The Bar News

ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of August 29

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers Collection procedures (Public Act 98-557), Recorded interrogations (Public Act 98-547), Minimum liability insurance coverage (Public Act 98-519) and The Recreational Use of Land and Water Areas Act (Public Act 98-522). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Collection procedures. Public Act 98-557 (Silverstein, D-Chicago; Lang, D-Skokie) makes four changes to collection practice. (1) It allows enforcements (wage deduction orders and turnover orders) to continue beyond seven years without revival. If a judgment becomes dormant during the pendency of an enforcement proceeding against wages under Part 14 of Article 12 or under Article XII, the enforcement may continue to conclusion without revival of the underlying judgment so long as the enforcement is done under court supervision and includes a wage deduction order or turnover order and is against an employer, garnishee, or other third-party respondent. (2) It allows service of garnishments by certified mail. (3) It makes the recording of foreign judgments as liens on real estate. (4) It clarifies that a court in a citation proceeding may enter any order that could be entered in a non-wage garnishment and that this change is declaratory of existing law. It was signed into law yesterday and effective January 1, 2014.

Recorded interrogations. Public Act 98-547 (Raoul, D-Chicago; Drury, D-Highland Park) expands the offenses in which a suspect's statement is presumed to be inadmissible unless there is an electronic recording made of the custodial interrogation. It also allows prosecutors to record and use a statement of a suspect during a custodial interrogation if the statement was given at a time when the interrogators were unaware of facts and circumstances that would create probable cause to believe that the suspect committed a crime required to be recorded. Effective January 1, 2014.

Tort cases and settlement problems. Public Act 98-548 (Raoul, D-Chicago; Sims, D-Chicago) amends the Code of Civil Procedure to create an enforcement mechanism for cases in which the parties agree to settle, but the defendant won’t comply with the agreement. It is limited to cases seeking money damages involving personal injury, wrongful death, or tort action. It requires a settling defendant pay all sums due the plaintiff within 30 days of tender of all applicable documents required under this new section. It requires a “settling defendant” to tender a release to the plaintiff within 14 days of written confirmation of the settlement. If the law requires court approval of a settlement, the plaintiff must tender to the defendant a copy of the court order approving the settlement.

If there is a known third-party right of recovery or subrogation interest, the plaintiff may protect the third party’s right of recovery or subrogation interest by tendering to the defendant:

(1) A signed release of the attorney’s lien; and
(2) A letter from the plaintiff’s attorney agreeing to hold the full amount of the claimed lien in the plaintiff’s attorney's client-fund account pending final resolution of lien amount; or

(a) A signed release of the healthcare-provider lien or documentation of the agreement between the plaintiff and Medicare or private health insurance company as to the amount of the settlement that will be accepted in satisfaction of the right of recovery; or
(b) An offer that the defendant hold the full amount of the claimed right to recovery pending a final resolution of the right to recovery; or
(c) Documentation of any other resolution of the liens as agreed to by the parties.

If the court finds, after a hearing, that payment has not been made within 30 days of tender of the necessary documents, judgment must be entered against that defendant for the amount in the executed release, costs incurred in obtaining the judgment, and 9 percent interest from the date of the plaintiff’s tender. The Act exempts units of local government, the State of Illinois, and state employees. Effective January 1, 2014.

Minimum liability insurance coverage. Public Act 98-519 (Biss, D-Skokie; Fine, D-Glenview) increases the required minimum liability insurance policies for drivers as follows: bodily injury or death to any one person from $20,000 to $25,000; bodily injury or death to more than one person from $40,000 to $50,000; and injury or destruction of property of others from $15,000 to $20,000. Applies to insurance policies written or renewed after January 1, 2015.

The Recreational Use of Land and Water Areas Act. Public Act 98-522 (Harmon, D-Oak Park; Williams, D-Chicago) amends this Act so that owners of land who permit (without charge) a person to use their property for “recreational or conservation purposes” don't incur any liability except for willful and wanton failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity. But owners don't enjoy this protection if the owner invites or charges a person who enters the land for recreational use. Effective January 1, 2014.

Posted on August 29, 2013 by Chris Bonjean
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