Archive for January 11th, 2006

Courts and Criminal Code passes three bills

The Courts and Criminal Code Committee met today and considered three pieces of legislation.

HB 1157, to increase the number of judges in Marion County Superior Court, passed 10-0. As I have discussed earlier, this legislation was also endorsed by the Commission on Courts interim study committee in October.

HB 1156, another judges bill endorsed by the Commission on Courts, passed 9-0. After amendment in committee it:
- limits the amount of an excessive property tax levy to the estimate made by the local unit operating the court during its first year;
- allows the Supreme Court to determine a new method for forming jury pool lists –eliminating the voter registration lists as the sole source, and allowing for expansion to drivers license lists, tax rolls, etc; (so no more excuses for not registering to vote!)
- adds a second judge to the Jackson County Superior ourt.

Finally, HB 1016 would allow courts to charge pretrial detainees for “pretrial services,” such as drug rehab or domestic abuse programs. There is some concern over this legislation, as it would allow fees to be charged to people who have not yet been found guilty. However, several counties in the state already operate similar programs, and Representative Ralph Ayres (R- Chesterton) has agreed to work on further tightening up the language.

A second reading amendment could remove city and town courts from the program and eliminate a court’s ability to prevent license reinstatement for non-payment.


Tonight I will be attending the Governor’s State of the State address, and will report back with details from the event.

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