Introduced Version






HOUSE BILL No. 1676

_____


DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 33-27-5; IC 33-33.

Synopsis: Judicial retention elections. Requires the judicial nominating commission (commission) to solicit public comment as to whether a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of appeals, or a judge of the tax court whose retention in office is on a general election ballot should be retained in office. Requires the state bar association to survey attorneys and make a recommendation to the commission as to whether a justice or judge should be retained in office. Requires the commission to consider public comments, information from a justice or judge who is seeking retention, and the state bar association recommendations in making a recommendation as to whether a justice or judge should be retained in office. Requires the commission to disseminate its recommendations so as to reach the greatest number of members of the public who are eligible to vote in the general election at which the question of the retention of a justice or judge is on the ballot. Requires the judicial nominating commissions in Lake and St. Joseph counties to follow a similar procedure for superior court judges subject to a retention election in those counties. Requires the county bar associations in Lake and St. Joseph counties to survey attorneys in those counties and make a recommendation to the judicial nominating commission of the county as to whether a judge should be retained in office.

Effective: July 1, 2007.





Brown C




    January 23, 2007, read first time and referred to Committee on Judiciary.







Introduced

First Regular Session 115th General Assembly (2007)


PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in this style type.
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HOUSE BILL No. 1676



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning courts and court officers.

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

SOURCE: IC 33-27-5; (07)IN1676.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 33-27-5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW CHAPTER TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]:
     Chapter 5. Duties of the Commission; Retention of Justices and Judges
    Sec. 1. This chapter applies to the retention of any of the following:
        (1) A justice of the supreme court.
        (2) A judge of the court of appeals.
        (3) A judge of the tax court.
    Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, "commission" refers to the judicial nominating commission established under IC 33-27-2.
    Sec. 3. (a) After:
        (1) a justice or a judge of the tax court files a statement under IC 33-24-2-2; or
        (2) a judge files a statement under IC 33-25-2-2;
indicating that the justice or judge wishes to be retained in office,

the commission shall, not later than August 1 of the year in which the question of the retention of the justice or judge is to be placed on the general election ballot, give the notice described in this section.
    (b) The notice required by subsection (a) shall include at least the following information:
        (1) The name of each justice or judge who has filed a statement indicating that the justice or judge wishes to be retained in office.
        (2) The office held by each justice or judge.
        (3) A statement that the justice or judge has filed a statement indicating that the justice or judge wishes to be retained in office.
        (4) The date of the general election at which the justice's or judge's name will appear on the ballot.
        (5) A statement that the commission is seeking comments from the general public on the question of whether the justice or judge shall be retained in office.
        (6) The methods by which the general public may submit comments, including:
            (A) the date, time, and place of any public meetings scheduled;
            (B) a postal address for written comments; and
            (C) an electronic mail address for electronic comments.
        (7) A deadline for the submission of comments.
        (8) Any other information the commission determines to include in the notice.
    (c) The commission shall give the notice by all means and methods, as determined by the commission, that are the most likely to reach the greatest number of members of the public who are eligible to vote in the general election at which the question of the retention of the justice or judge is on the ballot.
    Sec. 4. (a) A meeting held under this chapter by the commission to receive comments concerning the retention of a justice or judge is a public meeting subject to IC 5-14-1.5.
    (b) Comments received under this chapter by the commission concerning the retention of a justice or judge are public records to the same extent as attributable communications received by the commission under IC 33-27-3-2.
    Sec. 5. (a) The commission may request:
        (1) written information from; or
        (2) attendance at a public meeting of the commission by;


a justice or judge who is seeking retention.
    (b) Without a request from the commission, a justice or judge who is seeking retention may:
        (1) submit written information to; or
        (2) request a public meeting with;
the commission.
    Sec. 6. (a) Not later than October 1 of the year in which the question of the retention of a justice or judge is on the general election ballot, the Indiana State Bar Association shall:
        (1) survey all attorneys admitted to practice law in Indiana who are on the current annual list of attorneys certified to the clerk of the supreme court on the question of whether a justice or judge who is on the general election ballot shall be retained in office; and
        (2) after receiving the survey results, prepare and submit to the commission a recommendation for each justice or judge who is on the general election ballot as to whether the justice or judge shall be retained in office.
    (b) The Indiana State Bar Association may disseminate the recommendations provided to the commission under subsection (a) by all means and methods, as determined by the Indiana State Bar Association, that are the most likely to reach the greatest number of members of the public who are eligible to vote in a general election at which the question of the retention of a justice or judge is on the ballot.
    Sec. 7. (a) Not later than thirty (30) days before the date of a general election at which the question of the retention of a justice or judge is on the ballot, the commission shall make a recommendation for each justice or judge who is on the general election ballot as to whether the justice or judge shall be retained in office.
    (b) The commission may meet in executive session under IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(b) to consider its recommendations under subsection (a).
    (c) In making its recommendations, the commission shall consider:
        (1) comments from the general public received in response to the notice under section 3 of this chapter;
        (2) information submitted under section 5 of this chapter by a justice or judge who is seeking retention; and
        (3) the recommendations made by the Indiana State Bar Association under section 6 of this chapter.
    (d) The commission shall disseminate its recommendations under subsection (a) by all means and methods, as determined by the commission, that are the most likely to reach the greatest number of members of the public who are eligible to vote in the general election at which the question of the retention of a justice or judge is on the ballot.
    Sec. 8. The commission may adopt rules under IC 33-27-3-6 to implement and administer this chapter.

SOURCE: IC 33-33-45-27; (07)IN1676.1.2. -->     SECTION 2. IC 33-33-45-27 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]: Sec. 27. (a) There is established a judicial nominating commission for the superior court of Lake County, the functions, responsibilities, and procedures of which are set forth in sections 28 through 37 and section 42.5 of this chapter.
    (b) The board of county commissioners of Lake County shall provide all facilities, equipment, supplies, and services as may be necessary for the administration of the duties imposed upon the commission. The members of the commission shall serve without compensation. However, the board of county commissioners of Lake County shall reimburse members of the commission for actual expenses incurred in performing their duties.
SOURCE: IC 33-33-45-42.5; (07)IN1676.1.3. -->     SECTION 3. IC 33-33-45-42.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]: Sec. 42.5. (a) This section applies to the retention of judges of the divisions of the superior court of Lake County for whom the question of the retention in office or the rejection of the judge is submitted to the electorate of Lake County under section 42 of this chapter.
    (b) As used in this section, "commission" refers to the judicial nominating commission for the superior court of Lake County established by section 27 of this chapter.
    (c) Unless a judge has notified the clerk of the Lake circuit court under section 42(f) of this chapter that the judge does not desire to serve a further term, the commission shall, not later than September 15 of the year in which the question of the retention of the judge is to be placed on the general election ballot, give the notice described in subsection (d).
    (d) The notice required by subsection (c) shall include at least the following information:
        (1) The name of each judge who is on the general election ballot.
        (2) The office held by each judge.
        (3) The date of the general election at which the judge's name

will appear on the general election ballot.
        (4) A statement that the commission is seeking comments from the general public on the question of whether the judge shall be retained in office.
        (5) The methods by which the general public may submit comments, including:
            (A) the date, time, and place of any public meetings scheduled;
            (B) a postal address for written comments; and
            (C) an electronic mail address for electronic comments.
        (6) A deadline for the submission of comments.
        (7) Any other information the commission determines to include in the notice.
    (e) The commission shall give the notice required under subsection (d) by all means and methods, as determined by the commission, that are the most likely to reach the greatest number of members of the public who are eligible to vote at the general election at which the question of the retention of the judge is on the ballot.
    (f) A meeting held under this section by the commission to receive comments concerning the retention of a judge is a public meeting subject to IC 5-14-1.5.
    (g) Comments received under this section by the commission concerning the retention of a judge are public records under IC 5-14-3 to the same extent as other communications received by the commission.
    (h) The commission may request:
        (1) written information from; or
        (2) attendance at a public meeting of the commission by;
a judge whose retention in office is on a general election ballot.
    (i) Without a request from the commission, a judge whose retention in office is on a general election ballot may:
        (1) submit written information to; or
        (2) request a public meeting with;
the commission.
    (j) Not later than October 10 of the year in which the question of the retention of a judge is on a general election ballot, the Lake County Bar Association shall:
        (1) survey all attorneys admitted to practice law in Indiana who:
            (A) are on the current annual list of attorneys certified to the clerk of the supreme court; and


            (B) reside in Lake County;
        on the question of whether a judge who is on the general election ballot shall be retained in office; and
        (2) after receiving the survey results, prepare and submit to the commission a recommendation for each judge who is on the general election ballot as to whether the judge shall be retained in office.
    (k) The Lake County Bar Association may disseminate the recommendations provided to the commission under subsection (j) by all means and methods, as determined by the Lake County Bar Association, that are the most likely to reach the greatest number of members of the public who are eligible to vote in the general election at which the question of the retention of a judge is on the ballot.
    (l) Not later than fourteen (14) days before the date of a general election at which the question of the retention of a judge is on the ballot, the commission shall make a recommendation for each judge who is on the general election ballot as to whether the judge shall be retained in office.
    (m) The commission may not meet in executive session under IC 5-14-1.5-6.1 to consider its recommendations under subsection (l).
    (n) In making its recommendations, the commission shall consider:
        (1) comments from the general public received in response to the notice under subsection (c);
        (2) information submitted under subsection (h) by a judge whose retention in office is on a general election ballot; and
        (3) the recommendations made by the Lake County Bar Association under subsection (j).
    (o) The commission shall disseminate its recommendations by all means and methods, as determined by the commission, that are the most likely to reach the greatest number of members of the public who are eligible to vote in the general election at which the question of the retention of a judge is on the ballot.
    (p) The commission may adopt rules under IC 33-33-45-34(f) to implement and administer this section.

SOURCE: IC 33-33-71-29; (07)IN1676.1.4. -->     SECTION 4. IC 33-33-71-29 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]: Sec. 29. (a) There is established a judicial nominating commission for the St. Joseph superior court, the functions, responsibilities, and procedures of which are set forth in sections 30 through 40 and section 43.5 of this chapter.
    (b) The board of county commissioners of St. Joseph County shall provide all facilities, equipments, supplies, and services necessary for the administration of the duties imposed upon the commission. The members of this commission shall serve without compensation. However, the board of county commissioners of St. Joseph County shall reimburse members of this commission for their actual expenses incurred in performing their duties.
SOURCE: IC 33-33-71-43.5; (07)IN1676.1.5. -->     SECTION 5. IC 33-33-71-43.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2007]: Sec. 43.5. (a) This section applies to the retention of judges of the St. Joseph superior court for whom the question of the retention in office or the rejection of the judge is submitted to the electorate of St. Joseph County under section 43 of this chapter.
    (b) As used in this section, "commission" refers to the judicial nominating commission for the St. Joseph superior court established by section 29 of this chapter.
    (c) Unless a judge has notified the clerk of the St. Joseph circuit court under section 43(b) of this chapter that the judge does not desire to serve a further term, the commission shall, not later than September 15 of the year in which the question of the retention of a judge is to be placed on the general election ballot, give the notice described in subsection (d).
    (d) The notice required by subsection (c) shall include at least the following information:
        (1) The name of each judge who is on the general election ballot.
        (2) The office held by each judge.
        (3) The date of the general election at which the judge's name will appear on the general election ballot.
        (4) A statement that the commission is seeking comments from the general public on the question of whether the judge shall be retained in office.
        (5) The methods by which the general public may submit comments, including:
            (A) the date, time, and place of any public meetings scheduled;
            (B) a postal address for written comments; and
            (C) an electronic mail address for electronic comments.
        (6) A deadline for the submission of comments.
        (7) Any other information the commission determines to include in the notice.
    (e) The commission shall give the notice required under subsection (d) by all means and methods, as determined by the commission, that are the most likely to reach the greatest number of members of the public who are eligible to vote in the general election at which the question of the retention of a judge is on the ballot.
    (f) A meeting held under this section by the commission to receive comments concerning the retention of a judge is a public meeting subject to IC 5-14-1.5.
    (g) Comments received under this section by the commission concerning the retention of a judge are public records under IC 5-14-3 to the same extent as other communications received by the commission.
    (h) The commission may request:
        (1) written information from; or
        (2) attendance at a public meeting of the commission by;
a judge whose retention in office is on a general election ballot.
    (i) Without a request from the commission, a judge whose retention in office is on a general election ballot may:
        (1) submit written information to; or
        (2) request a public meeting with;
the commission.
    (j) Not later than October 10 of the year in which the question of the retention of a judge is on a general election ballot, the St. Joseph County Bar Association shall:
        (1) survey all attorneys admitted to practice law in Indiana who:
            (A) are on the current annual list of attorneys certified to the clerk of the supreme court; and
            (B) reside in St. Joseph County;
        on the question of whether a judge who is on the general election ballot shall be retained in office; and
        (2) after receiving the survey results, prepare and submit to the commission a recommendation for each judge who is on the general election ballot as to whether the judge shall be retained in office.
    (k) The St. Joseph County Bar Association may disseminate the recommendations provided to the commission under subsection (j) by all means and methods, as determined by the St. Joseph County Bar Association, that are the most likely to reach the greatest number of members of the public who are eligible to vote in the general election at which the question of the retention of a judge is

on the ballot.
    (l) Not later than fourteen (14) days before the date of the general election at which the question of the retention of a judge is on the ballot, the commission shall make a recommendation for each judge who is on the general election ballot as to whether the judge shall be retained in office.
    (m) The commission may not meet in executive session under IC 5-14-1.5-6.1 to consider its recommendations under subsection (l).
    (n) In making its recommendations, the commission shall consider:
        (1) comments from the general public received in response to the notice under subsection (c);
        (2) information submitted under subsection (h) by a judge whose retention in office is on a general election ballot; and
        (3) the recommendations made by the St. Joseph County Bar Association under subsection (j).
    (o) The commission shall disseminate its recommendations by all means and methods, as determined by the commission, that are the most likely to reach the greatest number of members of the public who are eligible to vote in the general election at which the question of the retention of a judge is on the ballot.
    (p) The commission may adopt rules under IC 33-33-71-36(d) to implement and administer this section.