General Information

April 5, 2012 | Category: General

This final legislative update contains summaries of select bills of interest or portions of bills that were signed into law in the 2012 legislative session.  The legislative digest for all bills passed this session can be found: http://www.in.gov/legislative/reports/2012/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

April 5, 2012 | Category: Civil

Partition

S.E.A. 156, P.L. 41-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Establishes a new procedure for partitioning real and personal property that: (1) requires a court to refer the matter to mediation; and (2) requires the court to order that the property be sold using a method the parties agree upon, or if the parties are not able to reach an agreement, at auction. Repeals superseded provisions.

Security deposits and motor vehicle liens

S.E.A. 271, P.L. 47-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Prohibits a landlord from requiring a lien on a motor vehicle that is owned by a tenant as a security deposit or to secure the payment of rent by the tenant. Provides that, if a landlord accepts a lien on a motor vehicle as a security deposit, the landlord must file or record the lien and comply with requirements concerning security deposits to enforce the lien.

Mortgages and liens on real property

S.E.A. 298, P. L. 130-2012

Effective July 1, 2012 (§ 1-3); March 19, 2012 (§ 4-8)

Removes a provision specifying that a mortgage or vendor’s lien that was created before September 1, 1982, on real estate in Indiana expires 20 years after the last installment of the secured debt is due.  Provides that if a mortgage or vendor’s lien does not show the due date of the last installment, the mortgage or lien expires 10 years (instead of 20 years under current law) after the date of execution of the mortgage or lien.  Provides that if: (1) the record of the mortgage or lien does not show the due date of the last installment; and (2) the execution date is omitted from the mortgage or lien; the mortgage or lien expires 10 years (instead of 20 years under current law) after the mortgage or lien is recorded.  Provides exceptions to these expiration periods if a foreclosure action is brought or maintained not later than the applicable expiration period.  Makes corresponding changes in the provision that allows the mortgagee or lienholder to file an affidavit stating when the debt becomes due.

Provides that at any time after a judgment and decree of sale is entered in an action to foreclose a mortgage on an interest in real property in Indiana, an interested person or an omitted party may bring a civil action concerning an omitted party’s interest in the property.  Provides that upon the filing of such an action, the court shall determine the extent of the omitted party’s interest and issue a decree terminating that interest, subject to the right of the omitted party to redeem the property if the omitted party would have had redemption rights under existing law.  Sets forth factors that the court must consider in determining the terms of redemption.  Provides for the amount to be paid for redemption and the time allowed for payment.  Provides that: (1) the senior lien on which the foreclosure action was based is not extinguished by merger with the title to the property conveyed to a purchaser at the judicial sale until the interest of any omitted party has been terminated; and (2) until an omitted party’s interest is terminated, the purchaser at the judicial sale is the equitable owner of the senior lien.  Provides that an interested person’s rights under the new provisions may not be denied because of certain acts or omissions by the interested person.

Eminent domain filing deadlines

S.E.A. 329, P.L. 50-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Specifies that a party to an eminent domain action aggrieved by the assessment of benefits or damages in a report of the appraisers filed with a court may file written exceptions to the assessment in the office of the circuit court clerk after the report of the appraisers is filed with the court not later than 45 days after the date the circuit court mails the report.

Criminal history and sentencing – infractions records remedies

H.E.A. 1033, P.L. 69-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Establishes IC 35-28-5-15 to provide that the court shall, sua sponte, order the clerk not to disclose infraction records to a noncriminal justice organization or an individual if the infraction defendant: (1) was not prosecuted or if the complaint was dismissed; (2) was acquitted of the infraction; or (3) was adjudged to have committed the infraction but the judgment was vacated.  Provides that if the court fails to order the nondisclosure, the infraction defendant may file a petition to have the nondisclosure ordered. Specifies contents and filing time for the petition and requires notice to the prosecutor.  If prosecutor opposes the petition, a hearing is required. Also, establishes IC 34-28-5-16 providing that five years after the date a person satisfies a judgment for an infraction the clerk must prohibit the disclosure of information related to the infraction to noncriminal justice organizations or to individuals.  Also provides that a “person whose records have been restricted under this section may legally state on an application for employment or any other document that the person has not been adjudicated to have committed the infraction recorded in the restricted records.”

Agricultural operations – restitution for methamphetamine and marijuana

H.E.A. 1091, P.L. 73-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Requires a court to order a person who manufactures methamphetamine or marijuana on property owned by another to pay certain liquidated damages as restitution to the property owner.

Finding of abandonment for mortgaged property

H.E.A. 1238, P.L. 102-2012

Effective March 16, 2012

Provides a procedure that allows: (1) a creditor in a mortgage; or (2) an enforcement authority with jurisdiction in the location of the mortgaged property to petition the court having jurisdiction over an existing mortgage foreclosure action to find that the mortgaged property is abandoned.  Provides that upon receiving a petition for a determination of abandonment, the court shall issue an order to show cause as to why the property should not be found to be abandoned and to direct the appropriate parties to appear before the court on a date and time specified in the order.  Provides that a party subject to the order has the right to: (1) present oral or written evidence or objections on the issue of abandonment to the court; and (2) be represented by an attorney when appearing before the court.  Provides that certain specified conditions existing with respect to the mortgaged property constitute prima facie evidence that the property is abandoned.  Provides that the debtor’s failure to either: (1) present written evidence or objections on the issue of abandonment before the appearance date or (2) appear before the court on the appearance date; constitutes prima facie evidence that the property is abandoned.

Other bills of interest:

Cemetery access

H.E.A. 1015, P.L. 68-2012

Agricultural operations – agricultural nuisance actions

H.E.A. 1091, P.L. 73-2012

Immunity for fast responders

H.E.A. 1040, P.L. 70-2012

Criminal Law

April 5, 2012 | Category: Criminal

Self defense

S.E.A. 1, P.L. 161-2012

Effective March 20, 2012

Amends IC 35-41-3-2 to provide that a person is justified in using reasonable force against a public servant if the person reasonably believes the force is necessary to: (1) protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force; (2) prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful entry of or attack on the person’s dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle; or (3) prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful trespass on or criminal interference with property lawfully in the person’s possession, lawfully in possession of a member of the person’s immediate family, or belonging to a person whose property the person has authority to protect.

Amends IC 35-41-3-2 to provide that a person is not justified in using force against a public servant if: (1) the person is committing or is escaping after the commission of a crime; (2) the person provokes action by the public servant with intent to cause bodily injury to the public servant; (3) the person has entered into combat with the public servant or is the initial aggressor, unless the person withdraws from the encounter and communicates to the public servant the intent to do so and the public servant nevertheless continues or threatens to continue unlawful action; or (4) the person reasonably believes the public servant is: (A) acting lawfully; or (B) engaged in the lawful execution of the public servant’s official duties. Amends IC 35-41-3-2 to provide that a person is not justified in using deadly force against a public servant whom the person knows or reasonably should know is a public servant unless (1) the person reasonably believes that the public servant is (A) acting unlawfully or (B) not engaged in the execution of the public servant’s official duties, and (2) the force is reasonably necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person.

Human trafficking

S.E.A. 4, P.L. 1-2012

Effective January 30, 2012

Amends the promotion of human trafficking offense, IC 35-42-3.5-1(a), to add the element that perpetrator’s promotion be by “force, threat of force, or fraud” and adds “participating in sexual conduct” as one of the activities the victim is coerced to do. Enacts a new “promotion of human trafficking of a minor” B felony codified as IC 35-42-3.5-1(b) for a person who “recruits, harbors, or transports” a child under sixteen with the intent to engage the child in forced labor or involuntary servitude or intent to induce or cause the child to engage in prostitution or sexual conduct. Amends the A felony sexual trafficking of a minor offense, codified at IC 35-42-3.5-1(c) to expand its application from parents or custodians to include anyone eighteen or older and reduces the age of the child sold or transferred from eighteen to less than sixteen; expands purpose of the prohibited sale or transfer to include not just the purpose of prostitution by the child but also the purpose of having the child engage in sexual conduct.

Public intoxication

S.E.A. 97, P.L. 117-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Amends the public intoxication statutes IC 7.1-5-1-3 and 4 to provide that a person may not be convicted of certain offenses relating to public intoxication unless the person: (1) endangers the person’s life; (2) endangers the life of another person; (3) breaches the peace or is in imminent danger of breaching the peace; or (4) harasses, annoys, or alarms another person.  Prohibits a person from initiating or maintaining an action against a law enforcement officer based on the officer’s failure to enforce certain laws concerning public intoxication offenses.

Operating a motor boat while intoxicated

S.E.A. 154, P.L. 40-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Transfers all provisions relating to the offense of operating a motor boat while intoxicated from Title 7 to a new penal code chapter at IC 35-46-9.

Lab technician testimony in criminal cases

S.E.A. 246, P.L. 44-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Enacts a new penal code chapter, IC 35-36-11. Requires a prosecuting attorney who intends to introduce a laboratory report into evidence at a criminal trial to file a notice of intent at least 20 days before the trial, and requires a defendant who wishes to cross-examine the technician who prepared the laboratory report to file a pretrial demand for cross-examination not later than ten days after receiving the notice from the prosecutor. Prohibits a prosecuting attorney who fails to comply with the notice requirement from introducing a laboratory report into evidence without the testimony of the person who prepares the report, and provides that a defendant who does not comply with the demand requirement waives the right to confront and cross-examine the person who prepared the laboratory report.

Immunity for certain alcohol offenses

S.E.A. 274, P.L. 93-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Prohibits a law enforcement officer from taking a person into custody for a crime of public intoxication or minor possession, consumption, or transportation of an alcoholic beverage if the officer, after making a reasonable determination and considering the facts and surrounding circumstances, reasonably believes that: (1) the officer has contact with the person because the person requested emergency medical assistance, or acted in concert with another person who requested emergency medical assistance, for an individual who reasonably appeared in need of medical assistance due to alcohol consumption; and (2) the person meets other requirements.  Specifies that a person may not bring an action against a law enforcement officer based on the officer’s compliance with or failure to comply with this prohibition.  Provides that a person meeting these conditions is immune from criminal prosecution for public intoxication or minor possession, consumption, or transportation of an alcoholic beverage.

Criminal history and sentencing – converting D Felony to A Misdemeanor

H.E.A. 1033, P.L. 69-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Amends IC 35-50-2-7 to authorize a court to convert a Class D felony conviction to Class A misdemeanor conviction if: (1) the person is not a sex or violent offender; (2) the offense was a non-violent offense; (3) the person has not been convicted of perjury or official misconduct; (4) at least three years have passed since the person completed the sentence; (5) the person has not been convicted of a new felony; and (6) no criminal charges are pending against the person. Provides that if a person whose Class D felony conviction has been converted to a Class A misdemeanor conviction is convicted of a felony within five years after the conversion, a prosecuting attorney may petition a court to convert the person’s Class A misdemeanor conviction back to a Class D felony conviction.

Sexual offenders

H.E.A. 1080, P.L. 72-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Amends IC 11-8-8-4.5 to provide that a person is a sex offender if the person commits sexual misconduct by a service provider with a child who is subject to lawful detention. Creates a defense to the offense of recruiting, harboring, or transporting a child less than 16 years of age with the intent of inducing the child to participate in sexual conduct if: (1) the child is 14 or 15 years old and the person is less than 18 years old; or (2) the person is within four years of the child’s age, the person was in a dating relationship with the child, and certain other conditions apply. Amends IC 35-42-4-8 to make it a Class D felony sexual battery for a person to, with intent to arouse or satisfy the person’s own sexual desires or the sexual desires of another person, touch another person’s genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast when that other person is unaware that the touching is occurring.

Synthetic drugs

H.E.A. 1196, P.L. 78-2012

Effective March 15, 2012

Amends IC 35-48-4-10 (dealing marijuana) and IC 35-48-4-11 (possession of marijuana) to change the term “synthetic cannabinoid” to “synthetic drug.” Amends controlled substance statutes to add additional chemical compounds (including some compounds sold as “bath salts”) to the definition of synthetic drugs and expands the definition of synthetic drugs to include certain chemical compounds that are structurally related to synthetic drugs. Amends IC 25-26-13-4.1 to authorize the board of pharmacy to adopt an emergency rule to declare that a substance is a synthetic drug, and provides that the definition of synthetic drug includes a compound determined to be a synthetic drug by a rule adopted by the board.

Various corrections matters

H.E.A.1200, P.L. 147-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Requires a sentencing court to inform the Department of Correction (“DOC”) if the person sentenced is a credit restricted felon.  Requires a court that determines that a person is a credit restricted felon to state in the sentencing order and the abstract of judgment that the person is a credit restricted felon.  Provides that if a court imposes a felony sentence that involves a commitment to DOC, the court shall state certain information in the sentencing order and abstract of judgment.  Requires that the abstract of judgment be completed in an electronic format approved by DOC and the Division of State Court Administration.  Requires the Judicial Conference to adopt rules concerning swift and certain sanctions that a probation officer may use in supervising persons on probation.  Provides procedures for a person on probation to be sanctioned by a probation officer.  Requires that credit time earned by certain offenders shall be reduced to the extent that application of the credit time would result in post-conviction release or a community transition program assignment in less than 45 days after the person earns the credit time.  Provides that if a court orders probation for a person, the person, or in the case of a child, the child’s parents, are responsible for certain costs.

Various estate administration matters – “Racketeering Activity”

H.E.A. 1258, P.L. 149

Effective March 19, 2012 (§§11, 13-16); July 1, 2012 (§§1-10, 12, 17-19)

Adds practice of law by a person who is not an attorney to the definition of “racketeering activity” in IC 35-45-6-1.

Other bill of interest:

Title 35 definitions

S.E.A. 26, P.L. 114-2012

Family & Juvenile Law

April 5, 2012 | Category: Family/Juvenile

Duty to support a child

S.E.A. 18, P.L. 111-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Indiana law is amended to provide that the duty to support a child, which does not include support for educational needs, ceases when a child becomes 19 years of age.  Permits a child who is receiving child support under an order issued before July 1, 2012, to file a petition for educational needs until the child becomes 21 years of age, and specifies that a child who is receiving child support in an order issued after July 1, 2012 may petition for educational needs until the child becomes 19 years of age. 

Guardianships

S.E.A. 32, P.L. 115-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Allows a minor who has not been adjudicated an incapacitated person and the minor’s guardian to jointly petition the court to extend the guardianship beyond the date the minor attains 18 years of age. Authorizes the court to extend the guardianship, but not beyond age 22, for the protected person, if the court finds that extending the guardianship is in the best interests of the protected person.

Study of termination of parental rights in rape cases

S.E.A. 190, P.L. 156-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

The legislative council is urged to assign to the Indiana Child Custody and Support Advisory Committee the task of studying the termination of parenting rights of an individual with a child who was conceived as a result of an act of rape by that individual.

Record of marriage

S.E.A. 249, P.L. 22-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Provides that a clerk of a circuit court: (1) may forward a record of marriage to the State Department of Health in a paper form or in an electronic form by using an automated system developed by the judicial technology and automation project or another automated system approved by the State Department of Health; and (2) who forwards a record of marriage to the State Department of Health in an electronic form is not required to forward the record of marriage to the State Department of Health in a paper form.

Education concerning child abuse

H.E.A. 267, P.L. 46-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Requires DOE and DCS to develop educational materials for schools using evidence based models to teach children about reporting child abuse.

Department of Child Services

S.E.A. 286, P.L. 48-2012

Effective July 1, 2012 unless otherwise indicated

The Juvenile Code sections currently requiring the county to pay for placements and services if the correct Title IV-E language is not used in court orders are repealed. The new law requires DCS to notify the Indiana Judicial Center if orders do not contain the statutory Title IV-E language or a risk and needs assessment is not prepared.  This bill also:

  • Requires an initial hearing must be held within 10 days in all cases, whether or not DCS has removed the child from the home;
  • Requires DCS to employ at least two (2) full time employees to assist the ombudsman;
  • Provides that an alleged victim of a battery on a child may submit an application for assistance for victims of violent crime not later than five years after the commission of the offense; the alleged victim of a child sex crime may submit an application for assistance until the victim turns thirty-one years old;
  • Permits DCS to conduct a criminal history check before reunifying the child with a parent, guardian or custodian;
  • Requires a court to order a guardian to provide financial assistance to support a protected person, if DCS approved financial assistance to a guardian for the benefit of the protected person under certain circumstances;
  • Clarifies and amends the definitions of child abuse and neglect; amends the definition of child, guardian ad litem, shelter care and victim of child abuse and neglect;
  • The definition of foster care was amended to include a child living in a licensed placement in another state and the home of an adult relative who is not licensed as a foster family home.  The definition of foster family home was also amended to include a child who is receiving care and supervision under a juvenile court order.  The definition of related, therapeutic foster family home, and transitional services plan were also amended. (Effective March 14, 2012)
  • Requires training for attorney guardian ad litems appropriate for their role in the areas of identification and treatment of child abuse and neglect, early childhood, and child and adolescent development;
  • Creates residential placement review committees to review residential placements to ensure the placement is the least restrictive, most family like and most appropriate setting available and close to the parent’s home, consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child in all CHINS and delinquency cases;
  • Creates permanency roundtables and requires DCS to refer a case to them in order to review all permanency options for any child placed in a child caring institution, group home, or private secure facility.  Requires the permanency roundtable to make recommendations to the court;
  • Permits a person to operate a foster family home without a license if the person is providing care and supervision only for one or more individuals related to the person; (Effective March 14, 2012)
  • Reduces the length of stay under the Emergency Shelter Care statute from 60 to 20 days and permits DCS to grant a waiver of this time limit if the facility applies for the waiver before the expiration of the 20-day period; (Effective March 14, 2012)
  • Creates a new collaborative care youth program which will allow Indiana to receive Title IV-E monies for providing services to older youth in foster care who are at least 18 years old but less than 20 years old. Provides that the juvenile court has jurisdiction over these cases, reviews them every six months, and requires the court to enter findings on the progress made in implementing the collaborative care agreement. (Effective March 14, 2012)
  • Permits youth over 18 to stay in the guardianship assistance program until age 20 and permits the juvenile court to oversee these cases;  (Effective March 14, 2012)
  • Permits DOC to petition a court to reinstate jurisdiction over an older youth for purposes of placement in the collaborative care program; (Effective March 14, 2012)
  • Permits sharing of the outcome of abuse and neglect assessments involving a teacher with the state superintendent of public instruction in addition to the teacher;
  • Makes the audio recording of calls to the child abuse and neglect hotline confidential and may only be released upon court order, however if the report of abuse or neglect is subject to a complaint made to a prosecutor, the audio recording shall be released without a court order to the prosecutor upon written request of the prosecutor; (Effective March 14, 2012)
  • Permits the creation of regional fatality review teams;
  • Requires DCS to establish local child fatality review teams with required and permissive members appointed by the DCS director or designee; Provides the  DCS manager for the region is the chair of the local child fatality review team; Provides data about fatalities is reported to the DCS on forms established by DCS with a requirement DCS report annually on all child fatalities in Indiana; Amends the statewide child fatality review committee statute;
  • Permits sDCS to stay an administrative appeal hearing on a DCS substantiation of a report of abuse or neglect when there is an informal adjustment or criminal proceeding;
  • Removes the requirement that DCS expunge a substantiated report of abuse or neglect after twenty (20) years after a court determines the child is a CHINS.  Requires DCS to expunge abuse or neglect information after 24 years if DCS approved the assessment as unsubstantiated, or the court in a CHINS case, entered a final judgment that the abuse or neglect did not occur.  Permits DCS, upon request of an interested person at any time, to expunge information relating to an unsubstantiated assessment of abuse or neglect, if the DCS determines the probative value of the information does not justify its retention.  Information retained by DCS may be used by DCS to facilitate its assessment of a subsequent report involving the same child or family.  If there is a substantiated report of abuse and neglect in DCS records, the perpetrator may file a petition in juvenile court to request an order directing DCS to expunge the record.  The court shall hold a hearing and based on statutory factors either grant or deny the petition; (Effective March 14, 2012)
  • Requires, rather than permits, the person filing the termination petition to request the court set the petition for a hearing.  Permits persons listed by statute to file a motion to dismiss the petition to terminate parental rights under certain circumstances. Requires a court to hold the fact-finding or dispositional hearing in a CHINS case, or a hearing on the petition to terminate parental rights, within statutory timeframes and provides the penalty for not doing is to require the court dismiss the case with prejudice;
  • Adds “there is a reasonable probability that the injury was not accidental” to the list of factors which create a rebuttable presumption the child is a CHINS;
  • Permits the use of videotape testimony of a child in DCS administrative appeal hearings involving DCS substantiation of abuse or neglect or foster home license revocation proceedings;
  • Requires DCS to include reasons in the petition to dismiss a TPR case if DCS intends to file such a motion;
  • Permits certain persons, not just a party, to file a motion to dismiss the petition to terminate parental rights;
  • A reference in the Interstate Compact on Juveniles is corrected to require DCS to pay for the return of runaways under both the old and new Interstate Compact on Juveniles;
  • Requires DCS to only make payments for group homes and residential facilities under contract with DCS unless the child services are recommended or approved by DCS or designee in writing prior to the placement;
  • Repeals the requirement that DCS provide certain reports to the Indiana General Assembly;
  • Creates an interim study committee on underserved youth with mental health issues to study whether the prosecuting attorney should be allowed to file CHINS Section 6 petitions, and the unmet mental health needs of children in the juvenile justice system.  This committee’s charge expires December 31, 2013; and,
  • Creates the DCS interim study committee to review and study progress and improvement made by DCS, best practices concerning child welfare, reports from the DCS ombudsman, the DCS abuse and neglect hotline, and make legislative recommendations. This committee’s charge expires December 31, 2013.

Department of Child Services – technical corrections

S.E.A. 287, P.L. 128-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Enumerates in the statute certain information required by federal law, already included in the paternity affidavit form. Provides that certain Title IV-D fees may be set according to rules adopted by DCS rather than by statute to permit DCS to reduce a fee to a nominal amount rather than spending more money to process the fee and forward it to the federal government. Codifies current DCS practice advising a parent who is voluntarily relinquishing parental rights that the parent’s consent may not be based upon a promise regarding the child’s adoption or contact of any type with the child after the parent voluntarily relinquishes parental rights.  In accordance with In Re A.K., 924 N.E.2d 212, (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), requires a court to enter findings of fact that support the entry of its conclusions granting a termination of parental rights. Indiana’s recently recodified Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children was amended to include further amendments made nationally after the recodification was adopted by Indiana.  Repeals obsolete references and outdated language, aligns Indiana law with federal statutes, clarifies existing Indiana statutes, adds cross references and makes technical corrections.

Court established alcohol and drug services programs, problem solving courts, pro bono legal services filing fee, protection orders – protection order definition

H.E.A. 1049, P.L. 136-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

The definition of family or household member of another person was expanded to include an instance when the individual has adopted a child of the other person.

Military custody and parenting time

H.E.A. 1065, P.L. 55-2012

July 1, 2012

Requires a court, upon motion by a parent who has received military temporary duty, deployment, or mobilization orders to: (1) hold an expedited hearing to determine or modify custody or parenting time; and (2) allow, with reasonable notice, a parent to present testimony and evidence by certain electronic means in a custody or parenting time proceeding under certain circumstances.  Allows a court, upon motion by a parent who has received military deployment orders, to delegate all or a portion of the parent’s parenting time, during the time the parent is deployed to a person who has a close and substantial relationship with the parent’s child if the court determines delegating the time is in the best interests of the child. Provides an order delegating parenting time automatically terminates after the parent returns from deployment and allows the court to terminate this order if the court determines the delegated parenting time is no longer in the best interests of the child.

Other bill of interest:

Education concerning child abuse

S.E.A. 267, P.L. 46-2012

Judicial Administration

April 5, 2012 | Category: Administration

Allen Circuit Court
S.E.A. 152, P.L. 39-2012
Effective July 1, 2013
Converts the Allen Circuit Court hearing officer to a magistrate on July 1, 2013.

Court established alcohol and drug services programs, problem solving courts, pro bono legal services filing fee, protection orders

H.E.A. 1049, P.L. 136-2012
Effective July 1, 2012
Provides that the cap on the fees for program services provided to a person participating in a court established alcohol and drug services program does not include fees for education or treatment and rehabilitation services. Authorizes a person to participate in a problem solving court as a condition of an informal adjustment program in a child in need of services proceeding. Eliminates an individual’s agreement to the conditions of participation if the case for which the individual is referred to the problem solving court involves a nonsuspendible sentence as a precondition to the placement of the individual in a problem solving court. Authorizes a problem solving court in addition to the clerk to collect program fees. Imposes, until July 1, 2017, a pro bono legal services fee of $1 on parties who file certain civil actions, small claims actions, and probate actions. Requires the pro bono legal services fees to be transferred to the Indiana Bar Foundation. Requires the Indiana Bar Foundation to: (1) deposit in an appropriate account and otherwise manage the fees the foundation receives in the same manner it deposits and manages the net earnings the foundation receives from IOLTA accounts; and (2) use the fees the foundation receives to assist or establish approved pro bono legal services programs. Specifies that the handling and expenditure of the pro bono legal services fees received by the Indiana Bar Foundation are subject to audit by the State Board of Accounts.

Johnson Superior Court and Wabash City Court

H.E.A. 1092, P.L. 74-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Adds a fourth judge to the Johnson Superior Court as of January 1, 2015. Prohibits the Auditor of State from paying the part of the total salary and benefits that would otherwise be paid by the State for the fourth judge of the Johnson Superior Court until the Auditor of State receives a resolution of the Board of County Commissioners of Johnson County that sets forth the board’s determination that a building in existence on January 1, 2012, has been rehabilitated and is ready as a place for the new court to hold sessions. Provides that the Wabash City Court has concurrent jurisdiction with the Wabash Circuit Court in civil cases in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $1,500.

Other bill of interest:

Administrative Law Judge Study

H.E.A. 1273, P.L. 83-2012

Miscellaneous

April 5, 2012 | Category: Miscellaneous

Noncode statutes

S.E.A. 237, P.L. 63-2012

IC 4 and IC 5 revision

S.E.A. 262, P.L. 126-2012

Indiana Uniform Law Commission

S.E.A. 402, P.L. 53-2012

Technical corrections

H.E.A. 1009, P.L. 6-2012

Probate Law

April 5, 2012 | Category: Probate

Power of attorney and attorney in fact

S.E.A. 157, P.L. 42-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Provides that a copy of the power of attorney has the same force and effect as the original power of attorney if the person granting the power of attorney certifies that the copy is a true and correct copy. Specifies that a child of the principal may request an accounting with respect to transactions entered into by an attorney in fact. Urges the legislative council to study issues related to powers of attorney during the 2012 interim.

Immediate detention orders

S.E.A. 176, P.L. 62-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Authorizes a court to order an individual to be transported to an appropriate facility (excluding a state institution) for a preliminary medical and psychological evaluation if the court has reasonable grounds to believe that the individual (1) has a mental illness, (2) is dangerous, and (3) is in immediate need of hospitalization and treatment. Provides that the costs of transportation and care must be paid by the county in which the individual was taken into custody if there were not reasonable grounds to believe that the individual had a mental illness and was dangerous.

Inheritance tax

S.E.A. 293, P.L. 157-2012

Effective July 1, 2012

Reclassifies a spouse, widow, or widower of a child or stepchild of the transferor as a Class A transferee instead of a Class B or Class C transferee.  Increases the inheritance tax exemption amount for Class A transferees from $100,000 to $250,000 with respect to taxable transfers resulting from the deaths of individuals dying after December 31, 2011.  Phases out the inheritance tax over 9 years beginning in 2013.  Phases out the inheritance tax replacement amounts payable to counties over 10 years beginning with amounts payable for the state fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012.

Various estate administration matters

H.E.A. 1258, P.L. 149-2012

Effective March 19, 2012 (§§11, 13-16); July 1, 2012 (§§1-10, 12, 17-19)

Provides that transfers made to entities, as defined in the code, are taxed at the same percentages as the individual’s beneficial or ownership interest in the entity.  Eliminates the ability to file a recovery claim against a Medicaid recipient’s spouse.  Provides that foreign wills probated after the deadlines expire are limited in the same way as Indiana wills probated after the deadlines expire.  Provides that the costs and expenses of administration include fees of a surrogate attorney that has been approved by the court under the rules and have been filed as a claim in the estate of a deceased attorney in determining priority of claims.  Provides that a standby guardian has the same powers granted to a guardian by statute.  Provides that if custodial property, including a custodial account, is worth less than $10,000 a guardian does not need to be appointed under IC 29-3-3-1.  Provides that amendments to IC 30-4 regarding trusts applies to all trusts created prior to the amendments unless stated otherwise in this article of the code, or to do so would adversely affect a right of a beneficiary, give a right to a beneficiary that was not intended when the trust was created, impose a duty or liability on any person that was not intended when the trust was created, or relieve any person from a duty or liability imposed by the terms of the trust or under prior law.  Provides that amendments to the law concerning transfers on death apply to all such transfers created prior to the effective date of the applicable amendment and that a testamentary trust with transfer on death property comes into existence as of the owner’s death if the owner’s last will and testament is admitted to probate.  Makes several amendments regarding the rights of a personality’s rights of publicity.

See also:

Guardianships

S.E.A. 32, P.L. 115-2012

Description under Family & Juvenile Law.

Traffic Law

April 5, 2012 | Category: Traffic

Motor Vehicle Law – Reorganization of Bureau of Motor Vehicles Statutes

S.E.A.  257, P.L. 125-2012

General Information

February 24, 2012 | Category: General

This is the eighth weekly installment of the Legislative Update for the 2012 legislative session. Below are the summaries of 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 at: http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo.

Civil Law

February 24, 2012 | Category: Civil

The House Judiciary Committee, for amend and vote only, heard SB 156 on partition sponsored by Rep. Koch and Rep. Foley. This bill establishes a new procedure for partitioning real and personal property that requires a court to refer the matter to mediation to order that the property be sold at auction if the parties are not able to reach an agreement. An amendment to the bill changed the mediation procedure. The bill passed as amended with a vote of 11-0.

The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 322, tort immunity for DOC employees and contractors, sponsored by Rep. Steuerwald.  This bill provides for tort immunities for governmental entities and public employees for employees of the Department of Correction (DOC) and contractors of DOC who provide monitoring services or sex offender treatment for certain offenders. It also provides that a governmental entity or government employee is not liable if a loss results from an injury to a person or property of an individual who is on parole.  The bill was amended to add qualified immunity to law enforcement officers when providing roadside assistance. Testimony was heard against the bill by the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and in support of the bill by a representative of a company that provides products and services for home detention. This bill passed as amended with a vote of 11-1.

The House Judiciary Committee heard SB 329 on eminent domain filing deadlines sponsored by Rep. Messmer and Rep. Battles. This bill specifies that a party to an eminent domain action aggrieved by the assessment of benefits or damages in a report of the appraisers filed with a court may file written exceptions to the assessment in the office of the circuit court clerk after the report of the appraisers is filed with the court not later than 45 days after the date the circuit court mails the report. The bill passed 10-0.

The Senate Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters Committee heard HB 1040 concerning immunity for fast responders sponsored by Sen. Miller. Author Rep. Grubb explained that the bill is intended to establish a structure for community fast responder services in rural areas.  Testimony in support of the bill was heard from an EMT, the American Heart Association and the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association. An amendment was adopted extending immunity protections to schools when the general public is invited on the premises to engage in physical fitness activities. The amended bill passed 10-0.