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2007 spring session roundup: this year's legislative session produced a dramatic overhaul of DUI law, an amendment to the Wrongful Death Act allowing compensation for grief and sorrow, and much more. Here's a recap, organized by practice area.

The Illinois General Assembly has sent to or may send in overtime session the following bills to Governor Blagojevich. This report, which summarizes key legislation, is organized alphabetically by topic so you can quickly learn what has happened in your practice areas.

Note that the governor must sign, veto, or amendatorily veto a bill within 60 days of his receipt of it. The "drop date" is the 60-day deadline for each bill and is the date by which the Governor must take action. If you're interested in what action he has taken on a specific bill or want to view the full text, visit the General Assembly's excellent Web site at

Civil litigation

Human Rights Act. House Bill 1509 (Currie, D-Chicago; Ronen, D-Chicago) amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to allow a petitioner alleging unlawful discrimination to elect to go to state circuit court or remain in the Illinois Department of Human Rights and Human Rights Commission. This election may be made one year after filing a complaint with the Department.

Drop date, August 19, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Recreational use of land. Senate Bill 333 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Lang, D-Skokie) creates the State of Illinois Recreational Use of Leased Land Act for owners of land who lease to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for use by the public.

Drop date September 11, 2007; effective June 1, 2008.

Enforcement of judgments. Senate Bill 229 (Silverstein, D-Chicago; Mathias, R-Buffalo Grove) makes many changes to post-judgment enforcement, including the following. (1) Clarifies that a wage-deduction order is not subject to judicial discretion-it is the lesser of 15% of the weekly gross income or the amount of net income that exceeds 45 times the minimum hourly wage law. (2) It makes a new category of court costs to include those expenses required by law or a law enforcement or court officer to enforce a judgment. (3) It allows the sheriff to use reasonable force to enter property to recover property under a court order for replevin. (4) It allows an Illinois federal court judgment to be filed like a judgment of a circuit court instead of registered like a foreign judgment. (5) It allows a court in a citation to discover asset proceeding to order the resignation of a membership in a club or stock exchange. (6) It orders the sale of property by a person or entity other than a county sheriff if it will maximize a recovery for the benefit of the parties. (7) It requires a financial institution to disclose financial information if served with a citation to discover assets.

Drop date, August 28, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Wrongful Death Act. House Bill 1798 (Brosnahan, D-Oak Lawn; Raoul, D-Chicago) amends the Wrongful Death Act to allow damages for grief, sorrow, and mental suffering to the surviving spouse and next-of-kin.

PA 95-0003; effective May 31, 2007.

Involuntary admission. Senate Bill 234 (Righter, R-Mattoon; Leitch, R-Peoria) reduces the standard for involuntarily committing a person under the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code. "Dangerous conduct" may now trigger an admission proceeding, which is defined as (1) threatening behavior or conduct that places another individual in reasonable expectation of being harmed or (2) a person's inability to provide, without the assistance of family or outside help, for his or her basic physical needs so as to guard himself or herself from serious harm.

Drop date September 11, 2007; effective June 1, 2008.

SLAPP procedure. Senate Bill 1434 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Franks, D-Woodstock) creates the Citizen Participation Act that provides for a separate civil procedure against SLAPP litigation (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation). It creates a procedure to allow for quick adjudication and dismissal of litigation that seeks to prevent or punish someone from exercising rights guaranteed under the constitution, such as the right to free speech, petition, and participation in government.

Drop date, August 28, 2007; effective immediately.

Residual funds in class actions. Senate Bill 486 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Lang, D-Skokie) would establish a presumption that residual funds in class actions be distributed to organizations that improve access to justice for low-income Illinois residents, but courts would have the discretion to award up to 50 percent of these funds to other organizations that serve the public good if the court finds good cause to do so. Applies to all actions commenced on or after July 1, 2008 or still pending on that date for which no court order has been entered approving a proposed settlement.

Drop date, August 28, 2007; effective July 1, 2008.

Criminal and traffic

New DUI laws. Senate Bill 300 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Molaro, D-Chicago) is a huge change in DUI law. It (1) requires all first-time offenders, after a 30-day license suspension, to get an interlock-restricted license called a MDDP (monitored-device driver's permit); (2) replaces JDPs with the MDDPs; and (3) doubles summary suspensions from six to 12 months for refusals and three to six months for per-se violation.

Drop date, August 26, 2007; effective January 1, 2009 (yes, that's 2009, not 2008). It must be read in concert with Senate Bill 607 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Rose, R-Mahomet), which makes corrections to Senate Bill 300.

Teen-driving records. House Bill 518 (D'Amico, D-Chicago; Cullerton, D-Chicago) amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to authorize the secretary of state to allow the parent or guardian of a person under the age of 18 years, who holds a graduated driver's license or an instruction permit, to view the person's driving record online through a computer connection.

Drop date, August 19, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Driver's certificate. House Bill 1100 (Acevedo, D-Chicago; Martinez, D-Chicago) authorizes Illinois residents without social security numbers to obtain a "driver's certificate" that will allow them to drive legally. It also requires these drivers to purchase auto insurance.

On third reading in the Senate; effective January 1, 2008.

Teen-driving requirements. Senate Bill 172 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; D'Amico, D-Chicago) imposes new restrictions and requirements on teens before they get their drivers' licenses.

Drop date, August 20, 2007, effective January 1, 2008, and School Code changes are effective July 1, 2008.

Electronic appearance. Senate Bill 265 (Trotter, D-Chicago; Howard, D-Chicago) allows an incarcerated person to make a personal appearance by two-way audio-visual equipment in a civil or criminal proceeding if the chief judge of the circuit issues rules authorizing such appearances in certain hearings.

Drop date, August 19, 2007; effective immediately.

Reduction of good-time credit. House Bill 1557 (Acevedo, D-Chicago; Haine, D-Alton) reduces day-for-day good time to 7.5 days a month for a number of serious criminal offenses.

Drop date, August 13, 2007; effective immediately.

Family law

Child-support enforcement. Senate Bill 1035 (Martinez, D-Chicago; Soto, D-Chicago) makes two changes. It (1) authorizes municipalities to impound motor vehicles owned by responsible relatives who are delinquent in child-support payments according to the Illinois Department of healthcare and Family Services (HFS), and it (2) prevents the SOS from issuing, allowing, or renewing a driver's license to any responsible relative who HFS certifies as delinquent of 90 days or more in child-support payments based on a court order or an administrative order by HFS or an administrative agency of any other state.

Referred to House Rules Committee on June 27, 2007; effective immediately.

Adoption Act. Senate Bill 68 (Jacobs, D-Moline; Feigenholtz, D-Chicago) amends the Adoption Act to make two changes. (1) It clarifies that children are entitled to inheritance rights and all other available benefits of adopted children if their adoptive parents die before the adoption is completed as long as the court has jurisdiction over the parties. (2) It allows DCFS to provide financial assistance for the gap between the death of the child's adoptive parents and completion of a new adoption by another adoptive parent.

Drop date September 11, 2007; effective immediately.

Section 503(g) trusts of IMDMA. Senate Bill 454 (Silverstein, D-Chicago; Lindner, R-Aurora) expands section 503(g) trusts in family-law cases to specifically authorize them for expenses incurred for the "physical and mental health" of a minor.

Drop date, August 26, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.


Retention of judges. Senate Bill 996 (Raoul, D-Chicago; Colvin, D-Chicago) requires that a resident judge elected from a subcircuit after Jan. 1, 2008 must retain residency as a registered voter in that subcircuit to run for retention from the circuit at-large thereafter.

Drop date, September 11, 2007; effective immediately.

Juvenile Justice

Cook County juvenile detention change. House Bill 236 (Cross, R-Oswego; Harmon, D-Oak Park) authorizes the chief judge of the Cook County Circuit Court to administer the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center.

Drop date, August 19, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Juvenile-court jurisdiction. House Bill 1517 (Collins, D-Chicago; Cullerton, D-Chicago) raises the age of juvenile court jurisdiction from 17 to 18 for misdemeanor offenses only.

On the House concurrence calendar. Effective July 1, 2008.

Juvenile sex offenders. Senate Bill 121 (Raoul, D-Chicago; Brosnahan, D-Oak Lawn) creates a new registration procedure for juveniles who are adjudicated as sex offenders. The net effect of Senate Bill 121 is that juveniles who are found delinquent because of a sex crime will be listed in a separate registry available primarily to law enforcement agencies and schools the minor is attending. They may petition the court to remove themselves five years (felony) or two years (misdemeanor) after adjudication. Exempts cases transferred to adult court.

Drop date, August 27, 2007; effective immediately.

DCFS guardianship. House Bill 291 (Myers, R-Colchester; Sullivan, D-Rushville) allows a delinquent minor under the age of 15 (instead of 13) to be placed in the guardianship of DCFS or when an independent basis of abuse, neglect, or dependency exists. An independent basis exists if the allegations or adjudication of abuse, neglect, or dependency do not arise from the same facts, incident, or circumstances that caused a charge or adjudication of delinquency.

Drop date, August 28, 2007; effective June 1, 2008.

Juvenile defender Resource Center. Senate Bill 521 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Hoffman, D-Collinsville) creates the Juvenile Defender Resource Center and the Juvenile Resource Center to assist trial counsel in cases in which a juvenile may be sentenced as an adult or incarcerated.

Drop date, August 26, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Defacto residency. Senate Bill 671 (Maloney, D-Chicago; Coulson, R-Glenview) amends the School Code affecting defacto residency for a parent alleging that he or she has the "legal responsibility" to raise the child. Acts tending to show that a person exercises legal responsibility for the pupil include, but are not limited to, providing public or private insurance for the pupil, paying for the pupil's necessary expenses, assuming liability for damages caused by the pupil, or declaring the pupil as a dependent for income tax purposes.

On House calendar on order of third reading; effective June 1, 2008.

Juvenile records. House Bill 615 (Dunkin, D-Chicago; Raoul, D-Chicago) amends the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 to clarify that a court order is necessary for the disclosure of law enforcement records of a minor who has been arrested or taken into custody.

Drop date, August 13, 2007; effective immediately.

Local government

Substitute firefighters. Senate Bill 834 (Halvorson, D-Crete; Phelps, D-Norris City) amends the Illinois Municipal Code and the Fire Protection District Act to prohibit a non-certificated firefighter from being hired as a temporary or permanent substitute firefighter. Preempts home rule but does allow the employee's bargaining unit to waive this provision.

Drop date, August 28, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Municipal Code. Senate Bill 825 (Koehler, D-Peoria; Schock, R-Peoria) allows a municipal attorney to retain attorneys and private collection agents to collect delinquent fines. It authorizes any fees or costs incurred by the municipality by attorneys or private collection agents in collecting fines to be charged to the offender.

Drop date, August 26, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Open Meetings Act. House Bill 1670 (Pritchard, R-Hinckley; Jacobs, D-Moline) amends the open Meetings Act to define a "meeting" for a five-member public body as a quorum of the members of a public body (three members) held for the purpose of discussing public business. It also changes the terms of offices of municipal officials to conform to the recent changes in the Election Code.

Drop date, September 10, 2007; effective immediately.

Zoning appeals. Senate Bill 29 (Sieben, R-Genesco; Sacia, R-Pecatonica) provides that in an administrative review of a decision of a hearing officer or a county zoning board of appeals, the only necessary parties are the hearing officer or the county zoning board of appeals and the applicant. It also requires that notice of the administrative review action and its process must be sent by certified mail to each person who appeared or testified in writing or orally.

Drop date, August 21, 2007; effective July 1, 2007.

Code-hearing unit. Senate Bill 83 (Trotter, D-Chicago; Molaro, D-Chicago) amends the Counties Code to allow any county (instead of counties under three million population) to establish a code-hearing unit.

Drop date, August 28, 2007; effective immediately.

Cable competition. Senate Bill 678 (Clayborne, D-E. St. Louis; Brosnahan, D-Oak Lawn) is supposed to make it easier for telephone companies to offer video services that compete with cable television offerings. It also creates a statewide standard for consumer services and protection for all cable and video-service providers.

PA 95-0009; effective June 30, 2007.

Police-Firefighter discharge. House Bill 1542 (Dugan, D-Bradley; Halvorson, D-Crete) amends the Illinois Municipal Code to require that the due process procedure to discharge or suspend a firefighter or police officer by a non-home rule municipality must be subject to collective bargaining unless the parties agree otherwise.

Drop date, August 26, 2007; effective immediately.

New zoning power. Senate Bill 382 (Garrett, D-Lake Forest; May, D-Highland Park) amends the Illinois Municipal Code to give municipalities the power to establish local standards solely for the review of the exterior design of buildings and structures and designate a board or commission to implement the review process. Exempts utility facilities and outdoor off-premises advertising signs.

Drop date, August 28, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Municipal vacancies. House Bill 962 (Tryon, R-Crystal Lake; Koehler, D-Peoria) makes three changes to the Illinois Municipal Code. (1) It clarifies how vacancies occur and are filled for elective offices. (2) It creates a procedure for municipalities other than Chicago for filling a vacancy of trustee or alderman if the mayor and board cannot agree on a temporary appointment. (3) It makes a person ineligible for election or appointment to municipal office unless that person is a qualified elector of and has resided in the municipality for at least one year. It exempts residency requirement for persons in newly incorporated municipalities.

Drop date, August 13, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Practice of law

Attorney Act. Senate Bill 148 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Currie, D-Chicago) amends the Attorney Act to create statutory remedies against the unauthorized practice of law. The bill's proposed remedies include appropriate equitable relief, a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 (to go to the Illinois Equal Justice Foundation), and actual damages.

Drop date, August 26, 2007; effective immediately.

Public place of accommodation. Senate Bill 593 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Fritchey, D-Chicago) amends the Illinois human rights Act to redefine a "place of public accommodation." It specifically includes offices of professionals such as health-care providers and lawyers. But it is not a civil rights violation for a professional-service provider to refer or refuse to provide services for any non-discriminatory reason if the provider would do the same for the same reason for any other person.

Drop date, August 28, 2007; effective immediately.

Medical and legal records. Senate Bill 472 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Scully, D-Flossmoor) and House Bill 830 (Mathias, R-Buffalo Grove; Cullerton, D-Chicago) must be read together. They amend the Code of Civil Procedure affecting the retrieval of a consumer's medical or legal records.

The bill makes several changes. (1) It allows for the charging of the actual postage or shipping charge of the records. (2) It clarifies that records retrieved from scanning, digital imaging, electronic information, or other digital format do not qualify as microfiche or microfilm retrieval for calculating charges under this statute. The charge for these records will be 50 percent of the per-page charge for paper copies in this statute and includes the cost of each CD ROM, DVD, or other digital media for electronic records. (3) It provides that if the records are already maintained in an electronic or digital format, they must be provided in an electronic format if requested. If the records system does not allow for the creation or transmission of an electronic or digital record, then the facility or practitioner must inform the requester in writing of the reason the records cannot be provided electronically. The written explanation may be included with the production of paper copies if the requester chooses to order paper copies.

Drop date, August 28, 2007; effective immediately. House Bill 830 is on the Senate calendar order of third reading. The fee provisions take effect January 1, 2008.

Notary public. Senate Bill 546 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Brosnahan, D-Oak Lawn) amends the Illinois Notary Public Act to require that a notarial record be kept for every notarial act in Illinois involving documents of conveyance transferring title to Cook County residential real property.

The notarial record shall contain, among other information, the thumbprint or fingerprint of the grantor, as well as a description of identification presented for satisfactory evidence of the identity of the person whose signature to which the notary is attesting. The notarial record is to be kept as part of the business records of title insurance companies, financial institutions and attorneys for a period of seven years.

Independent notaries are required to deliver the original notarial record to the recorder of Deeds of Cook County, along with a $5 filing fee, and those records will be retained for seven years. Notaries are permitted to charge up to $25 for any notarial act performed pursuant to Section 3-102 of this Act.

Note that these provisions are repealed July 1, 2011. It is on the House calendar order of third reading. Effective July 1, 2008.

Real estate

Title Insurance Act. House Bill 1319 (Molaro, D-Chicago; Harmon, D-Oak Park) prohibits a lender or producer of title business from requiring a party in the sale of residential real property to get title insurance from a certain company or agent as a condition to receive a loan or receive services of any kind.

Drop date, September 4, 2007; effective immediately.

Condominium Property Act. House Bill 1071 (Nekritz, D-Northbrook; Cullerton, D-Chicago) creates minimum standards for community association managers and financial procedures that they must follow. House Bill 1797 (Osterman, D-Chicago; Raoul, D-Chicago) creates statutory remedies for a tenant if the owner fails to give the required notice of intent to convert the property to a condominium.

House Bill 1071 drop date is August 21, 2007; effective January 1, 2008. House Bill 1797 drop date is August 19, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Condominium Property Act. Senate Bill 528 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Feigenholtz, D-Chicago) amends the section that addresses the minimum voting requirements for taking action by a condominium owner's association in which 30 percent or less of the condominium units possess 50 percent or more of the association votes. A unit may not include a garage or a storage unit for the purpose of voting on matters required by the Act or in the condominium instruments.

Drop date, September 17, 2007; effective June 1, 2008.

Possession during foreclosure. Senate Bill 258 (Crotty, D-Oak Forest; Riley, D-Matteson) allows a tenant to remain in possession during a foreclosure for whichever of these two time periods are shorter: (1) 120 days after service of the notice of the hearing on the supplemental petition or (2) the duration of the lease. But it requires that the tenant be current on rent and continue to be current on rent.

Drop date, August 19, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Mold Remediation Registration Act. Senate Bill 1257 (Clayborne, D-Belleville; Holbrook, D-Belleville) creates the Mold Remediation Registration Act. It authorizes the Department of Public health to make rules that require entities that provide mold remediation services to register with the state and provide evidence of financial responsibility.

Drop date, August 27, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Electronic recording. Senate Bill 319 (Haine, D-Alton; Mathias, R-Buffalo Grove) creates the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. It authorizes county recorders to record electronic documents but to do so in compliance with the standards of the new Illinois Electronic recording Commission.

Drop date, August 28, 2007; effective immediately.

Predatory lending. Senate Bill 1674 (Collins, D-Chicago; M. Davis, D-Chicago) completely rewrites the laws governing predatory lending and the rules issued by the Department of Financial and Professional regulation.

On Senate concurrence calendar; effective immediately.

Radon. House Bill 1425 (Reitz, D-Steeleville; Trotter, D-Chicago) creates the Illinois Radon Awareness Act. It requires before the sale of any residential real property that the seller give to the buyer a new statutory form that states the property may present the potential for radon exposure. It exempts seven other kinds of transactions such as under a court order, judicial deed, and from one co-owner to another.

Drop date, August 19, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

Tax-deed procedure. Senate Bill 461 (Cullerton, D-Chicago; Currie, D-Chicago) makes a number of cleanup changes to procedures in getting a tax deed. (1) It allows the owner of a certificate of purchase in a scavenger sale to file a petition at any time within six months (instead of five) before the expiration of the redemption period from a sale. (2) It conforms post-judgment practice and service of notice of the redemption period to the Code of Civil Procedure. (3) It requires that purchaser must give notice of tax sale and the right to redeem not less than three months or more than six months (instead of five) before the expiration of the period of redemption. (4) It allows the court to give possession to the tax-deed grantee or grantee's successor in interest (instead of just tax-deed grantee).

Drop date, August 28, 2007; effective June 1, 2008.


Short-term guardian. House Bill 913 (Currie, D-Chicago; Cullerton, D-Chicago) amends Probate Code to authorize a short-term guardian of a minor to serve for a maximum of 365 days instead of 60.

Drop date, September 1, 2007; effective June 1, 2008.

GAL fees waived. Senate Bill 452 (Silverstein, D-Chicago; Fritchey, D-Chicago) prohibits any guardian ad litem or legal fees from being assessed against the Illinois Department of Human Services if its Inspector general has petitioned to declare a person a disabled adult.

Drop date, August 26, 2007; effective immediately.

Small trust termination. Senate Bill 531 (Dillard, R-Hinsdale; Beaubien, R-Barrington Hills) amends the Trust and Trustees Act to create a procedure for the termination of small trusts (less than $100,000) if the costs of continuing the trust will substantially impair accomplishment of the purpose of the trust. It applies to all trusts created before, on, or after January 1, 2008.

Drop date, September 11, 2007; effective June 1, 2008.

Custodial claims. Senate Bill 481 (Harmon, D-Oak Park; Fritchey, D-Chicago) increases the statutory amounts that may be awarded for caring for a disabled person. But it also allows the court to reduce these amounts to the extent that the living arrangements were intended to and did provide a physical or financial benefit to the claimant.

Drop date, August 21, 2007; effective January 1, 2008.

By Jim Covington, ISBA Director of Legislative Affairs
COPYRIGHT 2007 Illinois State Bar Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:driving under the influence; Illinois
Author:Covington, Jim
Publication:Illinois Bar Journal
Date:Aug 1, 2007
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