New Indiana IP/Technology Laws taking effect July 1, 2013

It’s July 1 and you know what that means. It means hundreds of new laws go into effect to govern, tax, confuse and confound the citizenry.

New Indiana Laws July 2013I’ve reviewed the full list of new Indiana laws (at bottom of post) for intellectual property, privacy or technology-related laws.

Among other things, it is now a felony in Indiana to publish intimidating communications on social media sites. The new provision (SB 361, see below) specifically addresses the increasingly common “bomb threat/gun threat” made via social media with the intent to cause evacuation.

Intimidation (IC 35-45-2-1)

1. (a) A person who communicates a threat to another person, with the intent: (1) that the other person engage in conduct against the other person’s will; (2) that the other person be placed in fear of retaliation for a prior lawful act; or (3) of: (A) causing: (i) a dwelling, building, or other structure; or (ii) a vehicle; to be evacuated; or (B) interfering with the occupancy of: (i) a dwelling, building, or other structure; or (ii) a vehicle

SB 361
Effective: July 1, 2013
Code Citations Affected: IC 35-31.5; 35-45
Intimidation. Provides that for the crime of intimidation, “communicates” includes posting a message electronically, including on a social networking web site. Provides that it is a Class D felony if the person to whom the threat is communicated is: (1) an employee of a hospital, school, church, or religious organization; or (2) is a person that owns a building or structure that is open to the public or is an employee of the person. Specifies that communicating a threat with the intent to interfere with the occupancy of certain buildings may constitute intimidation. Increases the penalty to a Class C felony if it is committed against a judge, bailiff, prosecuting attorney, or deputy prosecuting attorney.

SB 369
Effective: May 11, 2013 (Sections 3-5); July 1, 2013 (Sections 1-2)
Code Citations Affected: IC 4-23; 5-14
Public records. Allows a public agency to withhold from public disclosure records criminal intelligence information. Allows a public agency to refuse to confirm or deny the existence of investigatory records of law enforcement agencies or criminal intelligence information, if the fact of the existence of the information would: (1) impede or compromise an ongoing law enforcement investigation or endanger an individual; or (2) reveal information that would have a reasonable likelihood of threatening public safety. Allows a public agency to refuse to confirm or deny the existence of a record the disclosure of which would expose vulnerability to terrorist attack, if the fact of the record’s existence or nonexistence would reveal information that would have a reasonable likelihood of threatening public safety. Allows a person to file an action in court to appeal an agency’s refusal to confirm or deny the existence of a record. Clarifies when a request for a record is deemed denied and appealable. Provides that when a public agency refuses to confirm or deny the existence of a record under certain circumstances, the name and title or position of the person responsible for the refusal shall be given to the person making the records request.

SB 471
Effective: July 1, 2013
Code Citations Affected: IC 16-42
Prescriptions for brand name drugs. Permits a health care practitioner to use words of similar meaning instead of the statutory phrase “Brand Medically Necessary” when writing a prescription for a brand name drug when the practitioner does not want the pharmacist to substitute, under certain government programs, a generically equivalent drug product for the brand name drug.

HB 1219
Effective: July 1, 2013
Code Citations Affected: IC 34-30; 36-1
Privacy of home addresses. Beginning July 1, 2014, allows a city, town, county, or township (unit) that operates a public Internet web site data base containing the names and addresses of property owners to establish a procedure to permit a law enforcement officer, a judge, or a victim of domestic violence who participates in the attorney general’s address confidentiality program (covered person) to restrict disclosure to the general public of the covered person’s home address. Provides that a covered person must submit a written request to a unit in order for the unit to restrict access to the covered person’s home address through a public property data base web site. Provides that the unit must restrict access to the information of a covered person until the covered person submits a written request to the unit to allow access to the information. Provides that if a covered person: (1) has a name change; and (2) notifies the unit in writing of the name change; the unit must prevent disclosure of the covered person’s home address and both the covered person’s former name and new name. Allows a unit to charge a reasonable fee. Provides immunity from civil liability for certain units that restrict address disclosure.

HB 1341
Effective: July 1, 2013
Code Citations Affected: IC 21-18
Standard electronic transcripts. Establishes the Indiana e-transcript program (program). Provides that the commission for higher education shall administer the program. Provides that, beginning July 1, 2015, the program will allow all students at all accredited high schools to request that their transcripts be transmitted electronically to state educational institutions, participating Indiana not-for-profit or privately endowed institutions, and participating Indiana institutions authorized by the board for proprietary education. Provides that a governing body of an accredited nonpublic secondary school may elect to use the common electronic transcript. Requires the department of education, in collaboration with state educational institutions and the commission for higher education, to develop a common electronic transcript.

HB 1393
Effective: July 1, 2013
Code Citations Affected: IC 33-23; 33-24; 33-37
Judicial technology and automation. Establishes the judicial technology oversight committee (committee) to: (1) conduct a continuous study of information technology applications for Indiana’s judicial system; (2) make recommendations to the division of state court administration (division) for the establishment of a pilot program concerning electronic filing; (3) allow public court records to be available on the Internet [emphasis added]; (4) study the appropriate use of private sector vendors; and (5) make recommendations to the supreme court concerning the implementation of policies, standards, and rules that promote the effective use of technology and automation in Indiana courts. Provides that the committee consists of: (1) the chief justice of the supreme court; (2) the chief information officer of the office of technology; (3) two members of the senate; (4) two members of the house of representatives; (5) one trial court judge; (6) two circuit court clerks, with one clerk for a county that does not operate under the state’s automated judicial system and one clerk for a county that operates under the state’s automated judicial system; (7) one attorney admitted to the practice of law in Indiana; and (8) an individual affiliated with a taxpayer organization. Requires the division to develop and implement a standard protocol for sending and receiving certain court data by December 31, 2013, and requires the standard protocol to permit vendors to access the system on an equitable basis. Allows the budget committee to release funds for the judicial technology and automation project after the division certifies in conjunction with the Indiana office of technology that the judicial technology automation project is in compliance with certain information sharing and exchange requirements. Provides that the automated record keeping fee increases for two years from $5 to $7 for all civil, criminal, infraction, and ordinance violation actions except actions resulting in the accused person entering into a: (1) pretrial diversion program agreement; or (2) deferral program agreement. Allocates the $2 fee increase as follows: (1) $2 to the state, if the county is operating under the state’s automated judicial system; or (2) $1 to the state and $1 to the county if the county is not operating under the state’s automated judicial system. Provides that the automated record keeping fee is $5 for all civil, criminal, infraction, and ordinance violation actions resulting in the accused person entering into a: (1) pretrial diversion program agreement; or (2) deferral program agreement.

Here is the full list of new Indiana laws. There’s plenty of juicy stuff in there so give it a read at your convenience. Good luck out there!

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