State Legislative Updates

Specialized driving privileges

The House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code heard SB 39 authored by Sen. Freeman addressing specialized driving privileges. The bill provides that in certain circumstances a court may stay the suspension of a person’s driving privileges and grant specialized driving privileges for a period of time as determined by the court. The bill further provides that the court may set periodic hearings to review the grant of specialized driving privileges.  One amendment was taken by consent to eliminate the court required to send notice of blood alcohol content over the legal limit to the BMV prior to the initial hearing.

The Indiana Public Defender Council testified in support of the bill.  The amended bill passed 10-0.

Read the bill at http://www.iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/senate/39.

Indigency determinations

The House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code heard SB 302 authored by Sen. Tallian establishing a procedure for a criminal court to use in indigency determinations.  The bill provides that, if a court ordered a defendant to pay part of the cost of representation, the court shall inquire at sentencing whether the defendant has paid the required amount and specifies that a court may prorate fines, fees, and court costs based on the person’s reasonable ability to pay.

The Indiana Public Defender Council testified in support of the bill.  The bill passed 10-0.

Read the bill at: http://www.iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/senate/302.

Technical corrections

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 1096 on technical corrections. The bill is authored by Rep. J. Young and resolves technical conflicts and addresses technical errors in the Indiana Code, including changing all remaining references to the Judicial Center and State Court Administration to the Office of Judicial Administration. The introduced version of this bill was prepared by the code revision committee.

The bill passed 9-0.

Read the bill at:  http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/house/1096

Elkhart County courts

The House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code heard SB 187 authored by Sen. Doriot allowing the Elkhart County courts to consolidate the courts in one central location. Specifically, the bill provides that the board of county commissioners shall provide the circuit court clerk with an office at: (1) the county seat; or (2) in Elkhart County, any other place in the county as the board of county commissioners may provide; in a building provided for that purpose.  The bill further provides that each division of the circuit court or superior court of Elkhart County shall hold sessions at the courthouse of the county or any other place in the county as the board of county commissioners may provide.

An Elkhart County Commissioner testified in support of the bill.  The bill passed 10-0.

Read the bill at: http://www.iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/senate/187.

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