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LAJ summary of selected bills and effective dates
2015 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature

LAJ staff compiled this summary of selected bills enacted during the 2015 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 not passed.

For access to all legislative instruments from the 2015 Regular Session, go to
http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/home.aspx.

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
     Professional liability/licensure

     Jurisdiction and venue
     Family law
     Immunities
     Insurance
     Miscellaneous

Practice and procedure
Summary judgment. Law Institute. Clarifies or modifies provisions on documentary evidence, filing deadlines, and service requirements. Evidence of the fault of a dismissed party found not to be at fault cannot be introduced or referred to at trial, and the dismissed party cannot be placed on the jury verdict form. The appellate court must assign a matter for briefing and allow parties to request oral argument if the court intends to reverse a lower court ruling that denied a motion for summary judgment. The bill is effective Jan. 1, 2016, and does not apply to any motion for summary judgment pending adjudication or appeal on the effective date of the act. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 966) HB 696 Abramson. Act 422. Effective Jan. 1, 2016

Attorney’s fees and costs for terrorism suits. Authorizes court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees for successful claims for injuries resulting from certain enumerated acts of terrorism, regardless of whether or not the defendant in the civil case was criminally prosecuted. A defendant is eligible for court costs and attorney’s fees for claims determined to be frivolous or fraudulent. Prescribes in two years. (Adds C.C. Art. 2315.9) HB 497 Henry. Act 337. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Mediation of oilfield remediation suits. Law Institute.
Requires non-binding pre-trial mediation of lawsuits at the request of any party at the close of discovery or 550 days after suit is filed. Mediators must be lawyers or former judges qualified to mediate under R.S. 9:4106. In the absence of an agreement to share costs, the party requesting the mediation is responsible for the mediator’s fees and expenses associated with the location of the mediation. Requires a representative of each party who has settlement authority or who is in direct contact with a person having settlement authority on behalf of the party to be present. If a party fails to comply, the court may, in its discretion and aftercontradictory hearing, order that party to pay costs and attorney fees associated with the mediation. Retroactive. (Adds R.S. 30:29.2) SB 79 Allain. Act 448. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Respite. Law Institute. Repeals voluntary and forced respite, as respite is no longer used and has been replaced by federal bankruptcy law. (Repeals C.C. arts. 3084-3098) HB 273 Burrell. Act 64. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Trusts. Law Institute. Revises and augments the Louisiana Trust Code, and authorizes the creation of trusts for pets. (Amends R.S. 9:1783(B), 1821, 1822, 1891, 1894, 1904, 1905, 1953, 2026, 2028, 2031, 2087(B), 2096, and 2158; adds R.S. 9:2047, 2114.1, and 2263) HB 439 Landry. Act 219. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Trusts. Requires any limitation on the power of the trustee to sell, lease, or mortgage immovable property to be included in the trust extract, and provides certain requirements as to the conveyance of property owned by the trust when the date of termination of the trust is not discernible. (Amends R.S. 9:2092(B)(2); adds R.S. 9:2092.1 and 2092(B)(1)(g)) HB 687 Hazel. Act 225. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Electronic records. Adds financial institution records and promissory notes containing electronic signatures to list of documentary evidence deemed to be authentic evidence for the purposes of executory process. Provides that a record, electronic record, or reproduction of a record or electronic record that contains an electronic signature or a reproduction of an electronic signature is presumed to be genuine if accompanied by a certification that is executed by a representative of a financial institution or its assignee and complies with the proposed form. (Amends C.C.P. arts. 2636(8) and 2637(F) and R.S. 13:3733.1(A), (2), and (4), (C), and (E); adds C.C.P. art. 2636(9) and R.S. 13:3733.1(A)(5) and (6), (L), and 3733.2) HB 697 Abramson. Act 84. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Changes the forty-one-year period for reinscription of mortgages in favor of savings and loans to a ten-year period as provided by the Civil Code general provisions on registry. Retroactive application and period of repose through Jan. 1, 2019; see act. (Amends R.S. 6:830(A), (F), (G)(4), and (H)(2); repeals R.S. 6:830(B), (D)(3), and (G)(5)) HB 496 Willmott. Act 336. Effective Jan. 1, 2016

Business Corporation Act. Provides with respect to articles of incorporation, qualified directors, registered agents and service of process, judicial determinations relative to withdrawing shareholders, and withdrawal rights. Retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015. (Amends R.S. 12:1-202(B)(5), 1-501(2)(b), 1-502(A)(5), 1-504(A), 1-1435(C), 1-1436(D), (E), (1), and (2), and 1-1442(A)(2) and (C); adds R.S. 12:1-140(25B), 1-502(A)(7), and 1-832(D)) HB 743 Foil. Act 356. Effective: See act.

Professional liability/licensure
Malpractice claims paid by PCF. Requires the Patient’s Compensation Fund to report annually to the House and Senate committees on health and welfare every claim against an individual practitioner who has had five or more paid claims in the previous year. The report shall contain all paid claims for the previous year and the year immediately preceding that year, the total number of pending claims against that individual practitioner, and the name and address of the individual practitioner along with a brief description of the acts that gave rise to the paid claims. (Adds R.S. 40:1299.48(D)) SB 158 Heitmeier. Act 454. Effective July 1, 2015

Dietitians and nutritionists under med mal acts. Adds licensed dietitians and licensed nutritionists as health-care providers under the medical malpractice acts if they are employed by, referred by, or performing work under contract for a covered health-care provider. (Amends R.S. 40:1299.39(A)(1)(a)(ii) and 1299.41(A)(10)) HB 335 Henry Burns. Act 323. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Physician disciplinary procedures. Revises procedures for disciplinary actions against physicians; increases the board’s quorum; provides an illustrative, non-exclusive list of actions constituting medical incompetency and unprofessional conduct; requires that someone other than the executive director be the lead investigator for a complaint; and requires the board to adopt rules by Jan. 1, 2016, that satisfy minimum due process requirements for physicians in the disciplinary process. Prospective. (Amends R.S. 37:1267 and 1285(A)(12)-(14); adds R.S. 37:1285.2) HB 843 Hazel. Act 441. Effective July 1, 2015

Physician assistant. Defines as a health professional qualified by academic and clinical education and licensed by the LSBME to provide health-care services at the direction and under the supervision of a physician or a group of physicians approved by the board as a supervising physician. Expands the supervising physician-to-physician-assistants ratio from 1:2 to 1:4. Allows a physician assistant to prescribe, order, and administer drugs to the extent delegated by the supervising physician and except as provided by law relative to anesthetics and that these drugs include those in Schedules II, III, IV, and V. (Amends R.S. 37:1360.21(A), (B), and (C), 1360.22(1), (5), and (8), 1360.23(G), (H), and (I), 1360.24(A)(3), 1360.29(A), 1360.31, and 1360.32; adds R.S. 37:1360.29(A)(4) and 1360.38(A)(3) and (4); repeals R.S. 37:1360.23(J)) SB 115 Mills. Act 453. Effective July 1, 2015

Coroner. Adds registered nurses and physician assistants to the list of persons upon whose information the coroner may base the medical pronouncement of death and changes the term “day record or protocol” to “investigative report.”
Provides that deputy coroner who is not a resident of the parish is no longer required to be a physician. Reduces the time period from thirty-six hours to twenty-four hours prior to death for required reporting to the coroner of a death under sudden, accidental, violent, or suspicious circumstances or without medical attendance. (Amends R.S. 9:111(B) and R.S. 13:5705 and 5712(A)) HB 195 Morris. Act 302. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Jurisdiction and venue
Increases the civil jurisdictional amount in dispute for the Third Ward City Court of Franklin from $15,000 to $50,000. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 4843(H)) HB 29 Reynolds. Act 367. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Increases the civil jurisdictional amount in dispute for the City Court of Ville Platte from $15,000 to $25,000. Expands duties of constables of the 1st and 2nd City Court of New Orleans and exempts them from liability in the same manner as other peace officers. Adds provisions regarding judicial building fund of the Civil District Court for the construction of a courthouse or the lease of a privately constructed facility for use as a courthouse. (Amends C.C.P. art. 4843(C) and (E) and R.S. 13:996.67(A),(B)(1) and (2), (C)(3) and (6) and (D), 1311, 2154, and 2163) SB 237 Murray. Act 461. Effective July 1, 2015

Authorizes the judges of two new family and domestic relations judgeships in the Civil District Court to serve as duty judges and have the same authority as other judges of the court acting as a duty judge. (Amends R.S. 13:1138(B)(1) and (D)) HB 112 Arnold. Act 180. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Judicial redistricting. Relative to the election of judges to the City Court of Baton Rouge, changes the composition of the existing election sections (election section one and election section two). Provides that two judges (divisions B and D) shall be elected from election section one and two judges (divisions A and E) shall be elected from election section two. Further, provides that one judge (division C), formerly elected from election section two, shall be elected from the entire territorial area of the city of Baton Rouge at large. (Amends R.S. 13:1952(4)) HB 76 Williams. Act 374. Effective July 1, 2015

Family law
Support. Law Institute. Extends child support beyond the age of twenty-two years to unmarried children who are incapable of self-support and who require substantial care and personal supervision because of an intellectual or physical disability as long as the disability does not include substance abuse or addiction. Requires that the major child or his tutor obtain and submit to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) a judgment ordering continuation of support for the child prior to the child reaching the age of majority if DCFS is to continue to provide support enforcement services. (Amends R.S. 9:315.1(C)(8) and C.C.P. arts. 74.2(A) and 2592(8); adds R.S. 9:315.1(C)(9), 315.22(E), and C.C.P. art. 10(A)(9)) HB 204 Foil. Act 379. Effective Aug. 1, 2016

Mandatory reporter. Law Institute. Provides an exception to the definition of mandatory reporter for mental health/
social service practitioners serving as part of an attorney’s team rendering legal services to a client. (Amends Ch.C. Art. 603(17)(b)) HB 385 Landry. Act 217. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Parental authority. Law Institute. Provides for parental authority of married persons, obligations of children, parents, and other ascendants, and for provisional custody by mandate. Revises to provide that a married father and mother share parental authority over their minor child, unless modified in accordance with law, until the child attains the age of majority or is emancipated, or upon termination of the marriage of the parents of the child. Provides that an unemancipated minor child may not sue any person having parental authority over him. Provides that all persons having parental authority over an unemancipated minor must join as proper plaintiffs to sue to enforce a right of an unemancipated minor and provides for exceptions to this rule. Provides that any person having parental authority of an unemancipated minor is a proper defendant in an action to enforce an obligation against a minor. Provides a list of the acts that a person having parental authority may perform without court approval, including to compromise a cause of action of the minor if the sum or value of the property to be paid or received does not exceed $15,000, excluding court costs, attorney fees, and other expenses. (Amends C.C. arts. 221, 223, 224, 226-239, C.C.P. arts. 683, 732, 2592, 4501, and 4521, and R.S. 9:571, 572, 951, 952, 953, and 954; adds C.C. arts. 222 and 225, C.C.P. art. 74.6, and R.S. 9:573, 961, and 962; repeals C.C. arts. 215-220 and 240-245 and C.C.P. arts. 4502 and 4522) SB 134 Peacock. Act 260. Effective Jan. 1, 2016

Immunities
Youth adventure centers. Immunity applies only to a youth adventure center to be built in the Atchafalaya Basin and owned and operated by Boy Scouts of America. Instead of a blanket immunity, it sets out duties and standards of responsibility for the youth camp and for the youth participants and requires the youth activity center to carry insurance coverage of $1 million per person, $3 million per occurrence, and $50,000 in property damage. (Adds R.S. 9:2795.6) HB 839 Miguez. Act 437. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Naloxone treatment for overdose. Authorizes the prescribing or dispensing of naloxone or another opioid antagonist to third parties. Requires the party requesting the naloxone to complete training prior to receiving the prescription. Provides immunity from civil, criminal, or adverse action under any licensing statute for doctor prescribing or pharmacist dispensing naloxone to a person. Also, provides immunity for person who administers naloxone to individual believed to be undergoing an opioid-related drug overdose unless injury results from gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. (Adds R.S. 40:978.2) HB 210 Moreno. Act 192. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Family justice center. Authorizes the establishment of a family justice center in any judicial district to provide multiagency and multidisciplinary support and services to victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, stalking, cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and human trafficking and to persons protected by the Adult Protective Services Act. Provides immunity from civil liability to any person providing services to a victim at a family justice center while acting in the official scope of his duties if the person, in good faith, makes a recommendation, gives an opinion, or releases or uses information for the purposes of protecting or providing services to the victim. (Amends R.S. 44:4.1(B)(31); adds R.S. 46:1860-1863) HB 368 Badon. Act 327. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Bank directors and officers. Allows the articles of incorporation for banks or bank holding companies to include provisions that eliminate or limit the personal liability of their directors and officers to the corporation or to their shareholders for monetary damages when they breach their fiduciary duty as a director or officer. Prohibits immunity for breach of a duty of loyalty, acts, or omissions not in good faith or involving intentional misconduct or involving a knowing violation of law, any transaction for an improper personal benefit, act, or omission that occurred prior to the date the provision became effective. (Amends R.S. 6:213(B), 291(D) and (E), 705(C)(2), 786(D), and 1191(C); Adds R.S. 6:213(C)) HB 666 Reynolds. Act 83. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Telecommunications. Enacts the Kelsey Smith Act to require commercial mobile service device providers to provide device-location information to law enforcement agencies. Provides immunity for providers of commercial mobile services, its officers, employees, agents, or other specified persons for providing device-location information while acting in good faith unless damage or injury is caused by either gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct. (Adds R.S. 45:844.9 and 844.10) SB 182 Thompson. Act 182. Effective June 23, 2015

Insurance
Uber/Lyft insurance coverage. Requires transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft, to provide $1 million in motor vehicle liability insurance on their drivers’ vehicles from the time an agreement is reached between the driver and a passenger until the passenger departs at his destination. Further requires the driver to have $50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident in motor vehicle liability insurance when he is driving in his vehicle with the network app activated but there is no agreement with a passenger. Specifies that bodily injury and property damage claims are to be resolved only in Louisiana courts and under Louisiana law. Allows transportation network company, driver, and rider to agree by contract to submit any contractual or other disputes to arbitration. (Adds R.S. 45:201.1- 201.13) SB 172 Morrish. Act 266. Effective: See act.  

Special counsel. Allows the commissioner of insurance to employ staff counsel of the Department of Insurance or special counsel to provide representation in matters related to the rehabilitation, liquidation, or conservation of insurers in receivership when the assets of the insurer’s estate are less than $1 million, with the attorney general providing representation when the assets of the insurer’s estate equal or exceed $1 million. Further allows the commissioner to distribute any surplus in the estate of an insolvent insurer after all claims have been paid, subject to approval by the court. Retroactive. (Amends R.S. 22:2018 and 2034(G)) HB 511 Seabaugh. Act 340. Effective June 29, 2015  

Department of Insurance reorganization. Changes the Office of Health Insurance to the Office of Health, Life, and Annuity; the Office of Licensing and Compliance to the Office of Licensing; the Office of Consumer Advocacy to the Office of Consumer Advocacy and Diversity; and the Division of Minority Affairs to the Division of Diversity and Opportunity. Adds the Office of Consumer Services. Authorizes the Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association to make a one-time transfer to the state general fund of the amount of such excess as determined by its board of directors. (Amends R.S. 22:3, 31(A) and (B), 32(A)(1) and (B), 33(A), and 2058(B)(6) and R.S. 36:681(C)(1), 687, 691.1, 692, 694, and 696(A), (B)(1) and (b), (C), and (D); adds R.S. 22:31(C) and (D) and R.S. 36:696(E); repeals R.S. 22:31(A)(6) and 32(C) and (D) and R.S. 36:696(B)(1)(e)) SB 216 Morrish. Act 274. Effective June 29, 2015

Miscellaneous
Judges and Lawyer Assistance Program. Changes the name of the Lawyer’s Assistance Program, Inc. to the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, Inc. and expands the directive of the program to include counseling and intervention services for judges, lawyers, law students, and other members of the legal profession who may suffer from mental health issues. Extends the application of privileges and immunities to also include mental health issues. (Amends R.S. 37:221(A), (B)(1) and (2), and (C)(1) and (2)) HB 197 Shadoin

Revises law on expungements and updates related statutory forms for expungement of records. (Amends C.Cr.P. Arts. 976, 977(C) and (1), 978(B)(1) and (3), 979, 980(C) and (D), 984(C), 988, 989, and 992; adds C.Cr.P. arts. 894.5, 977(C)(3), 984(D), 986(C), and 996) HB 284 Lopinto. Act 200. Effective Aug. 1, 2015

Workers’ compensation. Eliminates the benefit deadline in the Workers’ Compensation Second Injury Fund. (Amends R.S. 23:1378(A)) SB 107 Peacock. Act 254. Effective June 29, 2015

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