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ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of May 21

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews bills in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. In this episode he covers Tort cases and settlement problems (Senate Bill 1912), Filing fee increase (House Bill 2327), Visitation (House Bill 2992), Fraudulent real estate documents (House Bill 2832), Access to Justice Act (House Bill 3111), Collection procedures (Senate Bill 1044), UM coverage (Senate Bill 1898) and FOIA (House Bill 2747). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Tort cases and settlement problems. Senate Bill 1912 (Raoul, D-Chicago; Sims, D-Chicago) amends the Code of Civil Procedure to create an enforcement mechanism for cases that settle but the defendant won’t comply with the settlement. 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 to the plaintiff within 21 days of tender of all applicable documents required under this new Section.

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; (2) 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; (3) an offer that the defendant hold the full amount of the claimed right to recovery pending a final resolution of the right to recovery.

If the applicable court finds after a hearing that timely payment has not been made under this Section, judgment must be entered against that defendant for the amount in the executed release, costs incurred in obtaining the judgment, and 9% interest from the date of the plaintiff’s tender. Senate Bill 1912 exempts units of local government, the State of Illinois, and state employees.

Filing fee increase. House Bill 2327 (Riley, D-Hazel Crest; Hutchinson, D-Chicago Heights) authorizes county boards to increase the court automation fee and the court document fee from $15 to $25. These fees are currently being paid by civil litigants and convicted defendants. The ceiling for defendants will be $15 for the court automation fee.

Visitation. House Bill 2992 (Harms, R-Watseka; Silverstein, D-Chicago) allows a court to consider, consistent with the best interest of the child, whether to award to one or both of the parties the “right of first refusal” to provide child care for the minor child or children during the other parent’s normal parenting time. Although the parties may agree to a right of first refusal, if they do not, and the court determines that a right of first refusal is in the best interest of the child, the court shall consider new statutory criteria and make provisions for it consistent with the best interest of the child. It doesn’t affect use of a substitute child-care provider for emergency situations and applies only if a party intends to leave the minor child or children with a substitute child-care provider for a significant period of time.

Fraudulent real estate documents. House Bill 2832 (Lang, D-Chicago; Silverstein, D-Chicago) allows a recorder of deeds to establish and use a “Fraud Referral and Review Process” for deeds and instruments that the recorder reasonably believes are fraudulent, unlawfully altered, or intended to unlawfully cloud or transfer the title of any real property. If the recorder reasonably believes the document is  fraudulent, the recorder may refer the instrument to a county administrative law judge for review. If the ALJ believes by a preponderance of the evidence that the document is fraudulent, the ALJ must issue a judgment to that effect with a notation that the fraudulent document may not affect the chain of title of the property in any way.

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.

Collection procedures. 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. If a judgment becomes dormant during the pendency of an enforcement proceeding against wages under Part 14 of this Article 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 turn over order and is against an employer, garnishee, or other third-party respondent. (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.

UM coverage. Senate Bill 1898 (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 Jan. 1, 2015.

FOIA. House Bill 2747 (Conroy, D-Villa Park; Harmon, D-Oak Park) authorizes written FOIA requests to be submitted to a public body by electronic mail and requires each public body to post an email address where requests for public records may be directed.


Posted on May 21, 2013 by Chris Bonjean
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