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ISBA Statehouse Review for the week of February 11, 2016

ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs Jim Covington reviews legislation in Springfield of interest to ISBA members. This week he covers The Land Trust Beneficiary Rights Act (House Bill 4697 ), The Mechanics Lien Act (Senate Bill 2450), Product liability (House Bill 5596), Tenants Radon Protection Act (House Bill 4528), Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (Defines terms. House Bill 4648) and Punitive damages (Senate Bill 2509). More information on each bill is available below the video.

The Land Trust Beneficiary Rights Act. House Bill 4697 (Nekritz, D-Buffalo Grove) provides that the rights of a beneficial owner may not be impaired in any way by the change of trustees if the identity of the trustee of a land trust has been changed by virtue of sale, assignment, appointment, or otherwise, but the beneficial owner or owners of the land trust remain unchanged. Provides that a change of trustees by a sale, acquisition, or appointment governed by the Corporate Fiduciaries Act is not a bar or defense to any pending court action filed by or in the name of either the previous trustee or the new trustee, regardless of whether the court action was originally filed in a representative capacity on behalf of the beneficial owner or owners. Referred to House Rules Committee.

The Mechanics Lien Act. Senate Bill 2450 (Althoff, R-McHenry) amends the Mechanics Lien Act. Current law requires work to be done or materials furnished to obtain a lien within three years for residential property and five years for any other kind of property. This part of the Act sunsetted January 1, 2016, and the limitation then reverts to three years for any kind of property at that time. Senate Bill 2450 re-extends the sunset for five years from the date that this bill would be signed into law. Referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments.

Product liability. House Bill 5596 (Martwick, D-Chicago) provides that for good cause shown, a party required to respond to discovery in a product liability action may obtain a confidentiality order. If the court finds that such a confidentiality order is appropriate, the order must be narrowly drafted and may permit the subsequent designation of specific confidential materials. If a party objects to a designation that limits disclosure or dissemination of materials under a confidentiality order, the party seeking to limit disclosure or dissemination by a claim of confidentiality must demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, a specific, serious, and substantial interest in confidentiality that outweighs the adverse effect of confidentiality upon the general public health or safety. Provides for appeals of orders denying confidentiality. Provides that the new provisions do not preclude the use of confidentiality orders to protect trade secrets, apply to laws or regulations safeguarding the confidentiality of medical records, or apply to healthcare services. Referred to House Rules Committee.

Tenants Radon Protection Act. House Bill 4528 (McAsey, D-Lockport) provides that before a lease is signed, a landlord must provide each tenant any records pertaining to radon concentrations within the dwelling unit that indicate a radon hazard. If a tenant performs a radon test, the tenant must provide to the landlord the test result within 10 days after receiving the result. Before a lease is signed a landlord must furnish each prospective tenant with a prescribed radon hazard disclosure form. Nothing implies an obligation on a landlord or tenant to conduct any radon testing. Provides that a lease may be terminated under specified circumstances involving radon hazard. Referred to House Rules Committee.

Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act. Defines terms. House Bill 4648 (Welch, D-Westchester) provides procedures and requirements for the access and control by guardians, executors, agents, and other fiduciaries of the digital assets of persons who are deceased, under a legal disability, or subject to the terms of a trust. Referred to House Rules Committee.

Punitive damages. Senate Bill 2509 (Link, D-Gurnee) amends the Probate Act of 1975 to provide that a claim for punitive damages also survives in an action that survives. Referred to Senate Assignments Committee.

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Chris Bonjean
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