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LAJ summary of selected bills and effective dates
2017 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature

LAJ staff compiled this summary of selected bills enacted during the 2017 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature. Resources used include legislative instruments found on the website of the Louisiana Legislature and digests prepared by legislative staff. This does not include the hundreds of bills not passed.

For access to all legislative instruments from the 2017 Regular Session, go to http://www.legis.la.gov. Texts of acts and legislative history, including archived internet broadcasts of committee and floor action, are also available on that website.

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.

You should see the act for any specific language concerning proposed prospective or retroactive application. If no such language exists, courts will perform retroactivity analysis under Civil Code Art. 6 and R.S. 1:2.

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
     Immunity
     Health and opioid epidemic
     Insurance
     Miscellaneous
     Session facts at a glance


Practice and procedure

Small succession. Allows attorney to obtain a death certificate of a deceased person on whose behalf the attorney is preparing a small succession. (Amends R.S. 40:41(C)(1) and (2)) HB 75 Miguez. Act 7. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Increases service of process and other fees in civil matters to be paid to sheriffs. (Amends R.S. 13:5530(A)(1), (2), (4), and (12)(a), (b), and (c)). HB 120 Jackson. Act 135. Effective: See act.

Small succession. Increases the gross value of a decedent’s property from $75,000 to $125,000 to qualify as a small succession. Defines a small succession as property of any value if the filing of the small succession affidavit occurs at least twenty years (reduced from twenty-five years) after the date of the decedent’s death. (Amends C.C.P. Arts. 3421 and 3422) HB 129 Davis. Act 96. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Medical Review Panel. Specifies that the request for a medical review panel is deemed filed on the date: sent, if the request is electronically sent by facsimile transmission or other authorized means; mailed, if the request is delivered by certified or registered mail; or, received, if the request is delivered by any other means. See In re Tillman, 187 So.3d 445 (La. 2016). (Amends R.S. 40:1231.8(A)(2)(b) and 1237.2(A)(2)(b)) HB 137 Jenkins. Act 294. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Depositions. Adds an alternate procedure for sealing a deposition electronically by secure electronic means and simultaneously delivering the deposition electronically to all parties to the action who have ordered a copy of the deposition, with the party at whose request the deposition was taken becoming the custodian of the deposition. (Amends C.C.P. Art. 1446(A)(1)) HB 227 Shadoin. Act 268. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Evidence. Authorizes self-authentication of certain business records in criminal cases, but subject to existing law and rules prescribed by the Louisiana Supreme Court. Further requires the proponent to provide reasonable written notice of the intent to offer the record and a reasonable opportunity for inspection. (Adds C.E. Art. 902(11)) HB 244 Hilferty. Act 409. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Requires the state to indemnify the district attorney’s office against claims or suits in federal court based on the constitutional validity of a statute when the district attorney’s office has not initiated any prosecution based upon that statute. Requires the payment of final judgments or consent judgments by legislative appropriation. (Amends R.S. 42:1441(A); adds R.S. 42:1441(D)) HB 293 Amedee. Act 414. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Law Institute revisions to the Business Corporation Act. (Amends R.S. 12:1-140(25B), 1-402(C), 1-727(A), 1-728(A), 1-1435(I), 1-1436(E) and (F), and 1-1444(A)(2) and (F)(1); adds R.S. 12:1-742.2 and 1-742.3) HB 310 Reynolds. Act 57. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Railroad. Adds “on-track equipment” as a railway vehicle for provisions on vehicle safety at crossings. (Amends R.S. 32:171, (A)(1), (2), (3), and (4), (C), (D), (E), (F)(3), and (H) and 172(D)) HB 324 Pierre. Act 410. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Law Institute revisions to the Code of Civil Procedure and related statutes. Clarifies default judgments by consistently using the terms “preliminary default” and “final default judgment.” Replaces term “curator ad hoc” with “an attorney appointed by the court” and “an attorney appointed to represent the absentee defendant.” Provides that a person applying for a marriage license who is unable to provide certain required documents establishing the applicant’s identity may seek judicial authorization for waiver of the requirements. Clarifies that the procedure provided under C.C.P. Art. 532 to stay proceedings in a suit is accomplished by a motion to stay rather than an exception of lis pendens. Clarifies that the exception of lis pendens under C.C.P. Art. 925(A)(3) is provided only by C.C.P. Art. 531 and does not authorize dismissal of the second suit. Adds requirement that when the plaintiff’s demand is for divorce under C.C. Art. 103(5), the plaintiff must also submit to the court a certified copy of the protective order or injunction rendered after a contradictory hearing or consent decree. Provides that law relative to mandamus and quo warranto proceedings for corporations is also applicable to limited liability companies. Requires clerk of court to accept pleading or other document signed by electronic signature. Redesignates C.C.P. Art. 1067 relative to the barring of all incidental demands by prescription or peremption as new Art. 1041. (Amends C.C.P. Arts. 253.3(A)(4), 284, 532, 925(A)(3), 928(A), 1002, 1701- 1704, 1843, 1913(B) and (C), 2002(A)(2), 3861, 3864, 3901, 3902, 3955(B), 4904, 4921, 4921.1(C), and 5095, R.S. 13:3205, and R.S. 23:1316 and 1316.1(A); adds C.C.P. Art. 74.3.1 and 253(E); redesignates C.C.P. Art. 1067) HB 439 Zeringue. Act 419. Effective: See act.

Authorizes a district attorney to move to stay all or a portion of discovery in actions for divorce, custody, child support, visitation, or protective orders. (Repeals C.C.P. Art. 1426.1(E)) HB 524 Schroder. Act 91. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Provides for the suspension or extension of peremption, prescription, and certain legal deadlines due to the hardships caused by the 2016 floods. Provides for the suspension or extension of prescriptive periods and peremptive periods for the time between Aug. 12, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2016. (Adds R.S. 9:5826 and 5827) SB 109 Claitor. Act 186. Effective June 12, 2017

Court-ordered physical and mental examinations. Adds reference to examinations as “additional medical opinions” for physical and mental examinations. Prohibits plaintiff from being ordered to submit to multiple examinations by multiple physicians within the same field of specialty for the same injury except for good cause shown. Allows parent, tutor, or legal guardian to be present during the examination of a minor. Requires that if such person cannot be present, the court must order the examination to be videotaped at the expense of the party being examined. Further requires that the court consider the best interests of the minor and provides that the court may impose conditions upon videotaping, including that it be done in a manner least harmful to the minor and without disclosure to the minor. Changes terminology in workers’ compensation from “independent” medical examination to “additional medical opinion regarding” medical examinations. (Amends C.C.P. Arts. 1421 and 1464, R.S. 23:1123, 1124, 1203(E), 1221(4)(s)(ii), 1307 and 1317.1, R.S. 39:1952(14)(e), and R.S. 46:2136(A)(4)) SB 121 Ward. Act 381. Effective June 23, 2017



Immunity

Right to Try Act. Adds devices of a robotic nature to the Right To Try Act, state law that allows access to experimental drugs and treatment for persons with a terminal illness. (Amends R.S. 40:1169.2(3) and 1169.3(1)(d) and (2)) HB 179 Stokes. Act 292. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Retired dentist. Extends immunity to any dentist holding a retired volunteer license to practice dentistry who in good faith gratuitously renders health care to a patient unless the damages were caused by the gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct of the dentist. Applies only if the person receiving the health-care services is given notice of the limitation of liability. (Amends R.S. 37:761.1(A), (D), (F), and (H); adds R.S. 37:761.1(L)) HB 210 Coussan. Act 407. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Neonatal abstinence syndrome reporting. Immunity for physician who in good faith makes a notification to the Department of Children and Family Services, unless the damage or injury from the notification was caused by the physician’s willful or wanton misconduct or gross negligence. (Amends Ch. C. Arts. 437(A), 603(24), and 610(G); adds Ch. C. Art. 603(19) and R.S. 40:1086.11; repeals Act No. 396 of 2007 R.S.) HB 678 Horton. Act 359. Effective: See act.



Health and opioid epidemic

Limits first-time opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply. (Adds R.S. 40:978(G) and (H)) HB 192 Moreno. Act 82. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Amends Title 28 relative to behavioral health and mental health to provide for current practice and appropriate terminology. Defines “behavioral health” as a term that is used to refer to both mental health and substance use. Revises provisions on behavioral health, mental health, treatment of mental illness and substance-related and addictive disorders, and facilities for and providers of such treatment to reflect current health-care practices. HB 341 Miller. Act 369. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Balance Billing Disclosure. Requires hospitals to disclose to patients prior to non-emergency surgery whether they may be billed for any out-of-network charges for the procedure. A facility must provide the patient with a list of all providers to allow the patient to determine if the providers are in-network or out-of-network. Further requires that a health-care facility provide notice when a patient is receiving services in a hospital-based outpatient facility that the patient may be charged a facility fee billed separately from the health-care provider’s fee, and that this facility fee may not be covered by the patient’s health insurance. (Amends R.S. 22:1880(C)(1) and (2); adds R.S. 22:1880(C)(4) and (E)) HB 435 Talbot. Act 306. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Requires the Drug Policy Board to establish an Advisory Council on Heroin and Opioid Prevention and Education to coordinate resources and expertise to assist in a statewide response. (Adds R.S. 49:219.5) HB 490 Leger. Act 88. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Expands prescription monitoring program. Clarifies and expands the limitation of liability to include failure to possess prescription monitoring information that was not reported to the board, release of information that was factually incorrect, and release of information to the wrong person. (Amends R.S. 40:1007(A), (B), (E), (F), (I), and (J), 1008(A), and 1009(A) and (B); adds R.S. 40:1003(15) and 1007(E)(5), (6), and (7), and (K)) SB 96 Johns. Act 241. Effective June 14, 2017



Insurance

Makes vehicle-mechanical-breakdown insurers subject to unfair trade practices law. (Amends R.S. 22:361(9); adds R.S. 22:373(C)) HB 217 Jordan. Act 297. Effective July 1, 2017

Provides for the return of unearned premium and notice of claim payments to the mortgagee. Requires the insurer to return the percentage of unearned premium attributable to a mortgagee who funded the policy with his own funds if the mortgagee provided written notice to the insurer of the percentage of the premium being funded with the mortgagee’s own funds. Further requires any percentage of the unearned premium attributable to the insured to be returned to the insured. (Amends R.S. 22:885(B)) HB 287 Talbot. Act 299. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Structured settlement. Excludes from guaranty fund coverage a person acquiring rights to receive payments through a structured settlement factoring transaction. Retroactive. (Amends R.S. 22:2083(A)(4); adds R.S. 22:2083(B)(2)(k)) HB 378 Anders. Act 13. Effective July 1, 2017

Gives homeowners the option to cancel the content coverage of their homeowners policy when their home is uninhabitable following a declared disaster. Removes references to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. (Amends R.S. 22:1331) HB 393 Connick. Act 219. Effective  Jan. 1, 2018

Defines ocean marine insurance in the insurance code and specifies that it is subject to the Direct Action Statute. (Amends R.S. 22:2055(13); adds R.S. 22:46(19)) SB 45 Smith. Act 183. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

LIGA. Removes an offset or credit against uninsured motorist coverage when the carrier is insolvent. (Adds R.S. 22:2062(A)(1) and (2)(c)) SB 184 Luneau. Act 66. Effective Aug. 1, 2017


Miscellaneous

Contractors. Requires residential building and home improvement contractors to provide certain license, classification, and insurance information. Must also provide evidence of a license or registration in good standing to a permitting authority prior to any permit being issued. (Amends R.S. 37:2175.1(A)(1) and 2175.3(A)(9); adds R.S. 37:2171.3) HB 675 Davis. Act 231. Aug. 1, 2017

Occupational disease — firefighter. Removes provisions that a cancer be disabling to be classified as an occupational disease or infirmity. Adds cancers to be included are those of the reproductive tract, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and any other type of cancer for which a firefighter has a statistically significant increased risk of developing due to occupational exposure. (Amends R.S. 33:2011(A) and (B)) SB 63 Gatti. Act 287. Effective Aug. 1, 2017

Drones. Gives state exclusive jurisdiction to regulate all unmanned aircraft systems and all unmanned aerial systems subject to numerous specific exemptions and federal preemption. Further provides that state law supersedes and preempts any rule, regulation, code, or ordinance of any political subdivision or other unit of local government. (Adds R.S. 2:2) SB 69 Carter. Act 238. Effective June 14, 2017

 

At a glance

  • Odd years are limited “fiscal” sessions
  • Legislators could file an unlimited number of fiscal bills, an unlimited number of local bills and five general bills
  • 2017 session convened April 10, adjourned June 8.

House and Senate instruments

  • 949 bills filed.
    692 House bills; 291 passed; 284 signed into law and seven vetoed as of June 30
    257 Senate bills; 142 passed; 141 signed into law and one vetoed as of June 30
  • 721 resolutions and study requests filed
    50 constitutional amendments filed; 4 will be on the statewide ballot in October

LAJ’s annual summary captures select legislation that passed. LAJ reviews all bills, and prioritizes and monitors them throughout the session. This includes committee hearings and through the amendment process. Your support of the association’s legislative effort is a key part of LAJ’s success. We all owe a special thanks to those LAJ members who contributed their time and effort before and during the session to work on amendments, review bills, testify in committee, and speak with legislators. It is truly a team effort. LAJ’s legislative efforts continue even after the session concludes, and we urge our members to visit with legislators between sessions.

 

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