2020 Legislation

The following is a summary of the bills that have passed and been signed into law that may be of interest to our membership.  This will be the final update (3-27-2020 at 2:45 p.m.) for the 2020 legislative session.

For a full text of each bill please go to: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/



SEA 10: Pension matters.

Effective on January 1, 2021, this change allows a PERF member (nearly all probation officers) who has reached normal retirement age and has attained vested status to withdraw all of part of the amount in the member’s account without separating from a covered position.  Previously a member had to separate from a covered position for at least 30 days before one could withdraw money from their account.  IC 5-10.3-12 provides definitions and background on what this means.

SEA 39: Specialized driving privileges.

Provides that in certain circumstances a court may stay the suspension of a person’s driving privileges and grant specialized driving privileges for a period of time as determined by the court. The law previously only permitted granting of privileges for fixed periods of time.  Provides that the court may set periodic hearings to review the grant of specialized driving privileges. Provides that, if a probable cause affidavit must be sent by a judicial officer to the bureau of motor vehicles, the probable cause affidavit must be sent at the conclusion of the initial hearing.  This becomes effective July 1, 2020.

SEA 47: Expungement issues.

This law clarifies that if a court reduces a Class D or Level 6 felony to a misdemeanor, the five-year waiting period for expungement begins on the date of the felony conviction and not on the date the felony was converted to a misdemeanor. This part is effective immediately.  It also states that records from a probation transfer case must be expunged along with the records from the county of conviction.  In other words, the records from the MC cause numbers from our “transfer in” cases must be expunged if the original case was expunged in the sending county.  Finally, POPAI worked with the Judges Association to include language that allows probation departments and community corrections agencies to consider expunged or sealed cases when making hiring decisions.  Expunging transfers and the hiring language is effective July 1, 2020.

SEA 216: Disclosure of personal information to offender.

POPAI advocated for the some of the new language in this law that amends the access to public records regarding personal information (address, phone, etc.) of a correctional officer, probation officer, community corrections officer, law enforcement officer, judge, crime victim, or their family members.  This information may be withheld from disclosure when requested by a person confined in a prison, county jail, detention facility, or in a community corrections program as a result of the person’s arrest or conviction for a crime, or that person’s agent or relative.  This becomes effective on July 1, 2020.

SEA 256: Courts and judicial officers.

Effective July, 2020, for any county requesting a new court, judicial officer, or changes in jurisdictions, the county must submit specifically listed information that must be presented to the interim study committee on court and the judiciary committee in even numbered years for consideration.  The committee will also review the courts’ weighted caseload measurements for each jurisdiction in even numbered years and make recommendations for changes, if any.  With various effective dates, the law establishes two new courts in Clark County, one new court in Delaware County, one new court in Marshall County, one magistrate in Gibson County, one magistrate in Hamilton County, and one magistrate in Jennings County.  Finally, the new law requires the Indiana criminal justice institute to: (1) collect data concerning rates of re-arrest of defendants released with and without money bail; and (2) submit an annual report containing the information collected to the legislative council by August 1st of each year and the first report must include data from 2020. No word on how they are going to collect this information. This becomes effective July 1, 2020.

SEA 273: Indiana behavioral health commission.

Effective immediately, it establishes the Indiana behavioral health commission and requires the commission to prepare: (1) an interim report not later than October 1, 2020; and (2) a final report not later than October 1, 2022 that conducts an assessment on behavioral health issues in Indiana related to suicide, mental health conditions and disorders, substance use disorders, and childhood trauma.  The commission is abolished at the end of 2022.

SEA 302: Indigency determinations.

This law establishes a procedure for a criminal court to use in determining if a defendant is indigent. Provides that, if a court has ordered a defendant to pay part of the cost of representation, the court shall inquire at sentencing whether the defendant has paid the required amount. Specifies that a court may prorate fines, fees, and court costs based on the person’s reasonable ability to pay.  This would include probation fees.  This becomes effective July 1, 2020.

SEA 335: Criminal law issues.

This is a 123-page bill that becomes effective July 1, 2020.  Here are a few highlights to know.  It adds strangulation and domestic battery to the definition of “crimes of violence”.  Provides that credit earned by a person on pretrial home detention does not include accrued time meaning that a person on pretrial home detention will only get one day of credit for every four served on pretrial home detention.  If a juvenile is adjudicated for an act while armed with a firearm that would be a serious violent felony if committed by an adult it categorizes them as a “serious delinquent” and prohibits them from possessing a firearm unless the person is at least: (1) 26 years of age, in the case of less serious acts; or (2) 28 years of age, in the case of more serious acts. Makes possession of a firearm by a serious delinquent a Level 6 felony, and increases the penalty to a Level 5 felony for a second or subsequent offense.

SEA 409: Employment of minors.

Another long bill that becomes effective on April 1, 2020.  Here are the highlights.  Provides that a minor who is at least 14 years of age and less than 16 years of age: (1) may not work before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m.; and (2) may work until 9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day except on a day that precedes a school day when the minor may only work until 7 p.m. Provides that a minor who is at least 16 years of age and less than 18 years of age: (1) may not work for more than nine hours in any one day, 40 hours in a school week, 48 hours in a non-school week, and six days in any one week; (2) may not begin a work day before 6 a.m.; (3) may work in certain occupations until 10 p.m. on nights that are followed by a school day; and (4) may work until 11 p.m. on a night followed by a school day with written permission from the minor’s parent. Provides that a principal of a school may send notice to the bureau of youth employment and the bureau of motor vehicles to revoke the student’s employment certificate and driver’s license or learner’s permit. Provides that a minor less than 16 years of age may not be employed or permitted to work during school hours.

SEA 424: Address confidentiality program.

Allows a victim of harassment, human trafficking, intimidation, or invasion of privacy to participate in the address confidentiality program of the office of the attorney general and removes the requirement that a victim must have obtained a protective order to participate in the program. Establishes the circumstances under which a program participant’s address may be disclosed in a court proceeding and requires the court to issue an appropriate order to limit any further disclosure. This becomes effective on July 1, 2020.



HEA 1006: Minimum age to marry and emancipation of minors.

This law changes the minimum age a person has to be to marry from fifteen to sixteen and no longer allows a parent to provide consent, but requires the juvenile court to decide the matter.  It states that a married sixteen or seventeen-year-old must also be emancipated by the juvenile court.  It also amends the law regarding petitions by minors for emancipation as follows: (1) Provides that a court hearing a minor’s petition for emancipation must appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor. (2) Provides that the guardian ad litem shall investigate the statements contained in the minor’s petition and file a report of the investigation with the court. (3) Provides that a court may grant a minor’s petition for emancipation only if the court finds that emancipation is in the child’s best interests. (4) Provides that if the court completely emancipates the child: (A) the child has all the rights and responsibilities of an adult; and (B) the emancipation order may not specify terms of emancipation. Provides that an emancipated child remains subject to: (1) Indiana law concerning minimum age for marriage; and (2) other specific constitutional and statutory age requirements applicable to the emancipated child because of the emancipated child’s age.  This becomes effective on July 1, 2020.

HEA 1047: Justice reinvestment advisory council.

This new law adds eight new members to the Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council (JRAC), of which POPAI is already a member.  It clarifies and adds new duties to JRAC, including reviewing and evaluating jail overcrowding and coordination and recommendations for funding.  It also clarifies the purpose of JRAC.  POPAI supported this bill and it goes into effect immediately.

HEA 1063: Public safety officer death benefits.

Increases, from $150,000 to $225,000, the special death benefit for certain public safety officers (including probation officers and community corrections officers) who die in the line of duty after June 30, 2020. POPAI testified in support of this bill and it becomes effective July 1, 2020.

HEA 1094: Substance use prevention and recovery.

This law amends how local drug free community funds are spent and specifies that local coordinating councils responsible for the combating of drug and substance use are: (1) collaborative; and (2) open to the public. It permits county drug free community funds to supplement local government spending on: (1) drug use recovery programs; (2) drug use intervention programs; and (3) drug use prevention programs. It becomes effective on July 1, 2020.

HEA 1120: Community corrections and credit time.

The amends the law concerning violations of a community corrections placement as allow the prosecutor to file violations with the court rather than only allowing the community corrections director.  It also creates a new way of earning credit time for those in prison by completing an individualized case management plan, which may include treatment, education, and other activities to reduce the risk of recidivism.  It requires the department of correction to report on the use of the individualized case management plans by May 2023.  This bill also includes the same language about pretrial home detention credit that is included in SEA 335.  This becomes effective July 1, 2020.

HEA 1157: Motor vehicles and criminal law issues.

This becomes effective on July 1, 2020 and mainly amends the law surrounding the suspending of driver’s licenses for operating while intoxicated.  It requires the bureau of motor vehicles to remove any record of a suspension from a defendant charged with operating while intoxicated if the case ends in favor of the defendant and the defendant’s driving privileges were suspended because: (1) the defendant refused a chemical test; or (2) the results of a chemical test resulted in prima facie evidence of intoxication. Provides that a court and the bureau, if applicable, shall terminate all or any part of the remaining suspension of a person’s license suspension if: (1) the charges against the person are dismissed; (2) the person is acquitted; or (3) the person’s conviction is vacated or reversed on appeal. Provides that a court shall terminate a suspension imposed for refusal to submit to a chemical test if: (1) the court accepts a plea agreement between the state and the defendant that includes this provision; or (2) the court finds at sentencing that terminating the remaining suspension is in the best interests of society. Makes an individual less than 18 years of age eligible for a deferral program.

HEA 1182: HIV, fatality reviews, and syringe exchange programs.

This law becomes effective July 1, 2020 and makes several changes in language through the code replacing AIDS with HIV.  It also requires a patient to be notified of their right to a: (1) hearing; and (2) counsel; in certain situations, involving a court ordered HIV test. Requires a suicide and overdose fatality review team (SOFR team typically created by a local health department) to review certain suicide and overdose fatalities. Allows a SOFR team to make recommendations concerning the prevention of suicide and overdose fatalities. Specifies membership (which may include probation on the team), record keeping, and data entry requirements for SOFR teams. Extends the expiration date for certain syringe exchange programs from July 1, 2021, to July 1, 2022.

HEA 1313: Courts and family law matters.

For the most part, everything in this bill becomes effective on July 1, 2020.  Provides that a magistrate has the same powers as a judge, except the power of judicial mandate. The rest of the bill mainly pertains to Marion County courts and how they operate.

HEA 1346: Jail overcrowding.

This law is effective immediately.  It has duplicative language about the Justice Reinvestment Advisory Council that can be found in HEA 1047.  It repeals all provisions concerning the county jail overcrowding task force as their required duties are complete. It also requires the criminal justice institute to coordinate with state and local criminal justice agencies for the collection and transfer of data from sheriffs concerning jail: (1) populations; and (2) statistics; for the purpose of providing jail data to the management performance hub.


The Legislative Council issued a Resolution on May 13, 2020 to assign study topics to study committees for the 2020 interim.  The full list can be found here.  Committees of note have the following topics:



(A) Efficacy and impact of defining consent for sexual encounters in the Indiana Code and how other states and jurisdictions managing these health and safety issues. (Source: Letters: Errington; McNamara; Campbell; Negele; Tallian; See HB 1160 (2020))

(B) Multi-year review of current trends with respect to criminal behavior, sentencing, incarceration, and treatment, including issues related to the implementation of HEA 1006-2014 and HEA 1006-2015 and criminal laws concerning fraud and deception. (Source IC 2-5-1.3-13; SEA 519-2019; SR 29 (2019))



(A) All requests for new courts, additional magistrates or judges, and changes in jurisdiction of existing courts, including magistrate requests for Gibson County Jennings County, and the Lake County Superior Court, County Division 4. (Source: SEA 256-2020; Letter: Niemeyer; Aylesworth)

(B) The most recent weighted caseload measurement system report published by the office of judicial administration and do the following: (1) Identify each county in which the number of courts or judicial officers exceeds the number used by the county in that report year. (2) Determine the number of previous report years in which the number of courts or judicial officers in a county identified in subdivision (1) exceeded the number used by the county in that particular report year. (3) Make a recommendation on whether the number of courts or judicial officers in the county should be decreased. (Source: Multi-year study every 2 years; no expiration date; SEA 256-2020; IC 2-5-1.3-13)

(C) Providing mutual full faith and credit to the judgments, decrees, orders, warrants, subpoenas, and other judicial acts of a tribal court of a federally recognized Indian tribe (as defined by IC 5-33.5-2-1) that are not already given full faith and credit as required under federal law. (Source: SEA 256-2020)