2021 Legislation Print

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Regular Legislative Session

Bill Tracking • May 14, 2021

 

Below is a summary of legislation for the 2021 Regular Legislative Session relative to civil law, civil procedure and other matters of interest to the Louisiana Coalition for Common Sense.

Click the bill number to review each piece of legislation. As legislation moves through the process, you will find the bill history that can direct you to all action taken on each bill. LCCS will provide a weekly report on session activity.

The session must adjourn by June 10 at 6:00pm.

The LCCS sponsored legislation, SB 43 by Sen. Barrow Peacock, passed the Senate and is scheduled for a hearing Monday, May 24, in the House Committee on Commerce. It would protect consumers by limiting misleading advertising practices and prohibit unfair and deceptive advertisements and solicitations for legal services. It has We will send background materials and a call-to-action next week.

 

HB 14 by Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria

Prohibits online content discrimination

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill provides for civil liability of interactive computer services that restrict a user’s account or content based on race, gender, political ideology or religious beliefs. 

Status: Referred to House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure.

 

HB 15 by Rep. Sherman Mack, R-Albany

Provides for the crime of staging of a motor vehicle collision

LCCS Position: Support

The bill creates the crime of staging a motor vehicle collision and aggravated staging of a motor vehicle collision and provides for elements of the offenses and criminal penalties. 

Status: Passed the House 100-0 on May 12 and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary C.

 

HB 21 by Rep. Chuck Owen, R-Rosepine

Provide for civil liability for the intentional dissemination of personally identifiable information

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill provides that any person who engages in the act of intentionally disseminating another’s personally identifiable information that places the person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury shall be civilly liable. 

Status: Voluntarily deferred May 11 by the House Committee on Civil Law.

 

HB 39 by Rep. Tanner Magee, R-Houma

Provides for recusal of judges

LCCS Position: Support

This is a bill proposed by the Law Institute to add an additional ground for the recusal of judges where there is a substantial and objective basis that would reasonably be expected to prevent the judge from being fair and impartial. 

Status: Hearing set for Tuesday, May 18 in Senate Committee on Judiciary A. 

 

HB 78 by Rep. Wayne McMahen, R-Shreveport

Provides for modifications of certain time periods in medical malpractice claims

LCCS Position: Oppose

The bill extends all the applicable periods of time for bringing medical malpractice claims (one year to 18 months, 90 days to six months, etc).

Status: Removed from hearing in House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure April 20.

 

HB 81 by Rep. Thomas Pressly, R-Shreveport

Provides relative to prescription

LCCS Position: Support

This is a bill proposed by the Louisiana Law Institute. It is an attempt to fix inconsistencies in prescription with sales of movables and immovables. The revision to Art. 2041 clarifies the time period in which an action for revoking a sale must be brought, removing the fraud exception and setting an absolute time frame of three years to bring suit, so that third parties can be certain of the title to immovable property. The revision to Article 2534 shortens the prescription period for the sale of a thing not fit for use and not known by the seller from four years to two years from delivery or one year from discovery by the buyer, whichever occurs first, and the prescription for the sale of a thing in which the seller knew or is presumed to have known of a defect is one year from the day that it was discovered by the buyer or ten years from the perfection of the sale, whichever occurs first.  This is to ensure that there is a uniform prescriptive period for good faith and bad faith sellers of both movable and immovable property.  The changes to Article 3463 are clarifying only and make no substantive change in the law. 

Status: Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary A and will be heard Tuesday, May 18.

 

HB 82 by Rep. Wilford Carter, D-Lake Charles

Establishes election sections for the election of judges to the City Court of Lake Charles

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill adds two election sections and judgeships in the City Court of Lake Charles.

Status: Referred to House Committee on House and Governmental Affairs.

HB 84 by Rep. Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge

Provides relative to the qualification of jurors

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill attempts to increase the jury pool by allowing persons who have been out of prison for at least five years to serve.

Status: Passed the House 58-38 and hearing set for Tuesday, May 18 in the Senate Committee on Judiciary C.


HB 103 by Rep. Danny McCormick, R-Oil City

Provides for liability relative to the administration of COVID-19 vaccinations

LCCS Position: Oppose

The bill creates a new cause of action by holding liable any public or private entity that requires COVID-19 vaccination for entry for any ensuing injury or death from the vaccine.

Status: Voluntarily deferred May 3 by the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure. Rescheduled for a second hearing Monday, May 17.

 

HB 140 by Rep. Nick Muscarello, R-Hammond

Provides for the modernization of certain provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure

LCCS Position: Support

This is a bill proposed by the Louisiana Law Institute to modernize the Code of Civil Procedure by allowing electronic representation in court (think: Zoom, Teams, etc.) and requiring responses in kind between parties (text, email, standard mail). 

Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary A and will be heard Tuesday, May 18

 

HB 152 by Rep. Greg Miller, R-Norco

Provides for the continuous revision of the Code of Civil Procedure

LCCS Position: Monitor

This revision of the Code of Civil Procedure does a lot of things and could be amended to include others. In particular, it would remove the step of “preliminary default” and extend the time for a default judgment to be rendered. 

Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary A and will be heard Tuesday, May 18.

 

HB 164 by Rep. Robby Carter, D-Amite

Provides relative to default judgments

LCCS Position: Monitor

This is a bill proposed by the Louisiana Law Institute that eliminates preliminary defaults. It would mainly affect entities that either sue or are sued frequently, such as insurers. 

Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary A and will be heard Tuesday, May 18.

 

HB 235 by Rep. Carter

Provides relative to certain judgeships in the 21st Judicial District

LCCS Position: Monitor

This bill creates an additional judgeship.

Status: Passed the House 93-0 on May 10 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary A.

 

HB 262 by Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport

Provides relative to venue for direct action by third parties against insurers

LCCS Position: Support

This bill addresses the issue of abstract venue by restructuring venue provisions for direct actions of third parties against insurers. 

Status: Referred to House Committee on Insurance. 

 

HB 263 by Rep. Seabaugh

Authorizes judges of the City Court of Shreveport to serve as an attorney member of a medical review panel

LCCS Position: Monitor

While present law prohibits those judges from engaging in the practice of law, this legislation would authorize them to serve as an attorney member of a medical review panel.

Status: Passed the House 100-0 on May 10 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary A.

 

HB 267 by Rep. Mary Dubuisson, R-Slidell

Provides relative to the online dispute resolution pilot project for certain cases filed in the City Court of East St. Tammany

LCCS Position: Monitor

This bill deals with the small claims online dispute process, providing an exception only for “undue hardship,” in which case the claim would have to be settled in arbitration. 

Status: Passed the House 98-0 on May 10 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary A.

 

HB 283 by Rep. Paul Hollis, R-Covington

Repeals reporting requirements related to commercial motor vehicle policies

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill repeals present law requiring automobile insurers to report to the commissioner of insurance certain data related to commercial motor vehicles, including the number of policies written, the amount of direct premiums written and direct paid losses. 

Status: Awaiting hearing on the Senate floor.

 

HB 328 by Rep. Mack Cormier, D-Belle Chasse

Provides relative to the recusal of judges in civil matters

LCCS Position: Against

Similar to HB 39, this bill provides for recusal for judges when “reasonable and appropriate” due to campaign contributions. 

Status: Vote failed on April 29 in the House Committee on Judiciary.

 

HB 358 by Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge

Provides relative to the Online Judge Pilot Program

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill authorizes the 24th JDC to establish the Online Judge Pilot Program to address the backlog of cases created by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Status: Reported favorably as amended May 13 by the House Committee on Judiciary and set on House orders.

 

HB 379 by Rep. Ed Larvadain, D-Alexandria

Provides for liability for damages caused by sexual harassment

LCCS Position: Neutral

The bill provides for exemplary damages, including court costs, attorney fees and other related costs to the defendant for sexual harassment in the workplace. It was amended to only affect state agencies. 

Status: Status: Passed the House 80-8 on May 10 and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary A.

HB 381 by Rep. Pat Moore, D-Baton Rouge

Provides relative to motor vehicle accident reports

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill requires the investigating law enforcement agency forwards a copy of the crash report to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development within 48 hours. It limits third party access to crash reports and prohibits them from distributing or selling data contained therein. 

Status: Returned to the House calendar on May 10 and is subject to call.

 

HB 382 by Rep. Candace Newell, D-New Orleans

Provides relative to race and national origin discrimination in education, employment, public accommodations and housing opportunities

LCCS Position: Oppose

This bill creates a new cause of action and would define “race” and “national origin,” which are already prohibited from discrimination, to include skin color, facial characteristics, hair texture, natural hair styles and protective hairstyles. 

Status: Hearing scheduled Monday, May 17, in the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure.

 

HB 386 by Rep. Les Farnum, R-Sulphur

Provides relative to appointment of special masters in certain civil actions arising within a parish included in a major disaster declaration

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill would allow for the appointment of one or more special masters for all causes of action related to first-party insurance property damage claims in a parish declared to be subject to a major disaster declaration and certified for individual assistance. 

Status: Reported favorably May 13 by the House Committee on Judiciary and set on House orders.

 

HB 403 by Rep. Fred Jones, D-Monroe

Provides relative to budgets of certain courts and other local entities including provisions for public participation in the budget making process

LCCS Position: Support

The bill requires a court to submit its proposed budget to the Louisiana Supreme Court at the same time it is made available for public inspection. 

Status: Removed from May 13 agenda in the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial and Cultural Affairs.

 

HB 425 by Rep. Wilford Carter

Increases the number of associate supreme court justices

LCCS Position: Monitor

This constitutional amendment would increase the number of associate judges on the Louisiana Supreme Court from six to eight and would require five judges to render a judgment. 

Status: Vote failed on April 29 in the House Committee on Judiciary. 

 

HB 467 by Rep. Edmond Jordan, D-Baton Rouge

Prohibits the use of certain rating factors in automobile insurance underwriting

LCCS Position: Oppose

The bill prohibits risk classification based on a person’s credit information, education level, employment, trade, business, occupation or profession and repeals the use of credit information for personal insurance. 

Status: Returned to the House calendar on May 12 and is subject to call.

 

HB 474 by Rep. Buddy Mincey, R-Denham Springs

Provides relative to civil liability for the crime of hit-and-run driving

LCCS Position: Monitor Against, needs amendment

The bill creates a presumption that a hit-and-run driver caused the damage resulting from the accident, saying the accused driver “committed” the crime, rather than requiring said driver to be convicted under due process. 

Status: Status: Voluntarily deferred on April 26 by the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure 

 

HB 496 by Rep. Harris

Establishes certain requirements for financial disclosure statements filed by judges and judicial candidates and provides for the availability of such statements

LCCS Position: Support

The bill requires elected judges, justices of the peace, and candidates for such offices to file financial disclosure statements that disclose the same information required of filers of Tier 2 disclosures pursuant to the Code of Governmental Ethics, requires the judicial administrator to transmit those statements to the board and requires those statements to be available to the public via the board's website. 

Status: Removed from May 4 scheduled hearing in House Committee on Governmental Affairs on April 29.

 

HB 498 by Rep. Kathy Edmonston, R-Baton Rouge

Prohibits discrimination by government agencies and officials on the basis of vaccination or immunity issues

LCCS Position: Oppose

The bill creates a new cause of action and prohibits a state or local government official or agency from distinguishing between individuals based on whether a person has or has not had a vaccination or is not immune to a virus.

Status: Scheduled for hearing Monday, May 17 by the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure. 

HB 499 by Rep. Phillip Tarver, R-Lake Charles

Requires an insurer to pay insurance proceeds resulting from a declared disaster directly to the claimant

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill requires insurers to pay proceeds of less than 25 percent of the initial claim, up to a maximum of $25,000, directly to the insured party without including the mortgage holder as a payee.

Status: Voluntarily deferred on April 26 by the House Committee on Commerce.

 

HB 517 by Rep. Polly Thomas, R-Metairie

Provides for the limitation of civil liability for agents, contractors and representatives of proprietors

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill limits liability available to an agent, contractor or representative to extend only to liability caused by ultrahazardous activity. 

Status: Voluntarily deferred by the Senate Committee on Judiciary A. Rescheduled for hearing on Tuesday, May 18.

 

HB 569 by Rep. Tim Kerner, R-Lafitte

Provides for the disposition of funds recovered in settlement of the state and parish coastal zone litigation

LCCS Position: Oppose

The bill creates the Louisiana Coastal Zone Recovery Authority within the office of the governor and provides for the disposition of funds recovered in the settlement of the state and parish coastal zone litigation. 

Status: Referred to House Committee on Natural Resources.

 

HB 584 by Rep. Zee Zeringue, R-Houma

Appropriates funds for the expenses of the judiciary for Fiscal Year 2021-22

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill appropriates funds for expenses of the Louisiana Judiciary, including the Supreme Court, courts of appeal, district courts, the Criminal Court of Orleans Parish, juvenile and family courts and other courts. 

Status: Passed the House 92-1 and referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.

 

HB 602 by Rep. Beryl Amedee, R-Houma

Provides relative to social media websites

LCCS Position: Oppose

The bill would create a new cause of action for social media website users if the website engages in certain types of censorship.

Status: Involuntarily deferred May 3 by the House Committee on Commerce.

 

HCR 40 by Rep. Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales

Directs the Louisiana Department of Economic Development to suspend certain tax incentives, subsidies and other public financial support for certain utility scale solar projects

LCCS Position: Monitor

The resolution would Directs the Louisiana Department of Economic Development to suspend the Louisiana Industrial Ad Valorem Tax Exemption Program and other tax incentives, subsidies, and other public financial support relative to certain utility scale solar projects. 

Status: Passed the House 95-0 and referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce. 

 

HSR 2 by Rep. Wayne McMahen, R-Minden

Requests the Committee on Civil Law and Procedure to study modifications for certain time periods regarding medical malpractice claims, medical review panel composition, and compensation limitations

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill requests the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure to study modifications to medical malpractice, including time periods, medical review panel composition, and compensation limitations, and to report its findings to the House of Representatives prior to the 2022 regular session.

Status:  Withdrawn from files of the House April 26

 

SB 43 by Sen. Barrow Peacock, R-Shreveport

Provides for the regulation of certain advertisements for legal services

LCCS Position: Our Package

The bill prohibits legal advertisements from purporting to be medical alerts, public service announcements or announcements from a federal or state governmental agency. It requires advertisements to include information that they are paid for legal services and the identity of the sponsor, the attorney or the firm soliciting such services. 

Status: Passed the Senate 28-8 and was referred to the House Committee on Commerce. Hearing scheduled for Monday, May 24

 

SB 55 by Sen. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria

Prohibits insurance rate determinations based on certain risk classifications

LCCS Position: Oppose

The bill prohibits risk classifications made on the status of the insured being a widow or widower, his or her credit score or gender. 

Status: Vote tied 3-3 on May 5 in the Senate Committee on Insurance. Bill will stay in committee.

 

SB 71 by Sen. Louie Bernard, R-Natchitoches

Provides relative to civil jury trials and deposits for costs and expenses

LCCS Position: Oppose

The bill is being backed by clerks of court in response to last year’s reforms and would allow the waiver of jury trials under certain circumstances

Status: Reported favorably by substitute in Senate Committee on Judiciary A. Became SB 245 (see below).

SB 122 by Sen. Bret Allain, R-Franklin

Provides for monies collected from enforcement actions of coastal use permits

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill changes the 50 percent deposit from the Coastal Resources Trust Fund to the Coastal Protection and Restoration Fund for projects after deducting the cost to reimburse the department for enforcing the coastal zone management program. When no local government mitigation bank exists for the deposit of these funds, they are to be deposited into a restricted fund administered by the governing authority of the parish in which the adverse impact related to the use is located

Status: Removed from the May 12 agenda in the House Committee on Natural Resources.

 

SB 131 by Sen. Robert Mills, R-Minden

Prohibits insurance companies from including defense costs within the limits of liability except under certain circumstances

LCCS Position: Monitor

The bill says the limits of liability cannot be reduced by defense costs. 

Status: Reported favorably as amended by the House Committee on Insurance and has been set on House orders.

SB 141 by Sen. Mike Fesi, R-Houma

Provides for actions arising from coastal use permits

LCCS Position: Support

The bill would prohibit the creation of a cause of action for coastal zone management.

Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Natural Resources.

 

SB 163 by Sen. Patrick McMath, R-Covington

Increases the composition of the Louisiana Supreme Court from six to eight associate judges

LCCS Position: Support

This constitutional amendment provides that effective January 1, 2025, the composition of the Louisiana Supreme Court will increase from seven total justices to nine, five of whom must concur to render judgement. This is a consensus bill to avoid additional redistricting lawsuits, and to make moot the one lawsuit already filed.

Status: Hearing set for Tuesday, May 18 by the House Committee on House and Governmental Affairs

 

SB 196 by Sen. Jay Morris, R-Monroe

Provides relative to regulation of speech on social media

LCCS Position: Oppose

This is a new cause of action that enacts the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act.”

Status: Failed to pass the Senate floor by 19-18 vote on May 4.

 

SB 233 by Sen. Rick Ward, R-Port Allen

Provides for the disposition of funds recovered in settlement of the state and parish coastal zone litigation

LCCS Position: Oppose

The bill creates the State and Parish Coastal Zone Recovery Authority within the office of the governor and creates its executive board.

Status: Voluntarily deferred in Senate Committee on Natural Resources

 

SB 245 by Sen. Bernard

Provides relative to civil jury trials and deposits for costs and expenses

LCCS Position: Neutral

The bill is a substitute for SB 71. It is backed by clerks of court and would allow the waiver of jury trials under certain circumstances. As amended, it increases the maximum deposit to $15,000, which must be received no later than 60 days prior to trial. Any unexpended amounts remaining on the deposit are to be refunded by the clerk to the party or attorney filing the deposit. 

Status: Substituted for SB 71. Scheduled for hearing Monday, May 17 by the House Committee on Civil Law