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ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of February 6, 2014

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers Family law and visas (Senate Bill 2630), Local Records Act and destruction (House Bill 4316), Attorney-client privilege (House Bill 4317), UM/UIM arbitration (Senate Bill 1636) and Sale of distressed condominium units. (Senate Bill 2664). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Family law and visas. Senate Bill 2630 (Silverstein, D-Chicago) amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. It allows a party to a custody action who is residing in the United States under an H-4 or L-2 visa to permanently return to his or her country of origin with the minor child or children and commence child custody proceedings in his or her country of origin. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

Local Records Act and destruction. House Bill 4316 (DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights) amends the Local Records Act. It provides that any person who (1) knowingly; (2) without lawful authority; and (3) with the intent to defraud any party, public officer, or entity alters, destroys, defaces, removes, or conceals any public record commits a Class 4 felony. Introduced and referred to House Rules Committee.

Attorney-client privilege. House Bill 4317 (Drury, D-Highwood) amends the Lobbyist Registration Act to clarify that lobbying is an activity that may be undertaken by non-attorneys, and that no professional privileges or immunities attach to lobbying work-product because a person with professional credentials performed the work. It declares that the public policy of this state is to generally make lobbying records available to the public, and work records related to lobbying are not shielded by the attorney-client privilege solely because the lobbyist employed by the unit of government is an attorney. Requires units of local government and school districts to register with the Secretary of State if it employs or compensates a lobbyist. Requires every lobbying entity to report billings to clients, which includes the amount billed, the client billed, and the time frame in which services were performed. Introduced and referred to House Rules Committee.

UM/UIM arbitration. Senate Bill 1636 (Mulroe, D-Chicago) amends the Insurance Code to make arbitration binding in UM cases regardless of the amount awarded. Under current law, arbitrators’ decisions are binding only if the award doesn’t exceed $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of any one person or $100,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in one motor vehicle accident. In Senate Assignments Committee.

Sale of distressed condominium units. Senate Bill 2664 (Hastings, D-Matteson) seeks to protect innocent purchasers of foreclosed condominiums units. It amends the Condominium Property Act to stop the current practice in which purchasers of distressed condominium units discover at the closing table that they owe back assessments to the association. Under the current statute, there is no mechanism to determine the amount of back assessments and other charges that the purchaser will be liable for.

It clarifies and caps the total amount the purchaser may be liable for—no more than an amount equal to the unit’s unpaid regular monthly assessments for the nine-month period immediately preceding the judicial foreclosure. This maximum amount can include attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the association prior to closing because of the nonpayment of these assessments.

It will apply to distressed units in a purchase at a judicial foreclosure sale (other than by a mortgagee) and a purchase from a mortgagee that acquired title through a judicial foreclosure, a consent foreclosure, a common-law strict foreclosure, or the delivery of a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

The proposal also improves the notice provisions to prospective purchasers to be more clear and timely by requiring the board of managers to produce for the seller and the prospective purchasers within 14 days information about the condominium unit, such as a copy of the condominium instruments, amounts due, and any rules and regulations. Current law allows 30 days that is often too slow, and the proposal allows the Board the flexibility to do it either electronically or in writing. Assigned to Senate Judiciary Committee.

Posted on February 6, 2014 by Chris Bonjean
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