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LAJ summary of selected bills and effective dates
2013 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature

LAJ staff compiled this summary of selected bills that were enacted during the 2013 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature. Resources used include legislative instruments found on the website of the Louisiana Legislature and digests prepared by the legislative staff. This does not include the hundreds of bills that were not passed. For access to all legislative instruments from the 2013 Regular Session, go to http://www.legis.la.gov.

Art. 3, Sect. 19 of the Louisiana Constitution specifies that the effective date of an act of the regular session shall be August 1 of the calendar year in which the session was held, unless the instrument itself specifies a different effective date.

Please forward corrections, comments, questions, or other concerns to Tom Wright at LAJ by phone at 225-242-4837 or by email at twright@lafj.org.

Quick links:
     Practice and procedure
     Insurance
     Judiciary/courts
     Jurisdiction and venue
     Professional liability/licensure
     Workers' compensation
     Miscellaneous



Practice and procedure

Law Institute. Revises C.C.P. — venue articles, Default Judgments, Final Judgments and Motion for New Trial. Adds actions involving voting trusts and actions involving applications for wrongful conviction and imprisonment as exceptions to the general rules of venue. Adds articles addressing proper venue in actions involving certain retirement systems and employee benefit programs, actions involving voting trusts, and actions involving application for compensation for wrongful conviction and imprisonment to the list of articles providing exclusive venue and the rules for application when two or more articles conflict. Requires the proof supporting confirmation of a default judgment to be placed into the court record prior to judgment. Provides that the court may permit documentary evidence to be filed in an electronic format authorized by the local rules or the clerk of the district court. Requires a hearing before amending a final judgment, unless the parties consent or no opposition is filed after notice of the proposed amendment. Requires the court to specify its reasons for granting a motion for a new trial. (Amends C.C.P. Arts. 43, 45, 1702(A), 1951, and 1979) HB 192 Edwards. Act 78. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Immunity. Civil immunity granted to volunteer firefighters in limited functions. Immunity is restricted to when the volunteer firefighter is carrying out certain acts or functions and only to a person who is a member of an organized volunteer fire department and who is acting according to his duties as assigned by the fire department or organization or its employees or agents. (Amends R.S. 37:1735) HB 469 Adams. Act 196. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Class actions. Specifies that one of the five required prerequisites to maintain a class action shall not be satisfied if the court has to inquire into each member’s cause of action to determine whether he is a member of the class.  Prohibits the court from ordering a trial on an issue that would require proof that is individual to a member of the class when the outcome of the trial would have an effect on the entire class. (Amends C.C.P. Arts. 591(A)(5) and 592(A)(3)(b)-(d) and (E)(5); adds C.C.P. Art. 592(A)(3)(e)) HB 472 Morris. Act 254. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Law Institute. Extends liberative prescriptive periods. Provides that the three-year peremptive period for revocatory actions shall not apply in cases of fraud. Allows obligor to extend a period of liberative prescription by juridical act after it has commenced to run and that an obligor may grant successive extensions, each of which may not exceed one year. The extension must be express and in writing, and begins on the date of the juridical act granting it. Provides the extension is effective against only the obligor granting it and that the extension benefits all joint obligees of any individual obligation and all solidary obligees. Provides that the extension of liberative prescription by a principal obligor is effective against his surety and that an extension of liberative prescription by a surety is effective only if the principal obligor has also granted it.  Provides that prescription may be interrupted or suspended during the period of extension. (Amends C.C. Art. 2041; adds C.C. Arts. 3505-3505.4) HB 588 Abramson. Act 88. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Motion for summary judgment (MSJ), jury trial limitation. Clarifies that MSJ must be based on the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions, together with the affidavits, if any, admitted for purposes of the MSJ. Provides that evidence cited in and attached to the MSJ or memorandum filed by an adverse party is deemed admitted for purposes of the MSJ unless excluded in response to an objection raised in memorandum or written motion to strike stating the specific grounds therefor. Only evidence admitted for purposes of the MSJ may be considered by the court in its ruling on the motion. Provides exception to $50,000-trial-by-jury threshold as follows: 1) If an individual petitioner stipulates or judicially admits sixty days or more prior to trial that the amount of the individual petitioner’s cause of action does not exceed $50,000 then the defendant shall not be entitled to a trial by jury. 2) If an individual petitioner stipulates or judicially admits for the first time less than sixty days prior to trial that the amount of the individual petitioner’s cause of action does not exceed $50,000, then any other party may retain the right to trial by jury if that party has otherwise complied with the procedural requirements for obtaining a trial by jury. 3) Nevertheless, if parties compromise or dismiss one or more claims less than sixty days prior to trial, then, in that case, if an individual petitioner stipulates or otherwise judicially admits that the amount of the individual petitioner’s cause of action does not exceed $50,000, then a defendant shall not be entitled to a jury trial. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 966(B)(2), (E) and (F), 1732(1), and 1915(B); adds C.C.P. Art. 966(G)) HB 589 Abramson. Act 391. Effective Aug. 1, 2013 (Editor’s note: Look for an in-depth article on Act 391 in a future issue of Louisiana Advocates.)

Small tutorship. Changes the definition of a “small tutorship” from the tutorship of a minor whose property in Louisiana has gross value of $20,000 or less to one with a gross value of $50,000 or less. Allows court to dispense with the furnishing of security by a legal tutor or appoint a dative tutor who shall comply with all requirements except that of furnishing security, but also that the court may dispense with the appointment of an undertutor. (Amends C.C.P. Arts. 4461 and 4464; adds C.C.P. Art. 4463(C)) SB 62 Murray. Act 118. Effective June 5, 2013


Insurance

Citizens. Adds a member — to be appointed by the commissioner of insurance from a list submitted by the Louisiana chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors — to the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Board of Directors; changes quorum requirement from seven to eight members. Further requires that prior to the corporation’s implementation of any rate increase in excess of 25 percent in any one parish on wind-and-hail coverage, the corporation’s board of directors shall notify the House and Senate committees on insurance. Upon this notification, the chairman of either committee or a majority of either committee’s membership may request a joint meeting to study the basis and methodology for such increase. (Amend R.S. 22:2294(B); add R.S. 22:2294(A)(11) and 2303(A)(4))  HB 257 Ritchie. Act 278. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Provides that, subject to approval by the commissioner of insurance, a captive insurer may take credit for reserves on risks or portions of risks ceded to a reinsurer or to a pool, exchange, or association acting as a reinsurer. (Amends R.S. 22:550.17(C)) SB 120 Walsworth. Act 23. Effective May 23, 2013

Health insurance. Provides uniform standards for the establishment and maintenance of external review procedures to assure that covered persons have the opportunity for an independent review of an adverse determination or final adverse determination. Further requires that health insurance issuers implement effective processes for appeal of coverage determinations and claims pursuant to provisions of applicable federal law. Further specifies that such appeal processes shall, at a minimum, have in effect an internal claims appeal process and provide notice to covered persons of available internal and external appeals processes. (Adds R.S. 22:821(B)(36) and (37) and 2391-2453; repeals R.S. 22:821(B)(28) and 1121-1144) HB 645 Cromer. Act 326. Effective Jan. 1, 2015


Judiciary/courts

Authorizes pay raise for state judges ranging from 3.7 percent to 5.5 percent, depending on the court to which the judge was elected, and subsequent raises of 2.1 percent until 2017. Triggers pay raises for sheriffs and some parish presidents. (Adds R.S. 13:50) SB 188 Martiny. Act 375. Effective July 1, 2013

Clerks of court. Authorizes an annual 4 percent increase in the rate of annual compensation of the clerks of the district courts through fiscal year 2016-17. Requires that a clerk complete the annual certification update and renewal course to be eligible to receive the salary increase. (Amends R.S. 13:782(A); repeals R.S. 13:782(K)) HB 174 Arnold. Act 380. Effective June 18, 2013


Jurisdiction and venue

Increases the civil jurisdictional amount in dispute for the city courts of Plaquemine and Shreveport from $25,000 to $35,000. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 4843(E) and (G)) HB 9 Williams. Act 68. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

21st JDC. Abolishes Div. H and Div. G judgeships in the 21st JDC effective midnight, December 31, 2014. Creates new judgeships effective January 1, 2015, to be known as Div. J and Div. K, and to be limited to family and juvenile matters. (Amends R.S. 13:621.21(B); adds R.S. 13:621.21(C), (D), (E), and (F)) HB 169 Mack. Act 102. Effective June 5, 2013

Mental health court. Authorizes district courts by rule to establish mental health court treatment programs, excluding certain violent crimes and with the provision that district attorneys may move the court to dismiss the defendant from the program, providing reasons, should the defendant violate any of the conditions of his treatment. Provides for these programs to collaborate with a network of programs that deal with mental illness and co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse issues. Provides for a designated court liaison to monitor the progress of defendants. (Adds R.S. 13:5351-5358) SB 71 Broome. Act 346. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

 

Professional liability/licensure

PCF. Authorizes the Patient’s Compensation Fund Oversight Board to invest any portion of private monies making up the body of the fund as long as the board is able to maintain timely payment of claims, future medical care and related benefits, and other expenses. Authorizes the board to invest and reinvest the surplus of premiums over losses and expenses that have been placed in a segregated fund. (Amends R.S. 40:1299.44(A)(1)(b) and 1299.46(H)) HB 216 Shadoin. Act 80. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Establishes an integrated behavioral health services provider license for providers of mental health services, substance abuse/addiction treatment services, or a combination of such services, and repeals the existing separate licensing statutes for mental health clinics and substance abuse/addiction treatment facilities. (Amends R.S. 40:2006(A)(2)(b), (B)(2)(e), and (E)(2)(b); adds R.S. 40:2151-2161; repeals R.S. 28:567-573 and R.S. 40:1058.1-1058.10) HB 281 Simon. Act 308. Effective June 17, 2013

Establishes Behavior Analyst Practice Act. Defines “behavior analysis” as the design, implementation, and evaluation of systematic instructional and environmental modifications by a behavior analyst to produce socially significant improvements in a person’s behavior. Provides for licensure of behavior analysts by the newly created Louisiana Behavior Analyst Board. (Adds R.S. 36:259(E)(25) and R.S. 37:3701-3718) SB 134 Morrell. Act 351. Effective Aug. 1, 2013


Workers’ Compensation

Repeals Workers’ Compensation Second Injury Fund sunset provision. (Repeals R.S. 23:1371.2) HB 410 Talbot. Act 314. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Allows the Office of Workers’ Compensation Administration to hire an associate medical director, provides for his qualifications, and describes the procedure for any conflict of interest. Also provides that when an illness or injury is not covered by the medical treatment schedule, the employer is required to pay for the treatment if the employee can demonstrate by a preponderance of scientific evidence that the treatment is appropriate. (Amends R.S. 23:1203.1(A), (J), (K), and (M); adds R.S. 23:1203.1.1) HB 450 Ivey. Act 317. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Requires notice to the employee before the first payment of compensation and upon any payment, modification, suspension, termination, or controversion of compensation or medical benefits. Further requires that all parties to the workers’ compensation suit be notified on the same day and in the same manner of any hearing date, and provides for time periods and procedures for disputes and for instances in which penalties may be assessed. Retroactive unless part of the act is declared to be prospective only, then the whole act shall be applied prospectively. (Amends R.S. 23:1121(B)(1) and (5), 1124, 1201(H), 1208(F), (G), and (H), 1226(B)(3), 1310.8(B), 1314(E); adds R.S. 23:1021(13) and 1201.1) HB 728 Cromer. Act 337. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Requests that the medical advisory council within the Office of Workers’ Compensation meet and reformulate the medical treatment schedule to address the need for injured workers to have access to routine physician office visits. Requests report on reformulated guidelines to Senate and House Labor no later than Sept. 1, 2013. SCR 129 Cortez. Filed with secretary of state.

Equal pay in state employment. Prohibits wage discrimination between the sexes in state employment. Requires equal compensation for equal work, but provides exceptions for other factors not related to sex such as seniority and merit. (Adds R.S. 23:661-669) SB 153 Murray. Act 374. Effective Aug. 1, 2013


Miscellaneous

Private Works Act. Requires that a statement for the preservation of a claim or privilege under the Private Works Act reasonably itemize the elements comprising the claim or privilege. Provides that unpaid invoices are not required to be attached. (Amends R.S. 9:4822(G)(4)) HB 190 Schexnayder. Act 277. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Private Works Act. Provides that for the lessor’s privilege under the Private Works Act to arise, the lessor of the movables must deliver notice instead of a copy of the lease to the owner and to the contractor not more than ten days after the movables are first placed at the site of the immovable for use. (Amends R.S. 9:4802(G)(1)) SB 183 Cortez. Act 357. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Louisiana Home Protection Act. Requires the sheriff’s notice of seizure to provide information concerning the availability of housing counseling services and requires the sheriff to use the form provided in R.S. 13:3852 as the notice of seizure. Adds to the form that the sheriff’s sale date may change, that the defendant (judgment debtor) may contact the sheriff’s office to find out the new date when the property is scheduled to be sold, and that the new sale date will be published in the local newspaper. Further provides notice that the defendant may enter into a loss-mitigation agreement with his lender and a statement that the defendant is strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel. Prohibits the initial sheriff’s sale date from being scheduled any earlier than sixty days after the date of the signed court order issuing the writ. (Amends R.S. 13:3852 and C.C.P. Arts. 2293(B)(1) and 2721(B)) SB 27 Broome. Act 339. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Residential lessee’s right to notification of foreclosure action. Requires a lessor to disclose in writing to the prospective lessee any pending foreclosure action to which the residential dwelling is subject and the right of the lessee to receive notification of a foreclosure action. Requires written notice of the seizure to all lessees of the premises within seven calendar days of being served with a notice of seizure in a foreclosure action. Entitles the lessee to recover $200 in damages in addition to any other damages or remedies and costs to which the lessee may also be entitled if the lessor violates the notice requirement. (Adds R.S. 9:3260.1) SB 156 Broome. Act 354. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Distracted drivers. Prohibits the use of social media while driving: no tweeting, using Facebook, posting on Instagram, or using other social networks. (Amends R.S. 32:300.5(A) and (B), 407(A)(2)(a), and 408(A)(1)) SB 147 Erdey. Act 62. Effective Aug. 1, 2013

Allows for the donation of wild game, including fish, duck, and deer, to charitable organizations for meals. (Adds R.S. 40:4.13) SB 58 Buffington. Act 371. Effective June 18, 2013

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