 (§ 1-10)
Enacts the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act. Governs issues concerning original jurisdiction, registration, transfer, and out-of-state enforcement of guardianships and protective orders appointed or issued for adults. Specifies the notice requirements following court action on a petition to appoint a temporary guardian. Authorizes a parent of a minor or a guardian of a protected person to designate a standby guardian effective upon the death or incapacity of the parent or guardian. Specifies the information required in a declaration designating a standby guardian. Provides that the declaration is not binding upon the juvenile justice system with respect to the placement of a child who is subject to an allegation of abuse or neglect; an open child in need of services case; or an open delinquency case. Provides that the declaration is effective for 90 days unless the standby guardian files a petition for guardianship, in which case the declaration is effective until the court rules on the petition. Provides that a delegation of parental powers by power of attorney is effective immediately. Makes conforming changes, including changing the duration of a temporary guardianship from 60 days to 90 days. Corrects a formula determining the amount of property interests that a joint holder may disclaim after the death of another joint owner if, during the deceased holder’s lifetime, the deceased holder could have unilaterally regained a part of the jointly held property without the consent of any other holder.

Another bill of interest:

Disposition and interment of human remains
S.E.A. 146, P.L. 34-2011
Effective July 1, 2011

Salaries and Benefits

May 27, 2011 | Category: Salaries/Benefits

State Deferred Compensation Plan
S.E.A. 521, P.L. 21-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that if an employee does not choose another amount, the state shall, in each pay period during the first year the employee is automatically enrolled in the State Deferred Compensation Plan (plan), deduct from the employee’s compensation the greater of: (1) the maximum amount of any match provided by the State on behalf of the employee to a defined contribution plan; or (2) one-half percent of the employee’s base salary; and deposit the amount deducted in the employee’s account. Provides that the percentage of an employee’s base salary used to determine the employee’s contribution increases each year, for five years, by one-half percent from the percentage determined in the immediately preceding year to a maximum of three percent.

Traffic

May 27, 2011 | Category: Traffic

Various motor vehicle issues
S.E.A. 528, P.L. 109-2011
Effective January 1, 2012
Requires an individual who holds a motorcycle operator’s license to hold another driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement in order to operate a motorcycle. Specifies that an amended driver’s license or card is issued when information on the driver’s license or card has changed. Specifies that a replacement driver’s license or card is issued when the driver’s license or card has been lost, stolen, or destroyed. Removes statutory inconsistencies concerning the ineligibility of a habitual traffic violator for a hardship license. Removes duplicative provision concerning the eligibility of certain individuals for restricted driving permits. Specifies that an individual is required to provide proof of future financial responsibility during the three years following the termination of the suspension of the individual’s driving privileges. Removes incorrect cross references in section concerning the probationary status of certain habitual traffic violators. Provides that a person is required to provide proof of future financial responsibility if a court recommends suspension of the person’s driving privileges for a conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Provides that if a court recommends suspension of the driving privileges of a person who is arrested for or charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and there is not a conviction, the person is excluded from the requirement to provide proof of future financial responsibility.

Use of handheld telecommunications device while driving
H.E.A. 1129, P.L. 185-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that it is a Class C infraction if a person uses a telecommunications device to type, transmit, or read a text message or an electronic mail message while operating a moving motor vehicle, but permits a person: (1) to use hands free or voice operated technology to transmit a text message or an electronic mail message; and (2) to call 911 to report an emergency while operating a moving motor vehicle. Provides, for purposes of the prohibition against using a telecommunications device while operating a motor vehicle, that “telecommunications device” does not include: (1) amateur radio equipment operated by a person licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as an amateur radio operator; or (2) a communications system installed in a commercial motor vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Prohibits a police officer from confiscating a telecommunications device for the purpose of determining compliance or confiscating a telecommunications device and retaining it as evidence pending trial for a violation. Repeals the current definition of “telecommunications device.”

Other bills of interest:

Traffic control signals
S.E.A. 337, P.L. 43-2011
Effective July 1, 2011Work zone safety
S.E.A. 338, P.L. 66-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that a driver who, in a highway work zone, engages in certain acts that in combination otherwise constitute the offense of aggressive driving commits a Class B infraction.

Motor carriers and commercial drivers licenses
S.E.A. 458, P.L. 45-2011
Effective July 1, 2011 (§ 6-9)
Changes commercial driver license provisions to conform to federal regulations concerning medical issues.

Various transportation issues
S.E.A. 473, P.L. 163-2011
Effective July 1, 2011
Provides that the owner of a motor vehicle that passes through a toll collection facility without paying the proper toll commits a moving violation, a Class C infraction. Establishes procedures for the collections of unpaid fines for these moving violations.

General Information

April 21, 2011 | Category: General

This is the fifteenth weekly installment of the Legislative Update for the 2011 legislative session. Below are the summaries of the bills of interest to the judiciary heard this week in committee.

If you are interested in reading the text of any bill introduced this session, you may find the bill information on Access Indiana at: http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo.