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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ind. Law - Bills of interest to the judiciary heard in committee during Week 5 of the General Assembly

Here is the fifth weekly installment of the Indiana Courts' Legislative Update for the 2013 legislative session.

Particularly interesting to the ILB is the discussion, near the end of the Judicial Administration section, of HB 1393 which would, inter alia, raise the judicial technology fee from $5 to $10 (see p. 5 of bill). Here are some ILB observations:

What is the fee (the automated recordkeeping fee) used for?

The fee is used to finance the projects of the Court's Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (“JTAC”). These projects include not only the Odyssey case management system, but a number of other projects including the electronic Citation and Warning System (eCWS), a Protection Order Registry, the INcite Marriage License system, JTAC’s Jury Management System (JMS), etc.

Who are the Indiana citizens who pay the fee that finances all these different JTAC projects?

This amount is paid out of "all civil, criminal, infraction, or ordinance actions."

But is it really "all"? Who actually pays the fee that finances all these programs?

Here is what the ILB has been able to determine. The government never pays the fee. The bulk of the automated recordkeeping fees collected come primarily those who commit traffic infractions.

Indigent defendants who are sent to prison are often not assessed court costs. Those put on probation are, and many people pay them as part of monthly fees assessed on probation.

Also assessed the fee are you and I when we go to court to enforce a contract, get a divorce or adoption, probate a will.

Here are a number of earlier ILB entries on the automated recordkeeping fee.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 12, 2013 09:27 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts