« Ind. courts - Applications to replace Judge Moberly open until Nov. 30th | Main | Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit: "For damages, child porn victims must show cause" »

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ind. Law - More on: Table of Title 35 definitions repealed and reenacted under a new citation

Prof. Schumm received this note yesterday:

I’ve run across something that I think is a potentially big problem that I’d like to run by you.

The legislature has recently moved some criminal statutes. I’ve already run into this problem twice, so I don’t think it was an insignificant number. Case in point is Obstruction of Justice, formerly IC 35-44-3-4, now IC 35-44.1-2-2. Two words in the page long statute were changed – “himself” was changed to “person” in two places.

Pulling the new statute in Westlaw gives you 0 notes of decisions. I’ve spoken to the Westlaw people, and they say they are powerless to include the annotations in the new home of the statute because LSA has classified this as a “repeal” rather than a “recodification.” That frankly makes no sense to me. There may be a good reason for doing that but it eludes me.

The result now, for the unaware or inexperienced researcher, is that there are apparently no decisions interpreting the statute. I think this is pretty hazardous.

Prof. Schumm responded:
The General Assembly moved scores of definitions, which I agree will cause a lot of problems. I just checked the Lexis annotations to the new statutory cite, which do include the old cases for the predecessor statute.

Here's a table of the new and old statutory cites and an explanation tracing how this situation occurred, from the ILB.

Unless you have the annotated statute books from 2011, I'm not sure how you will find cases relying on the predecessor statutes. You could run a Westlaw case search with the old statutory cite, but that will probably give you more chaff than wheat.

ILB: The ILB posted this Table on Sept. 1st. In a 2012 bill rearranging the criminal law statutes, the General Assembly repealed a large number of criminal definitions, and then reenacted them in another Indiana Code location. The Table I created allows you to match the earlier citation to a "new" definition. Then, as Prof. Schumm points out, you can go to an old, 2011 volume of West and review the annotation.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 15, 2012 09:27 AM
Posted to Indiana Law