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Week ending January 11, 2013

Indicates featured legislation

Jurisdiction: Newly Introduced

Indiana SJR 3 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides that the supreme court, the court of appeals, a circuit court, or another court established by the general assembly may not issue a mandate, an order, or another writ requiring the state or a political subdivision of the state to expend money for the operation of any court of the state. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kansas SB 460 Prohibits the enforcement of a foreign law (defined as a law, rule, or legal code or system established and used outside the jurisdiction of the United States) if the enforcement would violate a right granted by the Constitution of the State of Indiana or the Constitution of the United States. Provides that a provision in a contract or agreement that calls for the application of foreign law is void if the provision cannot be modified, unless the contract explicitly states that it will be interpreted in accordance with foreign law. Prohibits a court from granting certain motions to transfer a case to another jurisdiction if the transfer is likely to affect the constitutional rights of the nonmoving party. Prefiled in Senate Judiciary Committee.

Texas HB 288 Prohibits use of foreign or international law or doctrine in state's courts. Provides exceptions for recognizing certain documents. In House (no committee).

Jurisdiction: Floor and Committee Activity

NONE

Qualifications and Terms: Newly Introduced

Indiana SB 295 Requires the judge of a city or town court to be an attorney in good standing admitted to the practice of law in Indiana. Permits nonattorneys currently serving to continue to serve until the end of their term only. Increases certain city and town court jurisdiction from $3,000 to $6,000. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Montana SB 152 (Constitutional Amendment) Requires all candidate for Supreme Court have first served as District Court judge. In Senate (no committee).

Nebraska LB 45 Provides person appointed to Court of Appeals must be a resident of the district appointed from on the date of the appointment. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Texas HJR 37 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases the terms of district judges from 4 to 6 years. Provides for transition to new 6 year terms. Prefiled (no committee).

Wyoming HJR 1 (Constitutional Amendment) Eliminates mandatory retirement for judges (currently at 70). In House Judiciary Committee.

Qualifications and Terms: Floor and Committee Activity

NONE

Rule Making Authority: Newly Introduced

Nebraska LB 51 Provides Supreme Court may replace paper publication of appellate opinions with electronic documents. In Senate Judiciary Committee

New Hampshire CACR 4 (Constitutional Amendment) Repeals provision that "The rules so promulgated (by the chief justice for the governing of the administration of the courts) shall have the force and effect of law." In House Judiciary Committee.

South Carolina HB 3247 Provides "the circuit solicitor's ability to administer the general sessions court docket shall not interfere with the court's ability to safeguard a litigant's rights." In House Judiciary Committee.

Virginia HB 2091 Requires the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court to establish and require magistrates be available for performing certain duties related to issuing temporary detention orders (currently chief judge of each district court responsible). In House Courts of Justice Committee.

Rule Making Authority: Floor and Committee Activity

NONE

Salary and Budget: Newly Introduced

Montana HB 206 Doubles fees in justice's court and small claims court. In House Judiciary Committee.

Montana D. 1077 Permits county governing body to pay the clerk of the district court and justice of the peace an extra $2,000 base salary above that of clerks in other counties. Drafted.

New Mexico SB 25 Changes age and service credit requirements and pension calculations for judicial retirement system and magistrate retirement system. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

New Mexico SB 27 Changes contribution and cost of living rates for judicial retirement system and magistrate retirement system. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

New Mexico SB 26 Changes contribution and cost of living rates for judicial retirement system and magistrate retirement system. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

New York AB 1304 Imposes a filing fee surcharge to be used for the purposes of providing and maintaining security in courthouses.  In Assembly Judiciary Committee.

New York SB 1165 Provides that the salaries of county, family and surrogate's court judges shall be the same as that of justices of the supreme court (Note: in NY, the Supreme Court is a general jurisdiction trial court).  In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Oklahoma SB 180 Adds $10 to civil filing fees for court security. Prefiled (no committee).

South Carolina HB 3303 Requires use of zero-based budgeting for judicial branch by FY 2015-2016. In House Ways and Means Committee.

Salary and Budget: Floor and Committee Activity

NONE

Selection: Newly Introduced

Indiana SJR 6 (Constitutional Amendment) Ends merit selection in state. Provides that the governor fills vacancies on the supreme court and the court of appeals, subject to the approval of the senate. Provides that a justice of the supreme court or judge of the court of appeals is retained in office only if the justice or judge receives at least 67% of the total number of votes cast on the question of retention of the justice or judge. Provides that a law, judicial rule, decree, or order may not abridge the freedom of a judge, lawyer, candidate for judicial office, or any other person from: (1) speaking, writing, or otherwise expressing the person's views freely regarding a political issue, political party, or candidate for office, including a candidate for a judicial office; or (2) making a donation of money, services, or property to a political party or a candidate for office, including a candidate for a judicial office. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Indiana SJR 19 (Constitutional Amendment) Renames the judicial nominating commission as the commission on judicial nominations and qualifications. Provides that one commission member is selected by attorneys licensed in Indiana, one commission member is appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, and one commission member is appointed by the president pro tempore of the senate. Requires that at least one commission member appointed by the governor must be an attorney. Prohibits a person who is a lobbyist from serving on the commission. Provides for the governor to fill a vacancy on the supreme court or the court of appeals from nominees recommended by the commission, subject to confirmation by the senate. Provides that a justice of the supreme court and a judge of the court of appeals serves until July 1 of the tenth year after the justice's or judge's appointment is confirmed by the senate or the justice's or judge's retention in office is confirmed by the senate. Provides that if a justice or judge wants to serve a new term, the justice or judge must apply to the senate for retention. Specifies that a judge or justice will be retained, unless: (1) the judge or justice does not apply to the senate for retention; or (2) at least 60% of the members of the senate vote against retention. Amends the provisions concerning impeachment proceedings for a justice or judge. Provides a transition for justices and judges serving at the time of the adoption of these amendments to the constitution. This proposed amendment has not been previously agreed to by a general assembly. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kansas SB 8 Ends merit selection in state. Provides governor may select nominees subject to senate confirmation. Creates Commission on Judicial Qualifications to review governor's pick and make recommendations prior to Senate confirmation. Provides failure by Senate to vote on candidate within certain time frame results in automatic confirmation. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kansas SCR 1601 (Constitutional Amendment) Ends merit selection in state. Provides governor may select nominees subject to senate confirmation. Creates Commission on Judicial Qualifications to review governor's pick and make recommendations prior to Senate confirmation. Provides failure by Senate to vote on candidate within certain time frame results in automatic confirmation. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mississippi HB 5 Provides for nonpartisan elections for justice court judges. In House Judiciary A Committee.

Missouri SB 92 Imposes campaign contribution limits. For judicial candidates $2500, $5000 or $10000 (depending on size of district elected from). In Senate (no committee).

Oklahoma SB 99 Provides for nonpartisan election for court clerks and other county officers. Prefiled (no committee)

Rhode Island HB 5022 Vests with the governor the sole authority to nominate, on the basis of merit, from a list submitted by the judicial nominating commission with the advice and consent of the senate, all judges and magistrates, to all courts. (Currently presiding judges & chief judges appoint certain magistrates). In House Judiciary Committee.

South Carolina SB 171 Requires Judicial Merit Selection Commission submit the names of all qualified candidates to legislature. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

South Carolina SB 200 (Constitutional Amendment) Ends legislative appointment of judges. Provides Governor to appoint judges with Senate confirmation. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Tennessee HJR 8 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides governor may appoint anyone who meets age and residency requirements to appellate courts with legislative confirmation. Provides nominee is deemed confirmed if legislature fails to act on nomination within 60 calendar days of nomination or 60 days of start of legislative session (if nominated out of session). Provides for retention elections. Previously approved by 2011/2012 legislative session, Must be approved by 2013/2014 session.

Virginia SJR 292 (Constitutional Amendment) Prohibits the Governor from appointing any person to judicial office after such person failed in either the House of Delegates or the Senate to receive a majority vote.  In Senate Privileges and Elections Committee.

Selection: Floor and Committee Activity

NONE

Structure Changes: Newly Introduced

Indiana HB 1016 Provides additional circumstances under which a person can participate in a problem solving court program. Provides that a problem solving court may provide rehabilitative services. Simplifies the problem solving court fee transfer process. In House Courts and Criminal Code Committee.

Missouri SB 21 Provides the Missouri Supreme Court with the ability to transfer circuit and associate judge positions from one circuit to another as the administration of justice requires. Provides Supreme Court may transfer a judicial position only when a vacancy occurs, and must consider certain criteria before determining whether to transfer the position to a new circuit. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Missouri SB 22 Allows for the redrawing of the circuit and appellate districts every ten years by the Missouri Supreme Court as the administration of justice requires. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Missouri SB 118 Authorizes circuit courts or a combination of circuits to create veterans treatment courts. In Senate (no committee).

Virginia HB 1768 Provides that any district court or circuit court may establish an environmental court, a separate court docket within the existing calendar of a district or circuit court, that would have the authority to hear cases involving the protection, improvement, and preservation of the public health and the environment.  In House Courts of Justice Committee.

Wyoming SB 11 Eliminates mandatory full-time magistrates. Requires supreme court determine necessity of full-time magistrates. Drafted.

Structure Changes: Floor and Committee Activity

NONE

Other: Newly Introduced

Colorado HB 1053 Repeals requirement that clerks of district courts execute surety bonds. Prefiled (no committee).

Minnesota HB 48 Prohibits Supreme Court from issuing writs of mandamus to Department of Natural Resources or the Pollution Control Agency. In House Civil Law Committee.

Missouri SJR 9 (Constitutional Amendment) Removes Supreme Courts power to try impeachments and places it in the Senate. In Senate (no committee).

Nebraska LB 103 Changes provisions relating to judges' powers at chambers. Provides a judge in civil case may order, where party is incarcerated, use of telephonic or videoconferencing. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

New York AB 1084 Requires orders of protection and temporary orders of protection issued in family court or in cases of family offenses in criminal court or in matrimonial actions to be translated by an interpreter into the native language of the parties.  Prefiled in Assembly Judiciary Committee.

New York AB 1259 Requires evening court hours for the adjudication of parking violations. In Assembly Transportation Committee.

New York SB 1316 Requires evening court hours for the adjudication of parking violations. In Senate Transportation Committee.

Oklahoma SB 205 Provides anyone holding a valid handgun license entering city or county facilities that requires person pass a security checkpoint may bypass screening. Prefiled (no committee).

South Dakota SB 70 Requires each magistrate and circuit judge complete training on evidence-based practices, including the use of validated risk and needs assessments and behavioral health assessments in decision making. Training levels/forms to be determined by Chief Justice. Authorizes creation of veterans HOPE Courts In Senate State Affairs Committee.

Virginia HB 1715 Makes various changes to the provisions that allow circuit court clerks to provide remote access to certain records and to charge a fee for such access. Directs that fees assessed for electronic filing of cases and other records and accessing certain records remotely shall be paid to the clerk's nonreverting local fund to be used to cover the clerk's operational expenses.  In House Courts of Justice Committee.

Virginia HB 1911 Directs Judicial Council to report on law clerks used by the appellate and circuit courts.  In House Courts of Justice Committee.

Virginia HB 2002 Authorizes the State Inspector General to conduct performance reviews of legislative and judicial branch agencies in addition to executive branch agencies. Limits reviews to the statement of economic interests filed by state officers or employees and members of the General Assembly. Provides that the State Inspector General shall evaluate the efficiency of such agencies as part of such review process and determine whether such agencies are accomplishing their mission.  In House General Laws Committee.

Virginia SB 1058 Restricts meetings of the mandatory judicial conferences to no more than once every other year.  In Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

Virginia SB 979 Permits the chief judge of a general district court to direct the clerk of that court to destroy documents related to civil and criminal cases that have been ended for a period of three years, provided that they have been microfilmed or converted to an electronic format. Currently, such documents must be retained for 10 years. In Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

Wyoming SB 10 Removes requirement that state supreme court provide paper copies of reported volumes. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Other: Floor and Committee Activity

NONE