Introduced Version






HOUSE BILL No. 1987

_____


DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 34-10-1-2.

Synopsis: Indigent parties in civil actions. Allows a court the option of appointing an attorney at no expense to an indigent person for the purpose of prosecuting or defending the person's interests in a civil action when the court determines exceptional circumstances exist that justify the appointment. Requires the court to pay reasonable attorney's fees and litigation expenses incurred by the appointed attorney.

Effective: Upon passage.





Munson




    January 17, 2001, read first time and referred to Committee on Ways and Means.







Introduced

First Regular Session 112th General Assembly (2001)


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HOUSE BILL No. 1987



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning civil law and procedure.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SOURCE: IC 34-10-1-2; (01)IN1987.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 34-10-1-2 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE UPON PASSAGE]: Sec. 2. (a) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a court from participating in a pro bono legal services program or any other program that provides legal services to litigants without charge or at a reduced fee.
     (b) If the court is satisfied that a person who makes an application described in section 1 of this chapter does not have sufficient means to prosecute or defend the action, the court: shall:
        (1) shall admit the applicant to prosecute or defend as an indigent person; and
        (2) may, under exceptional circumstances, assign an attorney to defend or prosecute the cause.
     (c) The factors that a court may consider under subsection (b)(2) include the following:
        (1) The likelihood that the applicant will prevail on the merits of the applicant's claim or defense.
        (2) The applicant's ability to investigate and present the applicant's claims or defenses without an attorney given the type and the complexity of the facts and legal issues in the action.
    (d) The court shall deny an application made under subsection (b)(2) if the court determines any of the following:
        (1) The applicant failed to make a diligent effort to obtain an attorney before filing an application.
        (2) The applicant is unlikely to prevail on the applicant's claim or defense.

     (e) All officers required to prosecute or defend the action shall do their duty in the case without taking any fee or reward from the indigent person.
     (f) The reasonable attorney's fees and expenses of an attorney appointed to represent an applicant under section 1 of this chapter shall be paid from the money appropriated to the court:
        (1) appointing the attorney, if the action was not transferred from another county; or
        (2) from which the action was transferred, if the action was transferred from another county.

SOURCE: ; (01)IN1987.1.2. -->     SECTION 2. An emergency is declared for this act.