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Courts and the Judiciary not meeting in 2023 as legislative study committees get underway | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


Indiana Statehouse (IL file photo)

Indiana lawmakers are returning to the Statehouse this month to begin meeting in their interim study committees, but one group that won’t be gathering is the Interim Study Committee on Courts and the Judiciary.

The courts study committee is one of eight that did not receive an assignment from the Legislative Council. Other interim committees not receiving an assignment this year include Agriculture and Natural Resources, Education, Elections, Environmental Affairs, Government, Public Safety and Military Affairs, and Public Policy.

Spokespeople for Indiana legislative leaders said only that those leaders decided there were no topics for the courts study committee to consider this year.

During the 2022 round of interim study committees, the courts study committee did not reach a quorum to vote on requests for additional judicial resources in six counties. Without a favorable recommendation from the study committee, lawmakers were unable to approve those extra judicial resources during the 2023 session.

However, Rep. Jerry Torr, the Carmel Republican who serves as vice chair of the study committee, told Indiana Lawyer in the spring that the counties’ requests wouldn’t have been granted even with the study committee’s recommendation, because the House Ways and Means and Senate Appropriations committees would not have funded the requests.

Those six counties — Daviess, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Spencer and Vigo — now have to wait until the next budget session in 2025 to request additional judicial officers and/or the expansion of their courts.

However, the Interim Study Committee on Corrections and Criminal Code did receive one assignment from the Legislative Council: a “(m)ulti-year review of current trends with respect to criminal behavior, sentencing, incarceration, and treatment.”

The Child Services study committee has been tasked with reviewing “reports of state and local child fatality review teams and the Department of Child Services concerning child safety.” Also, the Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human Services interim committee will review the “(a)pproval of agreements with private attorneys and private entities when the Child Support Bureau determines that a reasonable contract cannot be entered into with a prosecuting attorney to administer the child support provisions of Title IV-D of the Federal Social Security Act.”

Additionally, the statutorily created Probate Code Study Commission will meet to study “(n)eeded changes in the probate code … trust code … or any other statute affecting the administration of a decedent’s estate, guardianship, probate jurisdiction, trust, or fiduciary.”

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