2011 Midwestern bail/pretrial release legislation

Law

Iowa SB 165 / SB 292 Provides that any fine, court costs, surcharge, or other penalty previously paid by the defendant, including an unsecured appearance bond, may be refunded to the defendant or upon subsequent conviction applied to the newly assessed fine, court costs, surcharge, or other penalty.

Illinois HB 1295 Provides that a municipality may impose a bail processing fee up to $20 against any person arrested for violating a bailable municipal ordinance or a State or federal law.

Indiana SB 590 Requires a judicial officer in setting bail to consider that the defendant is a foreign national who has not been lawfully admitted to the United States as relevant to the risk of nonappearance. Establishes certain bond requirements if bail is set for a defendant who is a foreign national unlawfully present in the United States.

Illinois HB 2581 Provides that the payment of the $75 fee assessed by the court against an accused upon his or her admission to bail for failure to appear in certain cases in which a court appearance is required shall be a condition of release unless otherwise ordered by the court. Provides that if the Department of State Police is the arresting agency, $70 of the fee assessed shall be remitted by the clerk of the court to the State Treasurer within one month after receipt for deposit into the State Police Operations Assistance Fund.

Kansas HB 2118 Allows courts, as a condition of bond release, to order offenders who are charged with a felony to submit to drug and alcohol abuse examinations. Gives courts the authority to impose the full amount of unpaid costs associated with the conditions of release of an appearance bond when a person has been found guilty of a crime.

Introduced with committee and/or floor approval

Kansas SB 176 Requires courts, when considering the release of a person on appearance bond, to take into account whether a defendant is lawfully present in the United States.

Missouri SB 387 Allows circuit court to adopt a local rule allowing for the pretrial release on electronic monitoring in lieu of confinement for anyone charged with a crime who can afford to pay the costs of electronic monitoring.

Introduced with committee rejection

n/a

Introduced with other or no activity

Indiana SB 40 Provides that an undertaking for bail expires 36 months after the undertaking is posted for the release of a defendant from custody if: (1) the defendant fails to appear as required; and (2) the court fails to make an adjudication concerning the defendant, including refusing to extradite the defendant; during the 36 month period. Requires sureties and bail agents to establish and maintain electronic mail addresses before June 1, 2011. Provides that if a defendant does not appear as provided in a bond and the court orders the bail agent and the surety to surrender the defendant to the court, the clerk may send notice of the order by electronic mail to the bail agent and surety. Reduces the amount of time that a surety and bail agent have to produce a defendant or provide a valid reason for the defendant’s failure to appear from 365 days to 180 days. Provides that a court must release the bail agent and surety from liability from a bond if a defendant is arrested before the court enters judgment on the forfeiture of the bond and the court has actual knowledge that the defendant was or is in the custody of the United States pending deportation from the United States. Changes the period used to assess late surrender fees against a surety and bail agent. Specifies the late surrender fee is equal to 80% of the face value of the bond. Provides that costs resulting from a defendant’s failure to appear may not be assessed against a bail agent or surety. Provides that the court in which a bond is posted retains late surrender fees instead of the fees being deposited in police pension trust funds and county extradition funds. Specifies that the retained fees must be used by a court to defray the costs of operating the court, extraditing criminal defendants, and operating diversion programs. Repeals the law establishing county extradition funds on July 1, 2013.

Indiana SB 518 Provides that every surety for the release on bail of a person who executes a bail bond by depositing cash or securities in an amount not less than 10% of the bail must be: (1) an insurer represented by a bail agent; or (2) a person who is at least 18 years of age, a United States citizen, a resident of Indiana, related to the person for whom release on bail is sought within the third degree of affinity, and the owner of real or tangible personal property in Indiana with a net asset value that is acceptable to the authority approving the bond. Provides that, for purposes of the Indiana bail law, a cause is determined when: (1) a judgment of conviction or acquittal is entered; (2) judgment is withheld; or (3) the defendant has been ordered or admitted to a diversion program. Requires a court to waive a late surrender fee assessed against a bail agent or surety, or extend the period for payment beyond the statutorily permitted period, or both, if: (1) a written request is filed with the court and the prosecutor; and (2) the surety or bail agent provides evidence satisfactory to the court that diligent efforts were made to locate the defendant. Specifies that 40% of the late surrender fees collected under the Indiana bail law must be deposited in the police pension trust fund, 40% must be deposited in the county extradition fund, and the remaining 20% must be deposited in the county supplemental public defender services fund. Provides that if the combination of requirements a court imposes on a defendant to admit the defendant to bail includes the requirement that the defendant execute a bail bond with sufficient solvent sureties, the amount of the bail bond must be at least 50% of the total amount of the bail. Provides that if a person charged with a felony under IC 35-42 (offenses against the person) is admitted to bail, the person: (1) shall be admitted to bail by executing a bail bond with sufficient solvent sureties, depositing cash or securities in an amount equal to the bail, executing a bond secured by certain real estate, or posting a real estate bond; and (2) may not be admitted to bail under the statute that allows admission to bail by executing a bail bond by depositing cash or securities in an amount not less than 10% of the bail.

Kansas HB 2259 Requires magistrates to articulate certain findings when setting amounts of appearance bonds. Requires magistrates articulate the documentation that demonstrates the qualifications to allow a person to make a cash deposit for 10.0 percent of the bond. Provides if the magistrate does not have a factual basis for each of the qualifications, then the magistrate may not permit the bond deposit. Limits limit the conditions under which courts may determine that a person who has been charged with a crime may be released on the person’s own recognizance.

Minnesota HB 1502 / SB 1341 Provides anyone on e pretrial release to a county probation officer subject to unannounced searches by officer.

Missouri HB 159 Specifies that any person charged with a bailable nonviolent offense who does not post bail prior to his or her appearance before a judge may be placed on house arrest.

 

 


Bans on court use of sharia/international law: ABA House of Delegates opposes “blanket prohibitions”, state legislatures out of session

This post has been updated. Click here.

Earlier today, the American Bar Association House of Delegates approved Resolution 113A:

RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association opposes federal or state laws imposing blanket prohibitions on consideration or use by courts or arbitral tribunals of foreign or international law.

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association opposes federal or state laws imposing blanket prohibitions on consideration or use by courts or arbitral tribunals of the entire body of law or doctrine of a particular religion.

Clearly geared towards efforts to ban court use of sharia/international law, the resolution comes at a time when the state legislatures are out of session and silent. Since the July update, no legislative activity has occurred, although the Michigan bill remains technically pending (the legislature sits year-round).

Full roster of 49 bills introduced in 2011 in 22 states and their statuses after the jump.

Continue reading Bans on court use of sharia/international law: ABA House of Delegates opposes “blanket prohibitions”, state legislatures out of session

Budget woes cause Michigan Court of Appeals to shrink

For the second time in 3 years, a concerted effort has been made to shrink the size of the Michigan Court of Appeals. This time, it appears to have worked. (For news coverage, click here).

Citing budget cuts and a declining case filings, the State Court Administrative Office had already gone on record as recommending a 24 judge Court of Appeals in 2007 and 2009. Current law (MCL 600.301), however, gives the court 28 judges, 7 judges in each of 4 districts (MCL 600.302).

The line-item portion of the state’s budget related to judicial salaries (Section 105 of HB 4526 of 2011) signed into law June 22 lists “Court of appeals judges’ salaries—26.0 judges” and, according to the fiscal analysis attached to the bill there will be the “Elimination of Court of Appeals Judgeships” for a savings of  $342,600.

There are already two vacancies (one judge resigned, the other was named to the supreme court) the governor had already previously declined to fill.

The earlier effort in 2008 was part of a larger package of changes. From Issue 4:14 of Gavel to Gavel

An effort to reduce the size of the Supreme Court was proposed in Michigan in 2008. The Reform Michigan Government Now proposal was ostensibly to help ease the state’s budget crises by reducing the size of the state’s legislature, Supreme Court, and Court of Appeals. However, a PowerPoint presentation left on the website of a local union explained the purpose of removing 2 of the then 7 serving Supreme Court justices and 8 of the 28 Court of Appeals was to ensure Democrat-friendly redistricting rulings after the 2010 U.S. Census (the 2 justices to be removed were Republicans; most of the 8 judges to be removed were appointed by a Republican governor). The initiative was eventually killed when the state’s Supreme Court held that the initiative failed to meet certain constitutional criteria for initiatives.

 

Bans on court use of sharia/international law: Michigan becomes 22nd state to consider, Texas House tries again to get Senate to adopt

This post has been updated. Click here.

With Alabama, Iowa, and North Carolina all set to adjourn in June, it looked as if there would not be any additional sharia/international law bans introduced or debated in 2011. However, in mid-June Michigan introduced a bill (HB 4769) co-sponsored by 42 of 63 Michigan House Republicans that copied much of the language from the versions introduced in Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, South Dakota, and West Virginia, in particular the use of the term “informal tribunals” or “informal administrative body” in all of these versions, something that does not appear in the others.

Meanwhile, Texas in its special session reintroduced one of theirs from the regular session. I went into the details of the legislative machinations in May in Texas in my last update. In sum, the ban was limited to family law/Family Code cases by a House committee (HB 911), was added onto the “losers pays” tort reform bill at the last minute on the House floor (Amendment #6 to HB 274), and stripped out by a Senate committee.

June proved to be a repeat of May’s efforts. The original HB 79A, a bill for the implementation of the judiciary budget, did not include the ban. Instead, it was again floor amended in (Amendment #12), over the objections of a least one member of the House who attempted to have the amendment ruled not germane to the bill. The amendment was ruled germane and adopted on a 105-29-2 vote. Once again, a Senate committee (this time the Jurisprudence Committee) stripped the provision out and the bill was sent to the governor without the ban on June 29.

Full roster of 49 bills introduced in 2011 in 22 states and their statuses after the jump.

Continue reading Bans on court use of sharia/international law: Michigan becomes 22nd state to consider, Texas House tries again to get Senate to adopt

Judicial Retirement Plans/Pensions 2011: Western States

California SB 503 Limits to one-time written election the option of a member of the The Judges’ Retirement System II to make contributions, and receive service credit for, all of the time he or she served as a full-time subordinate judicial officer, prior to becoming a judge, excluding any period of time for which the judge is receiving, or is entitled to receive, a retirement allowance from any other public retirement system. Authorizes the judge to make contributions to, and receive service credit for, any number of whole years or all of the time he or she served as a full-time subordinate judicial officer.

Hawaii HB 1038 Amends retirement benefits for judges and other state/county employees who become members of the employees’ retirement system after June 30, 2012. Modifies extent to which prior service as a judge may be applied to other retirement system(s) and calculation of years of service for retirement purposes.

Hawaii HB 1142 Amends retirement benefits for judges and other state/county employees who become members of the employees’ retirement system after June 30, 2012. Modifies extent to which prior service as a judge may be applied to other retirement system(s) and calculation of years of service for retirement purposes.

Hawaii SB 1265 Amends retirement benefits for judges and other state/county employees who become members of the employees’ retirement system after June 30, 2012. Modifies extent to which prior service as a judge may be applied to other retirement system(s) and calculation of years of service for retirement purposes.

Hawaii SB 1341 Amends retirement benefits for judges and other state/county employees who become members of the employees’ retirement system after June 30, 2012. Modifies extent to which prior service as a judge may be applied to other retirement system(s) and calculation of years of service for retirement purposes.

Michigan HB 4223 Requires Judges Retirement System invest at least 5% in Michigan businesses.

Michigan  HB 4484 Eliminates tax exemption for judicial pensions. Provides that distributions from employer contributions, earnings on those contributions, and distributions from employee contributions and earnings on those employee contributions would be subject to state tax, as of January 1, 2012. (Currently, they are exempt from state, county, municipal, or other local taxes.) Requires an employer to contribute four percent of salary to a participant’s Tier 2 (defined contribution system) account. Allows an employee to contribute up to three percent of salary to the account and requires the employer to match the amount contributed by the employee.

Minnesota HB 1256 & SB 813 Changes member contribution rates for judicial retirement system: 8% (present – July 2011), 11% (July 2011 onward). Changes employer contribution rates for judicial retirement system: 20.5% (present – July 2011), 17.5% (July 2011 onward).

Montana HB 70 Requires separate investment fund must be maintained for judges’ retirement system apart from any other retirement system.

Montana HB 608 Closes judicial and all other retirement systems and provide for annuity benefit program for judges elected after July 2012.

Nevada SB 436 Transfers the responsibility to deposit certain money for the purpose of paying pension benefits to justices of the Supreme Court or district judges from the State of Nevada to the Court Administrator.

New Mexico HB 58 ORIGINAL: Provides that certain amounts of the civil docket and jury fees be deposited into the General Fund. Provides contributions to judicial and magistrate retirement be provided from the General Fund. Increases contributions to judicial and magistrate retirement funds. AMENDED: Same, but strikes existing law that defines “judicial retirement fund” as including” docket and jury fees of metropolitan courts, district courts, the court of appeals and the supreme court.”

New Mexico HB 468 Makes numerous temporary and permanent changes to employee and employer contribution rates for those under Judicial Retirement Act and Magistrate Retirement Act plans.

New Mexico HB 628 Makes numerous temporary and permanent changes to employee and employer contribution rates for those under Judicial Retirement Act and Magistrate Retirement Act plans.

New Mexico SB 88 Makes numerous temporary and permanent changes to employee and employer contribution rates for those under Judicial Retirement Act and Magistrate Retirement Act plans.

New Mexico SB 248 Makes numerous temporary and permanent changes to employee and employer contribution rates for those under Judicial Retirement Act and Magistrate Retirement Act plans.

New Mexico SB 268 Makes numerous temporary and permanent changes to employee and employer contribution rates for those under Judicial Retirement Act and Magistrate Retirement Act pla

E-signed and e-delivered, but not e-sealed?

Signed, sealed and delivered is more than a Stevie Wonder song, it represents the attestation of an action or record of a court dating back centuries. Technology, however, has outpaced the days of wax and impressions. For that reason, several state legislatures have had to go back and change the laws of their states to allow their courts more latitude. Legislatures in Oklahoma (HB 2253 of 2004), Iowa (HB 579 of 2009), and Michigan (SB 720 of 2010)  all authorized all courts in their state to e-seal. Texas in 2007 (SB 229) gave its district court the authority to create a seal electronically, thus allowing the courts to transfer, store, and locate documents with greater efficiency.

This year, Nevada enters into the e-seal fray. SB 6 authorizes the electronic reproduction of the seal of a court (current law requires either impressing the seal on the document or impressing the seal on a substance attached to the document). The bill is currently pending in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

Cross-posted at Court Technology Bulletin blog

Judicial Retirement Plans/Pensions: Midwestern States

Indiana HB 1205 AMENDMENT TO BILL: Establishes the Indiana public retirement system to administer and manage the Judges’ Retirement Fund and nine other retirement funds. Creates an 11-member board of trustees for the system. Provides that each retirement fund continues as a separate fund managed by the board. Amendment approved by Senate 2/23/10. House rejected amendment.

Indiana SB 298 Establishes the Indiana public retirement system to administer and manage the Judges’ Retirement Fund and nine other retirement funds. Creates an 11-member board of trustees for the system. Provides that each retirement fund continues as a separate fund managed by the board. Approved by full Senate 2/2/10.

Indiana SB 397 Establishes the Indiana public retirement system to administer and manage the Judges’ Retirement Fund and nine other retirement funds. Creates an 11-member board of trustees for the system. Provides that each retirement fund continues as a separate fund managed by the board. Approved by Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor 1/28/10.

Indiana SB 98 Eliminates references to the Treasurer of State’s duties concerning the Judges’ Retirement System and other named retirement funds. Approved by full Senate 1/19/10.

Michigan HB 4073 Creates an irrevocable trust for each of the State’s five retirement systems, including the judges retirement act of 1992,  pursuant to Section 115 of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 USC 115. Approved by full House 3/4/09. Approved by Senate Appropriations Committee 12/19/09.

Michigan HB 4078 Amends the Judges Retirement Act to specify that, as of July 1, 2009, the Department of Management and Budget would be responsible for authorizing and administering the group retiree health insurance plan (hospitalization and medical coverage) and dental and vision plan.  (Currently this is a function of the Civil Service Commission, which has recently become an autonomous entity within DMB since the abolition of the Department of Civil Service in 2007.)  Approved by full House 3/4/090. In Senate Appropriations Committee.

Michigan SB 132 Amends law related to the health insurance premium payments under the Judges Retirement Act:  For participants with four years of service, the State is required to pay 50% of the cost of health insurance coverage by eliminating health care coverage for retired judges and elected officials specified in the bill who are elected after November 1, 2010. Specifies this elimination would not have an impact on currently elected or appointed officials, but would be prospective by affecting those elected or appointed after November 1, 2010. Approved by full Senate 2/24/10.

Nebraska LB 403 Prohibits participation in the Judges Retirement System unless the employees is a U.S. citizen of qualified alien lawfully present in the U.S. Signed into law by Governor 4/8/09.

Nebraska LB 414 Provides that from  July 1, 2009, until July 1, 2014, a judge shall contribute an additional one percent of his or her monthly compensation to the judges retirement fund. Increases fund fee from $5 to $6 during same period. Signed into law by Governor 5/19/09.