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ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of January 14, 2016

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers Perjury (House Bill 4400), New power of attorney section (House Bill 4327), Civil justice changes to bodily injury, death or property damage cases (House Bill 4426), Crime Victims Compensation Act (Senate Bill 2151), Civil justice changes (Senate Bill 2153) and Decriminalization of cannabis (House Bill 4357). More information on each bill is available below the video.

Perjury. House Bill 4400 (Drury, D-Highwood) makes it perjury if a person knowingly under oath makes contradictory statements to the degree that one of them is necessarily false in the same or in different proceedings in which an oath or affirmation is required if: (1) each statement was material to the issue or point in question; and (2) each statement was made within the period of the statute of limitations for the offense charged. Makes it a defense if the defendant at the time he or she made each declaration believed the declaration to be true. Just introduced.

New power of attorney section. House Bill 4327 (Bellock, R-Westmont) provides that a parent or legal custodian of a child may execute a power of attorney delegating to another person certain powers regarding the care and custody of the child for a period not to exceed one year or a longer period in the case of a service member. It creates a new power-of-attorney form and new statute for this. Just introduced.

Civil justice changes to bodily injury, death or property damage cases. House Bill 4426 (Sandack, R-Downers Grove) deletes language requiring the court to instruct the jury in writing that the defendant must be found not liable if the jury finds that the contributory fault of the plaintiff is more than 50% of the proximate cause of the injury or damage for which recovery is sought. It replaces it with language providing that the court may not instruct the jury of the consequence of any findings of fault of any plaintiff or defendant under Sections 2-1116 and 2-1117 of the Code of Civil Procedure. It deletes the current language of Section 2-1117 on joint liability and replaces it with language providing that any defendant whose fault is less than 25% of the proximate cause of the injury or damage for which recovery is sought by the plaintiff is severally liable for non-medical damages; and any defendant whose fault is 25% or greater of the proximate cause of the injury or damage for which recovery is sought by the plaintiff is jointly and severally liable for non-medical damages. Just introduced.

Crime Victims Compensation Act. Senate Bill 2151 (Silverstein, D-Chicago) amends the Crime Victims Compensation Act to provide that a crime victim or another person may be compensated for legal expenses and court costs related to the enforcement of the crime victim’s rights. Referred to Senate Assignments Committee.

Civil justice changes. Senate Bill 2153 (Radogno, R-Lemont) amends the Code of Civil Procedure to make the following changes. (1) Deletes a provision authorizing an action to be commenced in any county when all defendants are nonresidents of this State. (2) Under current law, corporations and partnerships are considered to be residents of any county in which they are doing business. Senate Bill 2153 limits this provision only if on due inquiry no office can be found in Illinois. (3) Deletes residency for a partnership on the basis that any partner resides in that county. (4) Deletes residency of any insurance company for any county in which a plaintiff or one of the plaintiffs resides. (5) Provides that in actions in which no party is a resident of this State and over which another forum has jurisdiction, the court shall, upon motion, dismiss the action unless the cause of action primarily arise in Illinois or the interests of justice require that the action proceed here. (6) Provides that joint and several liability attaches if a defendant is found to be 50%, rather than 25%, at fault. (7) Limits amounts recovered for medical care, treatment, or services and caretaking expenses to the amounts actually paid for those expenses regardless of the amounts initially billed. Referred to Senate Assignments Committee.

Decriminalization of cannabis. House Bill 4357 (Cassidy, D-Chicago) provides that the possession of 10 grams or less of cannabis is a civil law violation punishable by a minimum fine of $100 and a maximum fine of $200. It doesn’t invalidate or affect any ordinance enacted by any municipality or unit of local government that imposes a fine upon cannabis other than as defined in this Act. Amends Illinois Vehicle Code to provide that a person may not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle, snowmobile, or watercraft if the person has, within two hours of driving, a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration in his or her whole blood or other bodily substance of five nanograms or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of whole blood or 10 nanograms or more of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter of other bodily substance from the unlawful consumption of cannabis. Current law imposes per se liability for having any amount in your blood or bodily substance. Just introduced.

Posted on January 14, 2016 by Chris Bonjean
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