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ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of April 29

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers Collaborative law for family law cases (Senate Bill 31), Collection changes (Senate Bill 1044), Access to Justice Act (House Bill 3111), Supreme Court Special Purposes Fund (Senate Bill 1768) and Sentencing hearings (Senate Bill 1528). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Collaborative law for family law cases. Senate Bill 31 (Noland, D-Elgin) codifies by statute the Uniform Law Commission’s proposed alternative dispute resolution for family law cases that is now being done by private agreement between litigants. It includes a variety of process requirements such as treatment of settlement communications as confidential, establishment of an evidentiary privilege for settlement discussions, lawyer disqualification if the process fails, and informal discovery procedures. Held in Senate Judiciary Committee.

Collection changes. Senate Bill 1044 (Silverstein, D-Chicago; Lang, D-Skokie) makes four changes to collection practice. (1) Allows enforcements (Wage deduction orders, pay orders and turnover orders) to continue beyond seven years without revival. (2) Allows service of garnishments by certified mail. (3) Makes the recording of foreign judgments as liens on real estate. (4) 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. Passed the Senate and now in the House.

Access to Justice Act. House Bill 3111 (McAsey, D-Lockport; Mulroe, D-Chicago) creates the Access to Justice Act that imposes a $10 fee on every civil filing to fund it. House Bill 3111 encourages the Supreme Court to develop: (1) A pilot program to create a statewide military personnel and veterans’ legal assistance hotline and coordinated network of legal support resources; and a pilot program to provide court-based legal assistance within a circuit court in each appellate district of this State. (2) Creates the Statutory Court Fee Task Force to conduct a thorough review of the various statutory fees imposed or assessed on criminal defendants and civil plaintiffs and adds provisions concerning the administration and duties of the Task Force. (3) Makes other changes to the Code of Civil Procedure affecting pro bono representation. Passed the House and scheduled for hearing in Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday afternoon.

Supreme Court Special Purposes Fund. Senate Bill 1768 (Raoul, D-Chicago; Williams, D-Chicago) creates this Fund in which the Supreme Court by rule may change certain statutory fees to defray the costs associated with electronic filing and case management systems in reviewing courts. These fees would include the initial $25 filing fee for appeals and the fees for a certificate of registration now collected in connection with the practice of law, such as in the Professional Service Corporation Act, the Limited Liability Company Act, and the Professional Association Act. Passed the Senate and now in the House.

Sentencing hearings. Senate Bill 1528 (Rose, R-Mahomet; Moylan, D-Des Plaines) requires the State’s Attorney to inform the victim of (1) the victim's right to make a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing; and (2) if a presentence report is to be prepared, the right of the victim’s spouse, guardian, parent, grandparent and other immediate family and household to submit information to the preparer of the presentence report about the effect the offense has had on the victim and the person. (2) In felony cases, the presentence report must set forth information provided by the victim’s spouse, guardian, parent, grandparent, and other immediate family and household members about the effect the offense committed has had on the victim and on the person providing the information. If the victim’s spouse, guardian, parent, grandparent, or other immediate family or household member has provided a written statement, the statement must be attached to the report. Passed the Senate and in the House.


Posted on April 30, 2013 by Chris Bonjean
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