Week ending February 8, 2013

Indicates featured legislation

Jurisdiction: Newly Introduced

NONE

Jurisdiction: Floor and Committee Activity

Arizona HB 2240 Increases small claims jurisdiction from $2,500 to $5,000. Approved by House Judiciary Committee 2/17/13.

Florida HB 351 Bans court use of international or foreign law in family law cases only. Exempts corporations, contract provisions, common law of England and tribal court determinations. Approved by House Judiciary Civil Justice Subcommittee 2/7/13.

Qualifications and Terms: Newly Introduced

Florida HJR 747 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases mandatory judicial retirement age from 70 to 75, but only for judges elected or appointed after January 1, 2014. In House (no committee).

Florida SJR 570 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases mandatory judicial retirement age from 70 to 75, but only for judges elected or appointed after January 1, 2014. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Illinois SJR 7 (Constitutional Amendment) For counties with a population of 3 million or more, requires judges have been attorneys for at least 10 years and certified by at least 5 members of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois. Requires judge be retained by 2/3rds vote of public (currently 60%). In Senate Assignments Committee.

Louisiana SB 5 (Constitutional Amendment) Eliminates mandatory judicial retirement age. In Senate Judiciary A Committee.

Montana HB 467 Requires justice of the peace courts that are courts of record have judges that meet the same qualifications as a municipal court judge (i.e must be attorney and admitted to practice for at least 3 years). In House (no committee).

New Mexico SB 434 Requires elected county officials, including probate court judges, to complete training as specified by department of finance and administration. Judge or other official who fails to complete training within 6 months is suspended. In Senate Rules Committee.

Pennsylvania SB 368 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases mandatory judicial retirement age from 70 to 75. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Qualifications and Terms: Floor and Committee Activity

Indiana SB 124 Removes a provision that requires justices of the supreme court and judges of the court of appeals to retire at 75 years of age. Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/7/13.

Mississippi SB 2046 Requires justice court clerks receive 12 hours of annual training. Approved by full Senate 2/6/13.

New Hampshire HB 281 Permits retired judges over the age of 70 to serve the courts under certain circumstances. Rejected by House Judiciary Committee 2/6/13.

Washington HB 1266 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. Approved by House Judiciary Committee 2/5/13.

Rule Making Authority: Newly Introduced

Arizona SB 1414 Provides Supreme Court to license attorneys. Provides no attorney is required to join the bar association or other organization to practice law. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Arizona SB 1415 Provides Supreme Court to license attorneys. Provides anyone may take bar exam and that no one may be denied admission to the bar solely because the person in not a law school graduate. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Arizona SCR 1018 (Constitutional Amendment) Provides Supreme Court to license attorneys. Provides anyone may take bar exam and that no one may be denied admission to the bar solely because the person in not a law school graduate. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Arkansas SJR 6 (Constitutional Amendment) Removes Supreme Court's rulemaking power and transfers to legislature. In Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs

California AB 251 Requires Judicial Council implement electronic court reporting in 20% of courtrooms by July 2014. In Assembly (no committee).

Montana HB 358 Allows courts to ban the caring firearms into a court facility, but only if the court provides a secure storage area. In House Judiciary Committee.

Rule Making Authority: Floor and Committee Activity

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." Rejected by House Judiciary Committee 2/6/13.

Oregon HB 2547 Authorizes Chief Justice to adopt rules for use of electronic transmission and electronic signature on documents transmitted to or from a circuit court related to jury service and summons. Approved by House Judiciary Committee 2/8/13.

South Carolina HB 3247 Provides "Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, 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." Approved by full House 2/7/13.

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 Senate Courts of Justice Committee 2/6/13.

Salary and Budget: Newly Introduced

Alabama SB 145 Makes counties liable for employer contributions for judicial retirement for probate judges. In Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee.

Alaska HB 100 Provides geographic cost-of-living adjustment applies to only first $100,000 of judge's salary and adjustment to equal that given to non-judges in judicial branch. In House Judiciary Committee.

California SB 13 Specifies that the Judges' Retirement System I and the Judges' Retirement System II are not required to adopt the defined benefit formula contained in other provisions for nonsafety and safety members. In Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee.

Idaho HB 103 Makes temporary emergency surcharge on court fees/files permanent. In House Judiciary, Rules, & Administration Committee.

Iowa HB 120 Requires the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to remit 10.0% of the setoff amount from the collection of delinquent court debt to the State Court Administrator to defray the costs of collecting unpaid court debt. Permits the Judicial Branch to retain fees assessed for shorthand certification examinations and bar examiners fees to offset expenses for the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) within the Judicial Branch. In House (no committee).

Kentucky SB 57 Requires Judicial Form Retirement System to disclose upon request the names, status, projected or actual benefit payments, and other retirement information of each member or recipient of a retirement allowance of the system. Requires the system to also make the information available on a searchable database on the system's Web site or on a Web site established by the executive or judicial branch to provide government expenditure and salary data to the public. In Senate State & Local Government Committee.

Maryland HB 838 Makes permanent various surcharges on specified court fees, charges, and costs for the Maryland Legal Services Corporation. In House Judiciary Committee.

Maryland SB 640 Makes permanent various surcharges on specified court fees, charges, and costs for the Maryland Legal Services Corporation. In Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

Minnesota HB 330 Allows Court of Appeals judges reimbursement of housing and mileage expenses for those living more than 50 miles from their permanent chambers. In House Judiciary Finance and Policy Committee.

Minnesota SB 292 Allows Court of Appeals judges reimbursement of housing and mileage expenses for those living more than 50 miles from their permanent chambers. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

New Mexico SB 391 Provides for increasing judicial salaries based on tenure. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

New Mexico SB 453 Creates fund for Judicial Standards Commission investigations and proceedings to be funded by fines assessed by Supreme Court against judges removed from office or disciplined. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

North Carolina SB 49 Allows Director of the AOC to opt to participate in the Consolidated Judicial Retirement System or in the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System. In Senate Pensions, Retirement & Aging Committee.

Tennessee HB 1124 Increases from $100 to $500, the amount deducted from a judge or chancellor's salary for failure to open court for which the judge or chancellor is responsible within the first three days of each regular term, without sufficient excuse. In House (no committee).

Tennessee SB 1056 Increases from $100 to $500, the amount deducted from a judge or chancellor's salary for failure to open court for which the judge or chancellor is responsible within the first three days of each regular term, without sufficient excuse. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Salary and Budget: Floor and Committee Activity

Hawaii HB 807 Corrects anomalies of service retirement service eligibility and normal and early retirement allowances for judges who became members of the Employees' Retirement System prior to July 1, 2012, and first earned service credit as a judge after June 30, 2012. Approved by House Labor Committee 2/8/13.

Kansas HB 2114 Provides that the Debt Setoff Program Collection Assistance Fee charged under current law would be charged as an additional cost for all debts owed to the court when the court utilizes debt setoff procedures. Approved by House Judiciary Committee 2/7/13.

Montana HB 206 Doubles fees in justice's court and small claims court.Approved by full House 2/5/13.

New Mexico HB 95 Changes contribution and cost of living rates for judicial retirement system and magistrate retirement system. Approved by House Judiciary Committee 2/4/13.

New Mexico HB 169 Amends Judicial and Magistrate Retirement Acts to require employer contributions under the respective retirement plan to be based on a statutory percentage of salary. Approved by House Judiciary Committee 2/4/13.

New Mexico SB 25 Changes age and service credit requirements and pension calculations for judicial retirement system and magistrate retirement system. Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/4/13.

Virginia HB 1652 Allows, but does not require, a circuit court clerk with an established electronic filing system to charge a $2 fee for every civil case initially filed by paper. Indigents are exempt from paying the fee. The fee is paid into the clerk's nonreverting local fund to be exclusively used to cover the operational expenses of the electronic filing system. Approved by Senate Courts of Justice Committee 2/6/13.

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. Approved by Senate Courts of Justice Committee 2/6/13.

Selection: Newly Introduced

IllinoisHJR 10 (Constitutional Amendment) Creates a Judicial Retention Commission in each Judicial District to evaluate the qualifications of Supreme and Appellate Court Judges seeking retention and creates a Judicial Retention Commission in each Judicial Circuit to determine the qualification for Judges for retention in the Circuit. Provides for the impaneling of additional Judicial Retention Commissions in a Circuit if more than 40 Judges have filed a declaration of candidacy for retention. Provides that Judges found unqualified by the Commissions may seek retention in retention elections. Provides that Judges found qualified are retained in office. In House Rules Committee.

Pennsylvania SB 298 (Constitutional Amendment) Creates merit selection system for appellate judges. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

South Carolina HB 3499 Provides for nonpartisan election for clerks of court. In House Judiciary Committee.

South Carolina HB 3500 Provides for nonpartisan election for probate court judges. In House Judiciary Committee.

South Dakota HB 1072 Repeals certain provisions providing a criminal penalty for a political party to endorse or nominate a judicial candidate.Approved by full Senate Judiciary Committee 2/7/13.

Tennessee HB 796 Extends the judicial nominating commission until June 30, 2013. In House Government Operations Committee.

Tennessee HB 835 Extends the judicial performance evaluation commission until June 30, 2014. In House Government Operations Committee.

Tennessee HB 898 Requires statewide political party to hold primary election for nominations for judge, chancellor, district attorney general and public defender in multi-county judicial districts. In House Local Government Committee.

Tennessee SB 297 Requires statewide political party to hold primary election for nominations for judge, chancellor, district attorney general and public defender in multi-county judicial districts. In Senate Local Government Committee.

Tennessee SB 566 Extends the judicial nominating commission until June 30, 2013. In Senate Government Operations Committee.

Tennessee SB 567 Extends the judicial performance evaluation commission until June 30, 2014. In Senate Government Operations Committee.

Selection: Floor and Committee Activity

Indiana SB 103 Provides that the nonattorney members of the judicial nominating commission shall be appointed by the governor from a list of recommended candidates submitted by the president pro tempore of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, the minority leader of the senate, and the minority leader of the house of representatives. Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/7/13.

Minnesota HB 136 Expands campaign finance and public disclosure law for public officials to include judges. Approved by House Elections Committee 2/4/13.

Tennessee HJR 8 (Constitutional Amendment) AS AMENDED: 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. Approved by House Civil Justice Committee 2/6/13.

Tennessee SJR 2 (Constitutional Amendment) AS AMENDED: 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. Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/5/13.

Structure Changes: Newly Introduced

Alabama SB 162 Authorizes Chief Justice to create veterans courts. In Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

Arkansas HB 1263 Repeals provisions automatically converting local district courts into state districts courts. In House Judiciary Committee.

Missouri HB 435 Grants the authority to redraw the circuit and appellate judicial districts every 10 years to the Supreme Court. In House Judiciary Committee.

Missouri HB 434 Allows the Missouri Supreme Court to transfer circuit and associate judge positions from one circuit to another. In House Judiciary Committee.

Structure Changes: Floor and Committee Activity

Mississippi HB 1568 Provides counties with 35,000 or fewer people are to have 2 or 3 justice court judges (currently must have 3). Approved by full House 2/7/13.

Pennsylvania SB 334 Eliminates the Traffic Court of Philadelphia. Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/5/13.

Pennsylvania SB 333 (Constitutional Amendment) Eliminates the Traffic Court of Philadelphia. Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/5/13.

Other: Newly Introduced

Alabama HB 114 Provides courts authorized to contract with certain private entities to provide probation services for certain offenses. In House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Alabama HB 220 Declares "The Legislature finds... All federal acts, laws, orders, rules, or regulations regarding firearms are a violation of the Second Amendment as determined by the Alabama state courts..."In House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

Alabama SB 12 (Constitutional Amendment) Allows for recall of all elected state officials, including judges. In Senate Constitution, Campaign Finance, Ethics, and Elections Committee.

Alabama SB 129 Authorizes a judge to determine who may possess or carry a firearm or other weapon in his or her courtroom. In Senate Business and Labor Committee.

Alabama SB 64 Provides courts authorized to contract with certain private entities to provide probation services for certain offenses. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Florida HB 643 Provides requirements for storage of papers & electronic filings. Authorizes clerk to provide public records in an electronic format. Clarifies when office title "Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller" may be used. In House Judiciary Committee.

Georgia HB 215 Requires clerk of superior court be open at least 8 hours per day from 8 AM to 5 PM (currently must be open at least 9-5). In House Judiciary Committee.

Maryland HB 790 Expands the scope of provisions of law governing collective bargaining to include all State employees of the Judicial Branch of State government. In House Appropriations Committee.

Maryland HB 941 Prohibits a person from filing false liens or encumbrances against judges, court staff, and other public/elected officials. In House Judiciary Committee.

Maryland SB 770 Prohibits a person from filing false liens or encumbrances against judges, court staff, and other public/elected officials. In Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

New Mexico HB 426 Requires state's sunshine portal include all employees of all branches and agencies, including judiciary. In House Labor & Human Resources Committee.

New Mexico HB 454 Provides a judge's concealed handgun license is valid in a court facility where the judge works or is designated to work. Waives requirement that presiding judge must give permission for judge to carry. In House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee.

South Carolina HB 3516 Repeals prohibition on trial court judges purchasing lottery tickets. Retains restriction for appellate judges. In House Judiciary Committee.

Tennessee HB 1226 Provides where judge must transmit information to governor requesting substitute judge is needed due to illness, recusal, etc. that the request may be made electronically. In House (no committee).

Tennessee HB 1227 Expands the number of legislative committees that are required to receive reports from the administrative director of the courts regarding the appointment of additional senior justices or judges. In House (no committee).

Tennessee HB 635 Creates Class A misdemeanor for person appointed by supreme court to serve on certain boards or committees relate to judicial discipline to knowingly engage in ex parte communications or to knowingly release confidential information. In House Civil Justice Committee.

Tennessee SB 1013 Provides where judge must transmit information to governor requesting substitute judge is needed due to illness, recusal, etc. that the request may be made electronically. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Tennessee SB 1058 Expands the number of legislative committees that are required to receive reports from the administrative director of the courts regarding the appointment of additional senior justices or judges. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Tennessee SB 779 Creates Class A misdemeanor for person appointed by supreme court to serve on certain boards or committees relate to judicial discipline to knowingly engage in ex parte communications or to knowingly release confidential information. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

TennesseeSJR 103 (Constitutional Amendment) Allows Supreme Court to temporarily remove governor from office due to disability. In Senate Judiciary Committee.

Other: Floor and Committee Activity

Arizona HB 2212 Revises impact of legal holidays on business conducted in superior and other courts. Approved by House Government Committee 2/5/13.

Arizona SB 1216 Removes language no longer used by the clerk of the court relating to books of record. Approved by Senate Government and Environment Committee 2/4/13.

Colorado HB 1053 Repeals requirement that clerks of district courts execute surety bonds.Approved by full House 2/6/13.

Georgia HB 60 Extends law allowing retired judges to carry firearms to all judges, whether or not they collect retirement benefits. Approved by House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee 2/6/13.

GeorgiaSR 165 Commends the Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Courts on 40 years of developing and improving statewide court administration. Approved by full Senate 2/5/13.

Hawaii HB 361 Requires the governor, legislature including the joint legislative access committee, and judiciary to ensure public access to information, services, and proceedings of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, respectively. Approved by House Legisaltive Management Committee 2/1/13.

Mississippi SB 2385 Creates new crime of filing false lien against judges, court staff, and other public officials/employees. Approved by full Senate 2/6/13.

Mississippi SB 2645 Allows Secretary of State to reject without filing false liens/UCC claims against judges, court staff, and other public officials/employees. Approved by full Senate 2/6/13.

South Dakota HB 1104 Requires the Unified Judicial System to provide access of criminal records and civil case information and to establish a fee. Killed in House Judiciary Committee 2/4/13.

South Dakota SB 198 Adds two members to Judicial Qualifications Commission chosen by House and Senate leaders. Approved by Senate State Affairs Committee 2/6/13.

South Dakota SB 218 Authorizes Unified Judicial System to create program to assist rural counties in recruiting attorneys. Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/5/13.

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 full House 2/5/13.

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 Senate Courts of Justice Committee 2/6/13.

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. Approved by Senate Courts of Justice Committee 2/6/13.

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. Approved by full Senate 2/5/13.

Wyoming HB 216 Makes it a misdemeanor to carry deadly weapon in courtroom. Provides judge presiding in the courtroom may carry weapon and determine who else may carry. Limits restrictions to courtroom only. Approved with Senate amendments by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/6/13.

Wyoming SB 10 Removes requirement that state supreme court provide paper copies of reported volumes. Approved full House 2/7/13. To Governor for approval.

Wyoming SB 124 Provides for expedited handling of false liens filed on judges and other officials. Approved by House Judiciary Committee 2/5/13.