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Bill Watch, Jan. 23, 2015: Current Litigation Legislation of Note - Litigation News

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Litigation News


Posted on: Jan 23, 2015

The IndyBar Legislative Committee is currently monitoring the following litigation related legislation. IndyBar members can request that the Legislative Committee track specific legislation by contacting committee chair Lawren Mills at lawren.mills@icemillerstrategies.com.

Click here to view the full Bill Watch reports.

HB1141 JUDGMENT DOCKETS. (RICHARDSON K) Specifies that the clerk of a circuit court: (1) shall keep a judgment docket for the circuit court and for each superior court and probate court served by the clerk; and (2) is the official keeper of the judgment docket for the circuit court and for each superior court and probate court served by the clerk. Provides that a judgment docket may not include judgments in which the state, a county, or another governmental entity is the sole creditor, except for: (1) cases in which the state obtains a judgment for unpaid taxes; or (2) any entry that is required by statute.

HB1340 CIVIL PROCEEDING ADVANCE PAYMENT TRANSACTIONS. (LEHMAN M) Defines a "civil proceeding advance payment transaction", or "CPAP transaction", as a nonrecourse transaction in which a person (CPAP provider) provides to a consumer claimant in a civil proceeding a funded amount, the repayment of which is: (1) required only if the consumer claimant prevails in the civil proceeding; and (2) sourced from the proceeds of the civil proceeding. Requires a CPAP provider to register with the department of financial institutions (department). Sets forth requirements, including disclosure requirements, for a contract (CPAP contract) entered into by a CPAP provider and a consumer claimant. Sets forth certain requirements and prohibitions with respect to CPAP transactions, including specifications for the CPAP contract amount. Permits the department to take certain actions to: (1) determine compliance with; and (2) pursue remedies for violations of; these provisions. Permits the department to adopt rules to implement these provisions. Specifies that the Uniform Consumer Credit Code does not apply to a CPAP transaction.

HB1400 ASBESTOS LITIGATION. (WASHBURNE T) Provides special proceedings for asbestos claims. Requires a plaintiff who files a personal injury action involving an asbestos claim to provide information to all parties in the action regarding each asbestos claim the plaintiff has filed or anticipates filing against an asbestos trust. Provides that if a defendant identifies an asbestos trust not named by the plaintiff, the court shall determine whether to require the plaintiff to file a claim against the asbestos trust and to stay the immediate action.

HB1441 JURY DUTY DEFERRALS FOR POSTSECONDARY STUDENTS. (KLINKER S) Provides that a prospective juror who is a full-time student enrolled in and attending an approved postsecondary educational institution during an academic year shall be exempted from jury service until the end of the academic year if: (1) the prospective juror requests a deferral by notifying the jury administrator that the prospective juror is a full-time student enrolled in and attending an approved postsecondary educational institution; (2) the prospective juror provides proof to the jury administrator that the jury service will likely interfere with the prospective juror's class schedule during the academic year; and (3) the court determines that the prospective juror has demonstrated that a deferral until the end of the academic year is necessary due to likely interference with the prospective juror's class schedule during the academic year.

SB38 APPLICATION OF FOREIGN LAW. (STEELE B) Provides that a court may not apply, enforce, or grant comity, res judicata, claim preclusion, or issue preclusion to a foreign law, ruling, or judgment if doing so would violate the fundamental liberties, rights, and privileges guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Indiana. Provides that a provision in a contract or agreement: (1) that provides for the choice of foreign laws in its interpretation; or (2) that provides for the choice of venue or forum; and that would result in a violation of a fundamental liberty, right, or privilege guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Indiana is void and unenforceable. Prohibits a court from granting certain motions if the transfer is likely to affect the constitutional rights of the nonmoving party. Provides that a court may not require or authorize any court to: (1) adjudicate or prohibit a religious organization from adjudicating ecclesiastical matters; or (2) determine or interpret the doctrine of a religious organization.

SB354 JUDGMENTS. (STEELE B) Provides that a judgment creditor may require a judgment debtor to appear in court to provide information concerning the judgment debtor's income and assets: (1) at any time, if the judgment debtor's circumstances have changed; or (2) not more than one time every six months. Permits a court, after conducting a hearing concerning a judgment debtor's income and assets, to summarily modify a previously issued order concerning the judgment debtor's income and assets.

SB377 ELIMINATION OF GRAND JURIES. (DELPH M) Abolishes the grand jury. Makes conforming amendments, and repeals superseded provisions. Makes technical corrections.

SB388 SEIZURE AND FORFEITURE OF PROPERTY. (HERSHMAN B) Provides that when property is seized under the law concerning forfeiture of property used in violation of certain criminal statutes, the state or local law enforcement agency making the seizure shall: (1) identify the owner of the property; and (2) provide the owner with notice of the intent of the state or local unit of government to seek forfeiture of the property. Provides that if notice is not provided, the seized property shall be returned to the owner unless good cause for the delay can be established by the law enforcement agency. Requires a prosecuting attorney to show by clear and convincing evidence that the owner of a vehicle knew or had reason to know that the vehicle was being used in the commission of an offense before the vehicle may be forfeited. Provides that if real property that is used as a primary residence is seized, a prosecuting attorney must establish that the owner of the realproperty was convicted of an offense before the real property may be forfeited. Establishes a rebuttable presumption that if property seized is currency totaling not more than $1,000, the currency: (1) was not used or intended to be used in furtherance of an offense; or (2) is not the proceeds of an offense. Allows a prosecuting attorney to rebut this presumption by a show of clear and convincing evidence. Provides an affirmative defense to a forfeiture action if the owner of property can show by a preponderance of the evidence that: (1) the owner took reasonable actions to prevent the commission of an offense; or (2) the owner did not take action to prevent the commission of an offense because the owner reasonably believed that to have done so would have placed the owner or another person in physical danger. Establishes a rebuttable presumption that property is not subject to forfeiture if: (1) an owner acquired the property after the commission of an offense; and (2) the owner did not know or had no reason to know of the involvement of the property in the offense. Allows a prosecuting attorney to rebut this presumption by a show of clear and convincing evidence. Removes a provision that allows a law enforcement agency that seized forfeited property to use the property for not more than three years. Allows a court, on its own or on a motion made by the owner of property, to determine whether the forfeiture of the property would be disproportional to the offense that gave rise to the forfeiture. Requires the court to dismiss a forfeiture action if the court determines the forfeiture of the property is disproportional to the offense.

SB433 SHOTGUNS. (TOMES J) Repeals the prohibition against manufacturing, importing, selling, or possessing a sawed-off shotgun. Provides for a 10 year sentence enhancement if a person possesses a sawed-off shotgun in violation of federal law while committing certain offenses. Makes conforming amendments.

SB458 ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS. (DELPH M) Provides that the definition of "electronic communication" includes metadata that relates to an electronic communication. Requires that the search or seizure of an electronic communication be specifically authorized by state law or a court order based on probable cause, even if the electronic communication is in the custody of a third party, and makes it a Level 5 felony to violate these requirements. Prohibits the state, state agencies, political subdivisions, and local units of government from: (1) assisting a federal agency that collects an electronic communication unless authorized by state law or a court order based on probable cause; and (2) using information that relates to an electronic communication in an investigation or a criminal prosecution if the information was obtained from a federal agency that collected the electronic communication without authorization from state law or a court order based on probable cause. Makes knowingly or intentionally: (1) assisting a federal agency that collects electronic communications without authorization from state law or a court order based on probable cause; or (2) using information obtained from a federal agency that collects electronic communications without authorization from state law or a court order based on probable cause in a criminal investigation or prosecution; a Level 5 felony. Prohibits a law enforcement agency or governmental entity from using a real-time tracking device unless: (1) use of the device is required as a condition of bail or court ordered supervision; (2) the owner of the tracking device consents; (3) use of the device is authorized by a court order based on probable cause; or (4) exigent circumstances exist.

SB535 VOTER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER. (YOUNG R) Requires an application for an absentee ballot to instruct a voter that the voter must provide the voter's voter identification number on the application. Requires that the form must inform the voter that the voter can access the online statewide voter registration system or call a telephone number provided on the form to find the voter's voter identification number. Requires that the online voter registration system must enable a voter (regardless of how the voter registered to vote) to recover the voter's voter identification number. Requires the secretary of state to mail to each Indiana voter during 2016 information telling the voter: (1) the voter's voter identification number; (2) that a voter must provide the voter's voter identification number on an absentee ballot application; (3) how a voter may subsequently find the voter's voter identification number from the statewide voter registration system; and (4) any other information the secretary of state considers useful to educate voters about voter identification numbers or absentee voting.

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