The Bar News

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of Oct. 26

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers: House Bill 1604, Senate Bill 1694, Senate Bill 1259 and House Bill 1589. Information on each bill is available below the video.

House Bill 1604 (Howard, D-Chicago; Sullivan, D-Rushville) allows a court to order the following relief for visitation abuse: (1) suspend the defendant’s driving privileges; (2) suspend the defendant’s professional license; and (3) fine the defendant for not more than $500 as a petty offense; (4) requires a finding that a party engaged in visitation abuse constitutes “a change in circumstances of the child or his custodian” under Section 610 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act. It is scheduled for a hearing next week in Senate Judiciary Committee.

Deficit Reduction Act rules issued by the Department of Healthcare and Family Services

Medical records of deceased family members. Senate Bill 1694 (Wilhelmi, D-Joliet; Brady, R-Bloomington) creates a procedure and statutory form to allow certain family members to get the medical records of deceased family members without being forced to open an estate. A surviving spouse may make a written request for a copy of his or her deceased spouse’s records if: (1) An executor or administrator has not been appointed for the deceased’s estate; or (2) The deceased did not appoint an agent under a power of attorney for health care who was authorized to act for the deceased after death, and the deceased had not specifically objected to disclosure in writing. If there is no surviving spouse, the records may be released if requested in writing by (1) an adult son or daughter of the deceased, (2) a parent of the deceased, or (3) an adult brother or sister of the deceased. Senate Bill 1694 also amends the Illinois Power of Attorney for Health Care to allow an agent to access the principal’s medical records after the principal’s death if the principal has delegated that authority in the power of attorney.

Short sales in residential foreclosures. Senate Bill 1259 (Silverstein, D-Chicago; Currie, D-Chicago) requires the mortgagee to respond to the mortgagor within 90 days if the mortgagor sends a bona fide written offer to purchase from a third party and requests in writing that the mortgagee approve the sale. A “short sale” is when the mortgaged real estate is being sold for less than the amount owed to the mortgagee on the mortgage note. Failure to accept the offer shall not impair or abrogate in any way the rights of the mortgage or affect the status of the foreclosure proceedings. The 90-day period shall not operate as a stay of the proceedings. It passed out of House Executive yesterday and is poised to be passed by the entire House this week.

Visitation interference. Howard, D-Chicago; Sullivan, D-Rushville) allows a court to order the following relief for visitation abuse: (1) suspend the defendant’s driving privileges; (2) suspend the defendant’s professional license; and (3) fine the defendant for not more than $500 as a petty offense; (4) requires a finding that a party engaged in visitation abuse constitutes “a change in circumstances of the child or his custodian” under Section 610 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act. Awaiting a Senate concurrence vote on a House amendment.

Modification of custody or visitation orders for military deployment. House Bill 1589 (Pritchard, R-DeKalb; Jacobs, D-Moline) does five things: (1) Expands existing law to address modification of custody or visitation caused solely by a parent being deployed for active military duty. (2) Preserves judicial discretion and supervision to ensure that any accommodation for a deployed parent is in the best interest of the child. (3) Limits modification orders for deployment to temporary status, so that when the deployment is ended the service member does not bear a clear and convincing burden of proof to restore the prior custodial order. (4) Provides for expedited custody hearings for deployed service members and authorizes participation by electronic means. (5) Authorizes “substitute visitation” while the parent is deployed if the judge determines it is in the best interest of the child. Awaiting a Senate concurrence vote on a House amendment.

Posted on October 26, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
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