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Bill Watch, Feb. 12, 2019: Current Family Law Legislation of Note - Family Law News

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Family Law News


Posted on: Feb 12, 2019

The IndyBar Legislative Committee is currently monitoring the following family law related legislation. IndyBar members can request that the Legislative Committee track specific legislation by contacting committee chair Mindy Westrick at mindy.westrick@faegrebd.com.

Click here to view the full Bill Watch reports.

HB1006    DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SERVICES. (STEUERWALD G) Provides that an older youth who received foster care is eligible to receive collaborative care services until the individual becomes 21 years of age. Provides that the caseload of a family case manager may not be more than: (1) 12 active cases relating to initial assessments; (2) 12 families in active cases relating to ongoing in-home services; or (3) 13 children in active cases relating to ongoing services who are in out-of-home placements. Requires the department of child services (department) to initiate an assessment immediately, but not later than two hours (rather than one hour, under current law), after receiving a report of child abuse or neglect if the department believes the child is in immediate danger of serious bodily harm. Requires the department to provide a report concerning an assessment or investigation of a report of suspected child abuse or neglect not later than 45 days after the department initiates the assessment if the report of suspected child abuse or neglect was received from certain entities. Provides that a child is a child in need of services if the child's parent, guardian, or custodian has failed to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or supervision: (1) when the parent, guardian, or custodian is financially able to do so; or (2) due to the failure, refusal, or inability of the parent, guardian, or custodian to seek financial or other reasonable means to do so. (Current code does not consider financial ability.)

HB1013    ADMISSIBILITY OF COVERAGE LIMITS. (TORR J) Prohibits admission of uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage limits in a breach of contract action concerning uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits.

HB1014    UNAUTHORIZED ADOPTION ADVERTISING. (TORR J) Provides that the law concerning unauthorized adoption advertising does not apply to: (1) a federal agency; (2) the Indiana department of child services; (3) an attorney licensed to practice law in Indiana; (4) a child placing agency licensed under the laws of Indiana; and (5) a person seeking to adopt a child on the person's own behalf. (Current law provides that: (1) only a person that is an attorney licensed to practice law in Indiana and a child placing agency licensed under the laws of Indiana may place an advertisement concerning adoption; and (2) the law concerning unauthorized adoption advertising may not be enforced against a federal agency or the Indiana department of child services.) Removes a provision that requires an attorney licensed to practice law in Indiana and a child placing agency licensed under the laws of Indiana to include certain information in an advertisement regarding adoption. Makes corresponding changes.

HB1017    CIVIL AND CRIMINAL IMMUNITY. (FRYE R) Provides that a civilian who, in good faith, takes an action to prevent serious bodily injury to or to prevent a forcible felony against a law enforcement officer who is engaged in the execution of the law enforcement officer's duties is immune from civil and criminal liability, unless the civilian's acts or omissions amount to gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. Provides that the governmental entity that employed the law enforcement officer must indemnify the civilian against any cause of action that may arise out of the civilian's assistance to the law enforcement officer.

HB1049    SURRENDER OF FIREARMS FOR DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIMES. (JACKSON C) Provides that a person who: (1) has been convicted of a crime of domestic violence; and (2) knowingly or intentionally possesses a firearm; commits possession of a firearm by a domestic batterer, a Class A misdemeanor. Provides certain defenses. Requires a court to issue an order, upon entry of a judgment of conviction for a crime of domestic battery or a crime of domestic violence, that: (1) prohibits ownership or possession of a firearm until the defendant's right to possess a firearm is restored; and (2) requires the defendant to surrender: (A) any firearm owned or possessed by the defendant; and (B) any valid license or permit to carry a handgun (license); to a law enforcement agency or law enforcement officer with jurisdiction over the area where the defendant's offense occurred, where the defendant resides, or where the defendant plans to reside. Requires a court to order an appropriate law enforcement agency or law enforcement officer to seize, within 72 hours, any firearm or license owned or possessed by a defendant convicted of domestic battery or a crime of domestic violence. Provides that a person who knowingly or intentionally fails to surrender: (1) all firearms owned or possessed by the person; or (2) any valid license or permit to carry a handgun possessed by the person; after being convicted of domestic battery or a crime of domestic violence commits unlawful retention of a firearm or license by a domestic batterer, a Class A misdemeanor. Enhances the offense to a Level 6 felony if the person has a prior unrelated conviction for the offense. Provides certain defenses. Specifies how a confiscated firearm or license shall be: (1) returned to the rightful owner; or (2) disposed of; if a defendant's right to possess a firearm is restored. Defines certain terms. Makes conforming amendments.

HB1142    INFANT MORTALITY COLLABORATIVE. (SHACKLEFORD R) Establishes the infant mortality reduction collaborative (collaborative) to be staffed by the state department of health. Sets forth duties of the collaborative.

HB1146    REPORTING OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONVICTIONS TO NICS. (DELANEY E) Requires a court to provide certain information to the office of judicial administration for transmission to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) data base upon entering a judgment of conviction for domestic battery.

HB1167    CHILDREN IN NEED OF SERVICES. (MAHAN K) Requires a court to: (1) provide that a foster parent or other caretaker with whom the child has been placed for temporary care has standing; and (2) allow a foster parent or other caretaker with whom the child has been placed for temporary care to present evidence to the court and make recommendations; at a detention hearing. Requires a court to: (1) provide that a foster parent or other caretaker with whom the child has been placed for temporary care has standing to appeal a decision by the court; and (2) allow a foster parent or other caretaker with whom the child has been placed for temporary care to be heard, present evidence, and make recommendations to the court; at a dispositional hearing. Requires a court to grant a petition to intervene filed in a child in need of services proceeding by a foster parent, long term foster parent, or a person who has been a foster parent of the child who is the subject of the proceeding if the petitioner has also filed: (1) a petition to adopt; or (2) a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship; concerning the child who is the subject of the child in need of services proceeding. Provides that if: (1) a child has been removed from a parent and has been under the supervision of the department of child services (department) for 15 of the most recent 22 months; and (2) a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship has not been filed; the court shall order the department to file a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship within 15 days of the order. Provides that failure to obey the court order is punishable as contempt of court.

HB1168    CHILD PLACEMENT. (MAHAN K) Provides that the department of child services (department) may place a child alleged to be a child in need of services with a relative or de facto custodian if the placement is in the best interests of the child.

HB1276    PLACEMENT PRIORITY FOR FOSTER PARENTS. (MAHAN K) Provides that if a child in need of services is: (1) returned from an out-of-home placement to an in-home placement; and (2) subsequently removed from the in-home placement; the court and the department of child services (DCS) shall notify the foster family with which the child was previously placed and make a reasonable attempt to place the child with that foster family. Provides that if the child has previously been placed in multiple out-of-home placements, the court and DCS shall make a reasonable attempt to place the child in the most recent out-of-home placement that is able and willing to accept the placement. Provides that for purposes of placing the child in the previous out-of-home placement, DCS shall waive the limits on the number of children who may be placed in a single foster family home if: (1) the placement would not cause the foster family home to be out of compliance with federal law; and (2) the department determines that the placement would not present a safety risk for the child or for any other resident of the foster family home.

HB1277    FAMILY AND JUVENILE LAW MATTERS. (THOMPSON J) Establishes a rebuttable presumption in child custody proceedings that an award of joint physical custody is in the best interest of the child. Provides that if the department of child services (DCS) or a prosecuting attorney receives two reports, made independently by separate health care providers, each of which states that the health care provider has reason to believe, based on the health care provider's medical examination of the child, that the child is a victim of child abuse or neglect, DCS or the prosecuting attorney shall: (1) request that the juvenile court authorize the filing of a petition alleging that the child is a child in need of services; and (2) request that the child be taken into custody. Provides that if the juvenile court authorizes the filing of the petition, the juvenile court shall grant the request that the child be taken into custody if the juvenile court finds that DCS or the prosecuting attorney was required to request the petition due to DCS's or the prosecuting attorney's receipt of the health care providers' reports. Provides that a court may not enter a dispositional decree that removes a child in need of services from the child's home and authorizes DCS to place the child in a facility or in another home, or that makes the child a ward of DCS, unless the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the child is a child in need of services as the result of: (1) the refusal or neglect of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or supervision despite the parent, guardian, or custodian having the financial means to do so; or (2) the inability of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or supervision due to the parent, guardian, or custodian lacking the financial means to do so, but refusing or neglecting to make reasonable efforts to obtain the financial means to do so.

HB1306    PRESUMPTION IN FAVOR OF JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY. (JUDY C) Provides that an award of joint legal custody of a child creates a rebuttable presumption in favor of awarding joint physical custody of the child to the individuals who are awarded joint legal custody. Provides that a finding by the court that a history of child abuse or neglect exists with respect to the child is sufficient to rebut the presumption in favor of joint physical custody. Requires a court that: (1) awards joint legal custody of a child; but (2) does not award joint physical custody of the child to the individuals who are awarded joint legal custody; to cite clear and convincing evidence that awarding joint physical custody to the individuals is unreasonable and not in the best interest of the child. Eliminates a requirement that a court consider agreement between the parties in a custody proceeding to share joint legal custody to be a primary, but not determinative, factor in determining whether awarding joint legal custody is in the best interest of a child.

HB1432    PARENTAL INCARCERATION. (MACER K) Provides that a parent who is incarcerated must be allowed to participate in person in child in need of services (CHINS) proceedings regarding the parent's child. Provides that a CHINS case plan must include a description and discussion of: (1) the services and treatment available to an incarcerated parent at the facility at which the parent is incarcerated; and (2) how the parent and child will be afforded visitation opportunities, unless visitation with the parent is not in the best interests of the child. Requires a CHINS dispositional decree to provide a reasonable opportunity for a parent of the child who: (1) is incarcerated; and (2) has maintained a meaningful role in the child's life; to maintain a relationship with the child, subject to the safety of the community and best interests of the child. Provides factors a court may consider in deciding whether an incarcerated parent is maintaining a meaningful role in a child's life. Provides for circumstances under which a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship between a child and an incarcerated parent of the child may be dismissed.

HB1520    CHILD SUPPORT. (GIAQUINTA P) Provides that the duty to support a child ceases when the child becomes 19 years of age unless the child is a full-time student in a secondary school.

SB1    DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SERVICES. (HOUCHIN E) Provides that an older youth who received foster care is eligible to receive collaborative care services until the individual becomes 21 years of age. Requires the department of child services (department) to initiate an assessment immediately, but not later than two hours (rather than one hour, under current law), after receiving a report of child abuse or neglect if the department believes the child is in immediate danger of serious bodily harm. Provides that a dispositional decree must require the department to continue exercising due diligence to identify all adult relatives of the child and adult siblings who may be considered as out-of-home placements for the child. Requires the department to include information: (1) concerning the department's continued effort to identify all adult relatives of the child and adult siblings who may be considered as out-of-home placements for the child; and (2) from a foster parent in a progress report prepared for a case review hearing or permanency hearing. Allows a foster parent, relative, or de facto custodian with whom a child has been placed for at least six months to file a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship (TPR) involving a delinquent child or a child in need of services if: (1) the child has been removed from a parent and has been under the supervision of the department for at least 15 months of the most recent 22 months; and (2) a petition for TPR has not been filed by the department, the child's court appointed special advocate, or the child's guardian ad litem. Provides that the best interests of the child must be considered in determining placement of an alleged child in need of services who has been taken into custody. Requires a court to consider certain factors when considering a petition to intervene filed in a child in need of services proceeding by a foster parent, long term foster parent, or a person who has been a foster parent of the child. Provides that before a child who was: (1) placed in an out-of-home placement; and (2) moved from the out-of-home placement to an in-home placement; may be returned to an out-of-home placement, the court and the department shall make a reasonable attempt to place the child in the previous out-of-home placement. Provides that a foster parent, relative of the child, or de facto custodian with whom the child has been placed for at least six months may file a notice with the court if a petition for TPR has not been filed concerning a child who has been removed from a parent and has been under the supervision of the department for 15 months of the most recent 22 months. Provides that if a notice is filed with the court, the court shall order the department to file a petition for TPR within 15 days of the order. Provides that the failure to obey the court order is punishable as contempt of court.

SB87    PHYSICAL CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME. (FORD J) Adds a rebuttable presumption in child custody proceedings that: (1) joint physical custody is in the best interests of the child; and (2) equal parenting time is in the best interests of the child. Provides that the default joint physical custody or parenting time schedule is to alternate weekly physical custody of the child, unless the parents submit an alternative schedule that is approved by the court.

SB106    GRANDPARENT AND GREAT-GRANDPARENT VISITATION. (RANDOLPH L) Allows great-grandparents to seek visitation rights with their great-grandchildren in certain circumstances. Allows a grandparent or great-grandparent to seek visitation if the grandparent or great-grandparent has had meaningful contact with the child but, as a result of an estrangement between the parent of the child and the grandparent or great-grandparent, the parent of the child terminated the child's visits with the grandparent or great-grandparent. Establishes factors for the court to consider in determining whether granting a grandparent or great-grandparent visitation rights is in the best interests of the child. Provides that a court may order a party to an action for grandparent or great-grandparent visitation to pay a reasonable amount for the cost to the other party of maintaining or defending the action, including costs for attorney's fees and mediation. Specifies that certain agencies are not required to pay costs. Makes conforming changes.

SB113    PRODUCT LIABILITY ACTIONS. (TORR J) Specifies causes of action that may constitute a product liability action. Repeals provisions pertaining to product liability actions that are based on: (1) property damage resulting from asbestos; and (2) personal injury, disability, disease, or death resulting from exposure to asbestos.

SB151    FOSTER PARENT INTERVENTION IN CHINS PROCEEDING. (RANDOLPH L) Requires the court conducting a periodic case review of a child in need of services to grant a petition to intervene in the proceeding filed by a foster parent, long term foster parent, or former foster parent of the child if: (1) the foster parent, long term foster parent, or former foster parent has filed a petition to adopt the child; or (2) a petition has been filed to terminate the parent-child relationship of the child and the child's parents.

SB195    CUSTODY, PARENTING TIME, AND VISITATION PROCEEDINGS. (KRUSE D) Requires a court in a custody, parenting time, or visitation proceeding to: (1) determine the wishes of the child who is the subject of the proceeding by conducting an in chambers interview with the child; and (2) consider the wishes of the child in making the court's determination. Provides that a court shall appoint an available guardian ad litem or court appointed special advocate, or both, to represent the interests of a child in a custody or parenting time proceeding.

SB197    COPIES OF IDENTIFYING ADOPTION INFORMATION. (HEAD R) Provides that a person releasing identifying adoption information must, upon request by the individual requesting the identifying information, provide copies of the identifying information to the individual. Makes a correction regarding exceptions to the release of identifying information.

SB206    CHILD SUPPORT MODIFICATION. (YOUNG M) Defines, for purposes of child support modification, an order with respect to child support.

SB208    ELECTRONIC FILING AND NOTICE. (YOUNG M) Allows a person to use electronic filing or service instead of mailing in certain cases if electronic filing or service is authorized by rules adopted by the supreme court.

SB257    USE OF CREDIT INFORMATION IN INSURANCE. (TAYLOR G) Prohibits an insurer's use of credit information in underwriting or rating risks. Repeals obsolete provisions.

SB296    ADOPTION SUBSIDY PAYMENT REQUIREMENT. (RANDOLPH L) Requires the department of child services (department) to: (1) enter into an agreement with each adoptive parent of a child with special needs who is eligible for an adoption subsidy to provide an adoption subsidy for the child; and (2) allocate funds to the adoption assistance account necessary to make the adoption subsidy payments. Prohibits the department from terminating an adoption subsidy agreement with adoptive parents due to insufficient funds in the adoption assistance account. Makes conforming changes. Repeals a provision that allows the department to: (1) approve new adoption subsidy agreements only for children who are wards of the department at the time the adoption petition is filed; and (2) give priority to funding new adoption subsidy agreements for children who are or were wards of the department; if the department determines that sufficient funds are not available.

SB311    PLACEMENT PRIORITY FOR FOSTER PARENTS. (MERRITT J) Provides that if a child in need of services is: (1) returned from an out-of-home placement to an in-home placement; and (2) subsequently removed from the in-home placement; the court and the department of child services (DCS) shall notify the foster family with which the child was previously placed and make a reasonable attempt to place the child with that foster family. Provides that if the child has previously been placed in multiple out-of-home placements, the court and DCS shall make a reasonable attempt to place the child in the most recent out-of-home placement that is able and willing to accept the placement. Provides that for purposes of placing the child in the previous out-of-home placement, DCS shall waive the limits on the number of children who may be placed in a single foster family home if: (1) the placement would not cause the foster family home to be out of compliance with federal law; and (2) the department determines that the placement would not present a safety risk for the child or for any other resident of the foster family home.

SB323    DRUG TESTING AND VISITATION. (CRIDER M) Authorizes a court to require a parent to submit to drug testing as a condition of exercising parenting time rights if the court finds that: (1) the parent has a history of unlawful drug use within the previous five years; or (2) there is a reasonable likelihood that the parent is currently using unlawful drugs. Specifies that the parent shall pay the costs of the drug testing.

SB330    INFANT BORN WITH NEONATAL ABSTINENCE SYNDROME. (FORD J) Allows the filing of a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship involving a delinquent child or a child in need of services if, in part, the child has been diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome at birth. Allows the filing of a motion to dismiss a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship on the basis of a neonatal abstinence syndrome diagnosis if: (1) the diagnosis is due to medical treatment administered during delivery; (2) the diagnosis is due to a valid prescription held and adhered to by the mother; or (3) the mother, within 90 days of the child's birth, enrolls in a substance abuse treatment or recovery program, receives a postnatal care regimen, and maintains compliance with the program and regimen.

SB372    GRANDPARENT VISITATION RIGHTS. (KRUSE D) Provides that a grandparent's right to seek visitation with a grandchild survives the grandchild's adoption by certain family members. (Current law requires a grandparent to file a petition to establish visitation rights prior to the adoption of a grandchild by certain family members in order for the grandparent's visitation rights to survive.) Removes a provision that requires a grandparent to petition for visitation with a grandchild before the date a decree of adoption by certain family members is entered. Removes requirements regarding notice to a grandparent of a grandchild's pending adoption by a family member.

SB484    GRANDPARENT AND GREAT-GRANDPARENT VISITATION. (ALTING R) Allows great-grandparents to seek visitation rights with their great-grandchildren in certain circumstances. Allows a grandparent or great-grandparent to seek visitation if the grandparent or great-grandparent has had meaningful contact with the child but, as a result of an estrangement between the parent of the child and the grandparent or great-grandparent, the parent of the child has terminated the child's visits with the grandparent or great-grandparent. Establishes factors for the court to consider in determining whether granting a grandparent or great-grandparent visitation rights is in the best interests of the child. Provides that a court may order a party to a proceeding on a petition for grandparent or great-grandparent visitation to pay a reasonable amount of the cost to the other party of maintaining or defending the proceeding, including costs for attorney's fees and mediation. Specifies that certain agencies may not be required to pay costs. Makes conforming changes.

SB501    SUPERVISED VISITATION. (MRVAN F) Provides that if a court grants parenting time rights to a person who has been convicted of: (1) child molesting; or (2) child exploitation; within the previous five years, the court shall order that the parenting time must be supervised.

SB502    CHILD SUPPORT AND RESTRICTED DRIVING. (MERRITT J) Provides that if a court finds that a person is delinquent as a result of an intentional violation of a child support order, the court may restrict the person's driving privileges to going to or returning from lawful employment, parenting time, and medical appointments or treatment, and other purposes permitted by the court. (Current law allows a court to suspend driving privileges.) Provides that if a Title IV-D agency finds that a person is delinquent in paying child support, the obligor's driving privileges shall be restricted to going to or returning from: (1) lawful employment; (2) parenting time; and (3) medical appointments or treatment. Makes conforming amendments.

SB534    CHILDREN IN NEED OF SERVICES. (FORD J) Requires a court to: (1) provide that a foster parent or other caretaker with whom the child has been placed for temporary care has standing; and (2) allow a foster parent or other caretaker with whom the child has been placed for temporary care to present evidence to the court and make recommendations; at a detention hearing. Requires a court to: (1) provide that a foster parent or other caretaker with whom the child has been placed for temporary care has standing to appeal a decision by the court; and (2) allow a foster parent or other caretaker with whom the child has been placed for temporary care to be heard, present evidence, and make recommendations to the court; at a dispositional hearing. Requires a court to grant a petition to intervene filed in a child in need of services proceeding by a foster parent, long term foster parent, or a person who has been a foster parent of the child who is the subject of the proceeding if the petitioner has also filed: (1) a petition to adopt; or (2) a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship; concerning the child who is the subject of the child in need of services proceeding. Provides that if: (1) a child has been removed from a parent and has been under the supervision of the department of child services for 15 of the most recent 22 months; and (2) a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship has not been filed; the court shall order the department to file a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship within 15 days of the order. Provides that failure to obey the court order is punishable as contempt of court.

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