Legislative Wrap-up, 0919 ALBJ, 80 The Alabama Lawyer 402 (2019)

AuthorOthni J. Lathram Director, Legislative Services Agency, Caleb Hindman Attorney, Legislative Services Agency.
PositionVol. 80 5 Pg. 402


Vol. 80 No. 5 Pg. 402

Alabama Bar Lawyer

September, 2019

Othni J. Lathram Director, Legislative Services Agency, Caleb Hindman Attorney, Legislative Services Agency.

2019 Wrap-Up, Part 2

The July edition of this column covered the Alabama Law Institute legislation that passed during the 2019 Legislative Session. This month serves as installment two and covers other noteworthy legislation. The first year of the quadrennium is always an active one and this year was no exception. There were 1,070 bills introduced during the 2019 Legislative Session, of which 383 bills were enacted and became law. In all, there were 540 acts, including bills and resolutions. Given this volume, this article cannot come near covering all acts of interest, but we do cover select general bills most likely to be encountered by practitioners around the state. Summaries of all of the general acts can be found at http://lsa.state.al.us under the Legal Division Publications.

Business and Insurance

Special Needs Trust (Act 2019-221, SB57)

Senator Cam Ward

This act authorizes a member of the Retirement Systems of Alabama to designate a portion of his or her retirement benefits to be paid to a special needs trust for the benefit of a dependent child. Effective: August 1, 2019

Hospital Liens (Act 2019-273, HB11)

Representative Connie Rowe

This act (1) requires a hospital that provides medical treatment to an injured person to seek compensation solely from that person's health insurance provider, with the exception of approved copayments and deductibles, unless doing so would be contrary to a contract between the hospital and the persons' health care payor, or federal or state law or a contract exists between the hospital and the health care payor and there has been a failure to satisfy the claim; and (2) allows a hospital to perfect a hospital lien against any recovery the injured person may be awarded for injuries by way of settlement or judgment when the person's health care payor has failed to satisfy the person's claim, the person was not known to the hospital to be covered by a health care payor, the person was covered by a governmental payor or the person was not a subscriber to a primary care policy. If a hospital does not receive evidence of an injured person's health care payor until after the lien is perfected, it would be required to bill the health care payor for the treatment, but could retain its lien until the claim is satisfied. Effective: August 1, 2019

Withholding of Insurance Claims (Act 2019-460, HB139)

Representative K.L. Brown

This act provides that if a claim under an insurance policy for damage to residential real property is paid to the insured and a lender, and the lender holds all or part of the proceeds from the insurance claim payment pending completion of all or part of the repairs to the property, the lender is required to notify the insured of each requirement with which the insured must comply for the lender to release the insurance proceeds and provides that interest at a rate of 10 percent per year begins to accrue on those insurance proceeds upon a lender's failure to properly release the proceeds or upon the lender's failure to explain the reason for its refusal and the requirements the lender must meet to have the proceeds released. Effective: September 1, 2019.

Local Government

Business Delivery License (Act 2019-283, HB329)

Representative Paul Lee

This act (1) clarifies that the business delivery license fee for businesses with no physical presence within a municipality or a municipality's police jurisdiction except to deliver its merchandise is charged per business; (2) provides an exception for the requirement to purchase a delivery license for a taxpayer whose gross receipts within the municipality or the municipality's police jurisdiction do not exceed $10,000 for the preceding license year when the taxpayer has no other physical presence within the municipality or the municipality's police jurisdiction except to deliver its merchandise; and (3) provides that a delivery license purchased under this section shall be calculated in arrears, based on the related gross receipts during the preceding license year. Effective: May 28, 2019.

Criminal Law and Procedure

Domestic Violence (Act 2019-252, HB425)

Representative David Faulkner

This act (1) provides that the crime of burglary in the first degree is domestic violence when committed against anyone that other domestic violence crimes may be committed against; (2) adds stepparents and stepchildren to the class of victims for whom domestic violence actions may be pursued; (3) specifically excludes non-romantic co-residents from the meaning of household member; (4) doubles the term of imprisonment imposed for a domestic violence crime in the first or second degree if the crime was committed in the presence of a child under the age of 14 years who is the victim's child or stepchild, the defendant's child or stepchild or a child residing in or visiting the household of the victim or defendant; (5) provides that a charge of domestic violence in the third degree is a Class C felony if the defendant has a previous conviction for domestic violence in the first degree, domestic violence in the second degree, domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation, or a domestic violence conviction or substantially similar conviction from another state or jurisdiction; (6) provides that a third conviction of a domestic violence protection order is a Class C felony; and (7) provides that a court appointed guardian ad litem may petition for relief on behalf of minor children and any person prevented by physical or mental incapacity from seeking a protection order from abuse. Effective: May 23,2019

Sentencing (Act 2019-344, HB559)

Representative Matt Simpson

This act provides that when imposing a sentence for a misdemeanor or a municipal ordinance violation, the court may order a portion of the sentence to be suspended and the defendant to be placed on probation not exceeding two years. Effective: May 31, 2019

Sexual Offenses (Act 2019-465, SB320)

Senator Vivian Davis Figures

This act (1) redefines deviate sexual intercourse as sodomy; (2) includes mental defectiveness, mental incapacitation and physical helplessness in a broad definition of incapacitation; (3) redefines sexual contact to include touching that occurs through clothing without regard to marital relationship; (4) expands the definition of forcible compulsion; (5) provides that certain sexual contact can be an offense under sexual misconduct; (6) includes additional offenses within the crime of sexual torture; and (7) creates a presumption that juveniles adjudicated delinquent of certain sex offenses are not subjected to the state sex offender registration requirements if the juvenile has been counseled on the dangers of the conduct for which he or she was adjudicated delinquent unless the sentencing court makes a determination that the juvenile sex offender is to be subjected to those sex offender registration requirements. Effective: September 1, 2019

Voyeurism (Act 2019-481, SB26)

Senator Clyde...

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