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Week ending January 18, 2013

Indicates featured legislation

Jurisdiction: Newly Introduced

Alabama SB 44 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides "A court, arbitrator, administrative agency, or other adjudicative, arbitrative, or enforcement authority shall not apply or enforce a foreign law if doing so would violate any state law or a right guaranteed by the Constitution of this state or of the United States." In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Arizona HB 2240 Increases small claims jurisdiction from $2,500 to $5,000. In House (no committee).

Arizona HB 2291 Expressly prohibits state judges from enforcing federal laws, rules, or regulations regarding firearms put in place after 1/1/2013. In House (no committee).

Mississippi HB 244 Creates category of expedited small claims for cases between $5,000 and $100,000. In House Judiciary A Committee.

Oklahoma HB 1486 Provides "Any court, arbitration, tribunal or administrative agency ruling or decision shall violate the public policy of this state and be void and unenforceable if the court, arbitration, tribunal or administrative agency bases its rulings or decisions in the matter at issue in whole or in part on any law, rule, legal code or system that would not grant the parties affected by the ruling or decision the same fundamental liberties, rights and privileges granted under the United States and Oklahoma Constitutions." Prefiled (no committee).

Tennessee HB 42 Expressly prohibits state judges from enforcing federal laws, rules, or regulations regarding firearms put in place after 1/1/2013. Prefiled (no committee).

Wyoming HJR 4 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides "when exercising their judicial authority the courts of this state shall uphold and adhere to the law as provided in the constitution of the United States, the Wyoming constitution, the United States Code and federal regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, laws of this state, common law as prescribed by legislative enactment, and if necessary the law of another state of the United States. The courts shall not consider the legal precepts of other nations or international law. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to all cases before the respective courts including, without limitation, cases of first impression." In House Judiciary Committee.

Jurisdiction: Floor and Committee Activity

NONE

Qualifications and Terms: Newly Introduced

Arizona HB 2465 Requires attorneys on medical malpractice cases be trained in the field and certified by supreme court. Requires judges in medical malpractice cases be certified as a medical malpractice attorneys. In House Judiciary Committee.

Arizona HB 2466 Requires all judges receive training in posttraumatic stress disorder, including specific information on active and nonactive duty military personnel suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. In House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs Committee.

Florida SB 296 Allows a former justice or judge who *has* failed to win reelection or be retained after more than 12 years of service as a justice or judge may be qualified to serve as a retired justice or judge. (Currently, only those judges who retired and were not defeated in their last election may serve). Revokes provision that former judge/justice has to wait 12 months before being allowed to be recalled back to service. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Iowa HSB 16 Specifies that a district judge appointee shall be a resident of the judicial district where the nomination occurred before assuming office. Where the the judicial district is divided into judicial election districts, specifies the appointee shall be a resident of the judicial election district where the nomination occurred before assuming office. In House Judiciary Committee.

Mississippi SB 2046 Requires justice court clerks receive 12 hours of annual training. In Senate Judiciary A Committee.

Oklahoma SJR 24 (Constitutional Amendment) Limits judges to 20 years in office. Provides new limit is prospective. Prefiled (no committee).

New Hampshire HB 281 Permits retired judges over the age of 70 to serve the courts under certain circumstances. In House Judiciary Committee.

New Mexico HB 119 Requires all metropolitan judges be attorneys and have practiced for at least five years. In House Judiciary Committee.

Pennsylvania HB 79 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 75. In House Judiciary Committee.

Texas HB 469 Reduces length of time a visiting judge must have served as a judge from 96 to 48 months. Prefiled (no committee).

Washington SB 5046 Extends mandatory retirement age for district court judges only from end of year judge turns 75 to end of term of office judge turns 75. In Senate Committee on Law & Justice.

Wyoming HB 167 Increases mandatory retirement for supreme court and district court judges from 70 to 75. Imposes mandatory retirement age for circuit judges as 75. In House Judiciary Committee.

Qualifications and Terms: Floor and Committee Activity

Virginia SB 740 Increases mandatory judicial retirement age from 70 to 73. Approved by Senate Courts of Justice Committee 1/14/13.

Wyoming HJR 1 (Constitutional Amendment) Eliminates mandatory retirement for judges (currently at 70). Approed by House Judiciary Committee 1/15/13. Approved by full House 1/17/13.

Rule Making Authority: Newly Introduced

Arizona HB 2120 Provides supreme court to license attorneys in state. Requires supreme court adopt rules regarding licensure but that such rules must allow a person who completed an online law school program to take the state bar examination. In House Judiciary Committee.

North Dakota HB 1075 Removes requirement that full time judicial referees must be appointed in every judicial district. Specifies the presiding judge of the district is to appoint referees and make assignments. Prefiled (no committee).

Rule Making Authority: Floor and Committee Activity

North Dakota HB 1073 Grants supreme court power to declare judicial emergencies. Allows for supreme court to toll statutes/deadlines. Does not allow for tolling or extension of deadlines or requirements imposed by U.S. or North Dakota constitution. Approved by House Judiciary Committee 1/16/12.

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). Approved by House Courts of Justice Committee, Civil Subcommittee 1/16/13.

Virginia SB 753 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). Approved by Senate Courts of Justice Committee 1/14/13. Approved by full Senate 1/17/13.

Salary and Budget: Newly Introduced

Georgia HB 44 Provides certain fees currently payable as personal compensation to the clerk of the superior court are to be paid instead to the county treasury. In House Judiciary Committee.

Indiana SB 527 Changes various provisions of the judges' 1985 retirement system to incorporate features that are the same as or similar to features found in the prosecuting attorneys' retirement fund law. Changes various provisions of the prosecuting attorneys retirement fund law to incorporate features that are the same as or similar to features found in the judges' 1985 retirement system. In Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor.

Iowa HSB 15 Requires the department of administrative services and any other state agency that maintains a separate counting system and elects to establish a debt collection setoff procedure, to remit to the state court administrator, 10 percent of the amounts set off from the collection of delinquent court debt for use by the judicial branch to defray the costs of collecting unpaid court debt. Specifies that the fees collected for examination and admission to practice law are appropriated to the judicial branch and shall be used to offset the costs of administering the examination and admission process to practice law. In House Judiciary Committee.

Nebraska LB 229 Changes the Nebraska Retirement Fund for Judges fee. In Senate Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee.

Nebraska LB 232 Alters judicial salaries (placeholder bill). In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Nebraska LB 306 Change judges' contribution for retirement fund. In Senate Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee.

New Hampshire HB 173 Repeals the provision which allows for supplemental allowances to be granted to judges retired under the judicial retirement plan In House Executive Departments and Administration Committee.

New Hampshire SB 33 Makes technical changes to the judicial retirement plan due to the establishment of the circuit courts In Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee.

New Mexico HB 95 Changes contribution and cost of living rates for judicial retirement system and magistrate retirement system. In House Judiciary Committee.

New York SB 1997 Imposes a filing fee surcharge to be used for the purposes of providing and maintaining security in courthouses. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Oklahoma SB 748 Eliminates procedure linking salaries of other state officers/elected officials to judicial salaries. Prefiled (no committee).

Rhode Island SB 16 Requires judiciary use zero based budgeting. In Senate Finance Committee.

Salary and Budget: Floor and Committee Activity

NONE

Selection: Newly Introduced

Arizona HCR 2010 (Constitutional Amendment) Requires all those seeking elective office except judges be subject to partisan primaries. Provides that where judges are elected, including in yes/no retention elections, judge to self-identify on ballot political party they belong to. In House (no committee).

Georgia SB 3 Provides for nonpartisan election of clerks of superior court and other county officials. In Senate (no committee).

Georgia SB 55 Provides for nonpartisan election of clerks of superior court and other county officials. In Senate Ethics Committee.

Iowa HSB 17 Permits the chief judge of each judicial district to appoint the clerks of the district court in the judicial district after consultation with the district judges of the judicial district. Permits the chief judge to remove clerks of the district court for cause. In House Judiciary Committee.

Kansas HB 2019 Ends merit selection for court of appeals only. Provides governor may select nominees subject to senate confirmation. Provides failure by Senate to vote on candidate within certain time frame results in automatic confirmation. In House Judiciary Committee.

Kansas HB 2020 Ends merit selection for court of appeals only. Provides for partisan elections. In House Judiciary Committee.

Kansas HCR 5002 (Constitutional Amendment) Ends merit selection for court of appeals only. Provides governor may select nominees subject to senate confirmation. Provides failure by Senate to vote on candidate within certain time frame results in automatic confirmation. In House Judiciary Committee.

Kansas HCR 5003 (Constitutional Amendment) Ends merit selection for court of appeals only. Provides for partisan elections. In House Judiciary Committee.

Kansas HCR 5004 (Constitutional Amendment) Modifies state's merit selection commission (although named "supreme court nominating commission", covers court of appeals as well) to a 4-5-6 plan: 4 attorneys chosen by the state's lawyers, 5 people chosen by the governor, and 6 by legislative leadership. In House Judiciary Committee.

Kansas HCR 5005 (Constitutional Amendment) Modifies state's merit selection commission for the supreme court only: 3 by governor, 3 by House Speaker, 3 by Senate President (one of each must be attorney). Provides nominee is subject to Senate confirmation. Provides failure by Senate to vote on candidate within certain time frame results in automatic confirmation. Provides justices terms are to be for "good behavior". In House Judiciary Committee.

Kansas SCR 1605 (Constitutional Amendment) Modifies state's merit selection commission (although named "supreme court nominating commission", covers court of appeals as well) to a 4-5-6 plan: 4 attorneys chosen by the state's lawyers, 5 people chosen by the governor, and 6 by legislative leadership. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Nebraska LB 241 Allows for counties to change partisan elections for clerks of court and other county offices to nonpartisan. In Senate Government Committee.

Oklahoma HB 1075 Provides for nonpartisan election for court clerks and other county officers. Prefiled (no committee).

Oklahoma HB 1295 Provides for nonpartisan election for court clerks and other county officers. Prefiled (no committee).

Oklahoma HB 1543 Makes it unlawful for attorneys to contribute to judicial campaigns. Prefiled (no committee).

Oklahoma SB 744 Ends nonpartisan elections for district judges and associate district judges. Prefiled (no committee).

Oklahoma SJR 21 (Constitutional Amendment) Allows governor to appoint any qualified person. Provides prior to appointment, governor to submit names to judicial nominating commission for their advisory recommendation. Provides governor not obligated to adhere to recommendation and may then forward name to senate for confirmation. Prefiled (no committee).

Oklahoma SJR 21 (Constitutional Amendment) Ends states merit selection system. Allows governor to appoint any qualified person. Prior to submission to senate, allows judicial nominating commission to make advisory recommendation. Provides recommendation to be sent to Senate and Senate to confirm nominee. Prefiled (no committee).

Oklahoma SJR 22 (Constitutional Amendment) Allows governor to appoint chief justice (currently, chief justice is chosen by court). Prefiled (no committee).

Oklahoma SJR 23 (Constitutional Amendment) Ends states merit selection system. Allows governor to appoint any qualified person with senate confirmation. Prefiled (no committee).

South Carolina SB 235 (Constitutional Amendment) Removes power of governor to appoint magistrate judges. Provides Circuit court judges to make appointments. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

South Carolina SB 240 Provides Clerk of Supreme Court and not Senators representing county to provide list of nominees for magistrate court judgeships. Provides Supreme Court and not senators to screen list and submit names to governor. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Selection: Floor and Committee Activity

South Dakota HB 1072 Repeals certain provisions providing a criminal penalty for a political party to endorse or nominate a judicial candidate. Approved by House Judiciary Committee 1/18/13.

Virginia HB 1338 Prohibits Circuit Court from interim appointing to District Court any person who is the subject of a special and continuing order and under the order such person failed in the House of Delegates or the Senate to receive a majority vote of the members elected to the respective house of the General Assembly. Tabled by House Courts of Justice Civil subcommittee 1/11/13.

Structure Changes: Newly Introduced

Kansas HB 2016 Revises provisions related to the reassignment of district court judge and district magistrate judge positions from one district to another. In House Judiciary Committee.

Maryland HB 83 Increases Court of Special Appeals (state's intermediate appellate court) from 13 to 15. In House Judiciary Committee.

Maryland SB 239 Increases Court of Special Appeals (state's intermediate appellate court) from 13 to 15. In Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Mississippi SB 2161 Authorizes domestic abuse courts as specialized dockets of the chancery or county court. In Senate Judiciary B Committee.

New York SB 1797 Directs the establishment of gun court calendars in criminal courts. In Senate Codes Committee.

Pennsylvania HB 74 Creates Medical Professional Liability Court with its own appellate division to handle med-mal claims. In House Judiciary 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. Approved by House Courts of Justice Committee, Civil Subcommittee 1/14/13.

Washington SB 5023 Authorizes creation of college DUI courts. In Senate Committee on Law & Justice.

Structure Changes: Floor and Committee Activity

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. Approved by House Courts and Criminal Code Committee 1/17/13.

Wyoming SB 11 ORIGINAL: Eliminates mandatory full-time magistrates. Requires supreme court determine necessity of full-time magistrates. AMENDED: Requires supreme court consult with appropriate board of county commissioners before elimination or alteration of full-time magistrate position. Approved as amended by Senate Judiciary Committee 1/14/13. Approved by full Senate 1/17/13.

Other: Newly Introduced

Arizona HB 2212 Revises impact of legal holidays on business conducted in superior and other courts. In House Government Committee.

Arizona HB 2288 Permits carrying of firearms into courts of state. Provides courts may only restrict carrying of firearms if provide lockers, warning signs, etc. In House (no committee).

Arizona HB 2459 Restructures state's justice of the peace courts. In House Public Safety, Military and Regulatory Affairs Committee.

Connecticut SB 120 Requires judicial marshals at courthouse entrances be armed. In Joint Committee on Judiciary.

Georgia HB 60 Allows retired judges to carry firearms anywhere in state, whether or not they collecting retirement benefits. In House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Georgia SB 49 Changes Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission to Georgia Ethics Commission. Removes power of governor and legislators to name members of commission and transfers it chief justice of supreme court (3 members) and chief judge of court of appeals (2 members). In Senate Ethics Committee.

Hawaii SB 32 Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act. Provides for official electronic versions of reported decisions of state's appellate courts and state court rules. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Iowa HSB 6 Provides that a "limited English proficient" (LEP) person who is a participant in any legal proceeding involving a court or an administrative agency or in a court-ordered program shall be entitled to an interpreter or a translator to assist the person in the proceeding or program. Defines "limited English proficient", "interpreter", "translator", and "participant." Provides that fees for interpreter or translator services shall not be charged to an LEP participant in a legal proceeding or court-ordered program. Specifies that an oral language interpreter or a translator required for an LEP participant in a judicial branch legal proceeding or in a court-ordered program is to be paid by the state court administrator from the revolving fund established in Code section 602.1302, subsection 3 (known as the jury and witness fund). Excludes the costs of interpreter and translator services from being charged to a parent in a juvenile proceeding and to a person receiving indigent legal assistance services. Provides additional specifications for fees and qualifications for interpreter and translator services are to be determined by the court. Requires an interpreter or translator in any legal proceeding take an oath approved by the supreme court. Permits court to inquire into the qualifications, neutrality, and integrity of an interpreter or translator and disqualify any person from serving as an interpreter or translator. Requires electronic rather than audio recordings of the portion of proceedings where non-English testimony is given to be made and maintained. In House Judiciary Committee.

Iowa SSB 1034 Provides that a "limited English proficient" (LEP) person who is a participant in any legal proceeding involving a court or an administrative agency or in a court-ordered program shall be entitled to an interpreter or a translator to assist the person in the proceeding or program. Defines "limited English proficient", "interpreter", "translator", and "participant." Provides that fees for interpreter or translator services shall not be charged to an LEP participant in a legal proceeding or court-ordered program. Specifies that an oral language interpreter or a translator required for an LEP participant in a judicial branch legal proceeding or in a court-ordered program is to be paid by the state court administrator from the revolving fund established in Code section 602.1302, subsection 3 (known as the jury and witness fund). Excludes the costs of interpreter and translator services from being charged to a parent in a juvenile proceeding and to a person receiving indigent legal assistance services. Provides additional specifications for fees and qualifications for interpreter and translator services are to be determined by the court. Requires an interpreter or translator in any legal proceeding take an oath approved by the supreme court. Permits court to inquire into the qualifications, neutrality, and integrity of an interpreter or translator and disqualify any person from serving as an interpreter or translator. Requires electronic rather than audio recordings of the portion of proceedings where non-English testimony is given to be made and maintained. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Mississippi HB 259 Exempt certain former judges from continuing legal education requirements. In House Judiciary A Committee.

Mississippi HCR 10 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides any judge that deprives a person of his constitutional or civil rights, abuses or exceeds the authority of his office, does not maintain proper decorum in the court room, or engages in unethical conduct is to be criminally prosecuted In House Constitution Committee.

Mississippi SB 2162 Increases penalties for assaults on judges and court staff. In Senate Judiciary B Committee.

New Hampshire HB 296 Requires the administrative judge for the circuit court to designate a judge for each circuit court location to serve as a liaison to the communities served by that location. In House Judiciary Committee.

New York SB 1728 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. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

North Dakota HB 1074 Specifies the chair of the court facilities advisory committee is the state court administrator. Allows state court administrator to serve multiple three-year terms. Approved by full House 1/17/13.

Oklahoma HB 1242 Authorizes district court judges to carry firearms anywhere in the state if judge undertakes certain training. Prefiled (no committee).

Virginia SB 1202 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 124 Provides for expedited handling of false liens filed on judges and other officials. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Other: Floor and Committee Activity

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 Approved by Senate State Affairs Committee 1/18/13.

Virginia HB 1435 Directs Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia contract with an independent entity such as the National Center for State Courts to study the feasibility and effect of implementing a senior judge system for the circuit and district courts of the Commonwealth. (Full disclosure: Gavel to Gavel is a product of the National Center for State Courts). Approved by House Rules Committee Studies subcommittee 1/17/13.

Virginia HB 1451 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. Approved by House Courts of Justice Committee 1/16/13.

Virginia HB 1911 Directs Judicial Council to report on law clerks used by the appellate and circuit courts. Approved by House Courts of Justice Committee 1/16/13.