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|[ Introduced ]||[ Engrossed ]||[ House Amendment 001 ]|
|[ House Amendment 002 ]||[ Senate Amendment 001 ]|
91_SB0331enr SB331 Enrolled LRB9100872MWgcC 1 AN ACT to create the Illinois Equal Justice Act, amending 2 named Acts. 3 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, 4 represented in the General Assembly: 5 Section 5. The Illinois Farm Legal Assistance Act is 6 amended by changing Sections 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 35 and 7 the title of the Act and by adding Sections 40, 45, and 50 as 8 follows: 9 (30 ILCS 765/Act title) 10 An Act in relation to equal justice
farm legal11 assistance. 12 (30 ILCS 765/1) (from Ch. 5, par. 2050-1) 13 Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the 14 Illinois Equal Justice Farm Legal AssistanceAct. 15 (Source: P.A. 87-123.) 16 (30 ILCS 765/5) (from Ch. 5, par. 2050-5) 17 Sec. 5. Legislative findings purpose. The General 18 Assembly finds: 19 (a) Equal justice is a basic right that is fundamental 20 to democracy in this State, and the integrity of this State 21 and this State's justice system depends on protecting and 22 enforcing the rights of all people. 23 (b) This State's residents must have information about 24 self-help processes and available remedies. 25 (c) The justice system must work with social services 26 providers, government agencies, and community leaders to 27 promote approaches to preventing and resolving legal 28 difficulties. 29 (d) The maintenance, operation, and fairness of the SB331 Enrolled -2- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 courts are significantly enhanced when all parties have 2 access to basic legal information, information about the 3 court system, and information about alternative methods of 4 dispute resolution and other alternatives to the legal 5 system. Individuals unable to obtain this information who 6 are also unable to obtain legal representation cause all 7 parties in the court system to experience backlogs and 8 delays, often resulting in multiple court appearances, or 9 lengthier court appearances, or both, than would otherwise be 10 necessary for all parties. When all parties have access to 11 basic legal information, information about the court system, 12 and information about alternatives to the legal system, the 13 parties may proceed in a more productive and efficient 14 manner, thereby reducing the number of cases the courts must 15 manage and reducing unnecessary backlogs and delays in the 16 court system. 17 (e) The resolution of disputes can be costly and 18 time-consuming in the context of a formal judicial 19 proceeding. Mediation of disputes has a potential for 20 efficiently reducing the volume of cases in the court system 21 in this State. There is a compelling need for dispute 22 resolution centers to divert some matters from the court 23 system. 24 (f) The courts of Illinois are backlogged with both 25 pre-judgment and post-judgment civil cases that require 26 numerous court appearances and lengthy hearings caused in 27 part by individuals who are not represented by legal counsel. 28 The resolution of these cases often results in the 29 unrepresented party not following the court procedures and 30 orders, causing multiple court proceedings. Providing legal 31 representation to the indigent party in civil cases has a 32 great potential for efficiently reducing the volume of 33 matters that burden the court system in this State. 34 Not-for-profit legal services organizations make a SB331 Enrolled -3- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 substantial contribution to the expeditious operation and 2 maintenance of the courts in civil cases. 3 (g) Equal justice is an integral part of the general 4 public welfare. 5 (h) The collection and distribution of funds under this 6 Act promotes equal justice, is in the public interest, and 7 enhances the administration of justice and the courts. 8 (i) The use of the funds for the purposes prescribed by 9 this Act is consistent with the essential functions of the 10 courts. that, in the agricultural economy, many farmers are11 unable to afford necessary legal services to deal with12 financial and other personal problems. It is one of the13 purposes of this Act to provide short-term legal assistance14 to address the special legal needs of farmers.15 (Source: P.A. 87-123.) 16 (30 ILCS 765/10) (from Ch. 5, par. 2050-10) 17 Sec. 10. Definitions. For the purposes of this Act: 18 "Foundation" means the Illinois Equal Justice Farm Legal19 AssistanceFoundation, a not-for-profit corporation created 20 by the Illinois State Bar Association and the Chicago Bar 21 Association. 22 "Legal information center" means a center in a judicial 23 circuit of this State operated by a not-for-profit 24 corporation that is tax exempt from the payment of federal 25 taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code 26 and that serves as an information center for persons 27 considering use of the judicial system in that judicial 28 circuit. Information available at each legal information 29 center may include, but not be limited to, information about 30 the organization of the court system, applicable court 31 procedures, how to obtain legal representation, alternatives 32 to the court system such as mediation or social services, the 33 applicable substantive law, self-help packets explaining the SB331 Enrolled -4- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 court procedures and applicable law in a particular 2 substantive area, and available self-help assistance desks. 3 "Regional legal services hotline" means a program in this 4 State operated by a not-for-profit corporation that is tax 5 exempt from the payment of federal taxes under Section 6 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that (i) provides 7 assistance to legal information centers and this State's 8 residents, and supplements legal information centers by 9 providing information to legal information centers and this 10 State's residents that includes, but is not limited to, 11 information about the organization of the court system, 12 applicable court procedures, how to obtain legal 13 representation, alternatives to the court system such as 14 mediation or social services, the applicable substantive law, 15 self-help packets explaining the court procedures and 16 applicable law in a particular substantive area, and 17 available self-help assistance desks and (ii) coordinates and 18 provides assistance to civil legal services providers 19 operating in this State by providing coordinated intake and 20 referral services. 21 "Self-help assistance desk" means a program operated by a 22 not-for-profit corporation that is tax exempt from the 23 payment of federal taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the 24 Internal Revenue Code and that provides legal information and 25 advice about a particular substantive area of the law to 26 litigants or potential litigants in non-criminal or traffic 27 matters who are unable to obtain or do not have legal 28 representation for a dispute involving that substantive area 29 of the law. 30 "Dispute resolution center" means a not-for-profit 31 organization that is exempt from the payment of federal taxes 32 pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code 33 and that is organized to provide mediation services at no 34 charge to disputants who agree to use its services. Disputes SB331 Enrolled -5- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 handled by a dispute resolution center may include, but not 2 be limited to, disputes referred from the court system. 3 "Mediation" means a voluntary process in which an 4 impartial mediator actively assists disputants in identifying 5 and clarifying issues of concern and in designing and 6 agreeing to solutions for those issues. 7 "Mediator" means a person who has received at least 30 8 hours of training in the areas of negotiation, nonverbal 9 communication, agreement writing, neutrality, and ethics. 10 "Civil legal services" means legal representation or 11 advice in non-criminal matters provided to eligible clients. 12 "Civil legal services provider" means a not-for-profit 13 corporation that (i) is exempt from the payment of federal 14 income tax pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal 15 Revenue Code, (ii) is established for the purpose of 16 providing legal services that include civil legal services, 17 and (iii) either (A) employs 4 or more full-time attorneys 18 who are licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois and 19 who directly provide civil legal services or (B) provides 20 civil legal services through an organized panel of pro bono 21 attorneys. 22 "Eligible client" means an individual, not a business 23 entity, who is involved in a non-criminal or traffic matter, 24 who has been found financially eligible for civil legal 25 services by a civil legal services provider, and who has an 26 annual income that does not exceed 150% of the prevailing 27 poverty guidelines issued by the United States Department of 28 Health and Human Services. 29 "Pro bono attorney" means an attorney who is 30 self-employed, or employed by an entity other than a civil 31 legal services provider, and who represents eligible clients 32 without charge under the auspices of a civil legal services 33 provider. 34 "Recipient" means a legal information center, regional SB331 Enrolled -6- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 legal services hotline, self-help assistance desk, dispute 2 resolution center, or qualified civil legal services provider 3 receiving moneys under this Act. 4 "Qualified civil legal services provider" means a civil 5 legal services provider that (i) makes financial eligibility 6 determinations before providing civil legal services; (ii) 7 has demonstrated its commitment to the provision of high 8 quality civil legal services to clients and has operated for 9 at least 2 years; and (iii) received and expended cash funds 10 in Illinois in the previous fiscal year in the amount of at 11 least $200,000 for the provision of civil legal services. 12 "Department" means the Illinois Department of13 Agriculture.14 "Director" means the Illinois Director of Agriculture.15 (Source: P.A. 87-123.) 16 (30 ILCS 765/15) (from Ch. 5, par. 2050-15) 17 Sec. 15. Foundation; distribution of funds to legal 18 information centers, regional legal services hotlines, 19 dispute resolution centers, self-help assistance desks, or 20 civil legal services providers. 21 (a) The Foundation shall establish and administer the 22 Illinois Equal Justice Fund. The Fund consists of all moneys 23 remitted to the Foundation under the terms of this Act. The 24 Foundation must deposit all moneys received under this Act 25 into interest-bearing accounts. Administration and 26 distribution of these funds by the Foundation does not alter 27 their character as public funds or alter the fiduciary 28 responsibilities attendant to the administration of public 29 funds. 30 (b) The Foundation may annually retain a portion of the 31 amounts it receives under this Section, not to exceed 5% of 32 the amounts received by the Foundation under this Act, to 33 reimburse the Foundation for the actual cost of administering SB331 Enrolled -7- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 grants and making the distributions required under this Act 2 during that year. 3 (c) The distribution of moneys available after 4 administrative costs shall be made by the Foundation in the 5 following manner: 6 (1) The Foundation shall distribute moneys to legal 7 information centers that have demonstrated or demonstrate 8 an ability to provide the services described in Section 9 10 of this Act and that otherwise comply with the 10 requirements of this Act with the objective that one or 11 more legal information centers will be operated in each 12 judicial circuit of this State. 13 (2) The Foundation shall distribute funds to 14 regional legal services hotlines that have demonstrated 15 or demonstrate an ability to provide the services 16 described in Section 10 of this Act and that otherwise 17 comply with the requirements of this Act. 18 (3) The Foundation shall distribute funds to 19 self-help assistance desks that have demonstrated or 20 demonstrate an ability to provide the services described 21 in Section 10 of this Act and that otherwise comply with 22 the requirements of this Act. 23 (4) The Foundation shall distribute funds to 24 dispute resolution centers that have demonstrated or 25 demonstrate compliance with the requirements of Section 5 26 of the Illinois Not-For-Profit Dispute Resolution Center 27 Act. 28 (5) The Foundation shall distribute funds to 29 qualified civil legal services providers operating in one 30 or more counties within this State. The Foundation shall 31 determine the amounts to be distributed to each qualified 32 civil legal services provider based upon the following 33 criteria: 34 (A) the number of eligible clients served and SB331 Enrolled -8- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 the nature of the civil legal services caseload of 2 each qualified civil legal services provider 3 compared to all other qualified civil legal services 4 providers in this State; 5 (B) the qualified civil legal services 6 provider's satisfactory compliance with Section 50 7 of this Act; and 8 (C) the qualified civil legal services 9 provider's general compliance with the following 10 standards: 11 (i) the quality, feasibility, and 12 cost-effectiveness of the civil legal services 13 provider's legal services as evidenced by, 14 among other things, the experience of the civil 15 legal services provider's staff with the 16 delivery of the type of legal assistance 17 contemplated under the proposal; compatibility 18 with the American Bar Association's Standards 19 for Providers of Civil Legal Services for the 20 Poor, where applicable; the civil legal 21 services provider's compliance experience with 22 other funding sources or regulatory agencies, 23 including but not limited to federal or State 24 agencies, bar associations or foundations, 25 courts, IOLTA programs, and private 26 foundations; the reputations of the civil legal 27 services provider's principals and key staff; 28 and the civil legal services provider's 29 capacity to ensure continuity in representation 30 of eligible clients with pending matters, 31 including pending matters referred from other 32 legal services providers; 33 (ii) the civil legal services provider's 34 knowledge of the various components of the SB331 Enrolled -9- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 legal services delivery system in the State and 2 its willingness to coordinate with them as 3 appropriate, including its capacity to: 4 (I) develop and increase resources 5 from funds other than those provided under 6 this Act; and 7 (II) cooperate with State and local 8 bar associations, private attorneys, and 9 pro bono programs to increase the 10 involvement of private attorneys in the 11 delivery of legal assistance and the 12 availability of pro bono legal services to 13 eligible clients; and 14 (iii) the civil legal services provider's 15 knowledge and willingness to cooperate with 16 other civil legal services providers, community 17 groups, public interest organizations, and 18 human services providers in a manner that is 19 consistent with the Illinois Rules of 20 Professional Conduct. 21 (d) The Foundation must give annual notice of the amount 22 of moneys available for distribution; the procedure by which 23 legal information centers, regional legal services hotlines, 24 dispute resolution centers, self-help assistance desks, and 25 qualified civil legal services providers can apply for 26 moneys; and the schedule for review and distribution of 27 moneys under this Act. 28 (e) The governing board of the Foundation may adopt 29 regulations and procedures necessary to implement and enforce 30 this Act and to ensure that the moneys allocated under this 31 Act are used to provide services to persons in accordance 32 with the terms of this Act. 33 In adopting the regulations, the governing board must 34 comply with the following procedures: SB331 Enrolled -10- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 (1) the governing board must publish a preliminary 2 draft of the regulations and procedures that must be 3 distributed, together with notice of the comment period, 4 to members of the Foundation, potential recipients of 5 moneys, and other interested parties that the Foundation 6 considers appropriate; and 7 (2) the governing board must allow a reasonable 8 time period for affected and interested parties to 9 present written comment regarding the proposed 10 regulations and procedures before the governing board 11 adopts final regulations and procedures. 12 (f) The Foundation shall make payments to recipients on 13 a calendar-year basis in quarterly installments. services.14 The Foundation shall:15 (a) Operate a lawyer referral service that will16 facilitate and fund direct consultation between farmers and17 lawyers on farm-related matters, and give preference to the18 request of a qualifying farmer for referral to an eligible19 lawyer of the qualifying farmer's choice.20 (b) Provide funds to other not-for-profit legal21 assistance providers in this State to assist in establishing22 programs to furnish legal services to farmers on farm-related23 matters.24 (c) Provide technical assistance and create and25 encourage educational programs relating to legal programs of26 Illinois farmers.27 (Source: P.A. 87-123.) 28 (30 ILCS 765/20) (from Ch. 5, par. 2050-20) 29 Sec. 20. Other powers and duties of the Foundation. 30 (a) The Foundation may make, enter into, and 31 execute contracts, agreements, leases, and other 32 instruments with any person, including without limitation 33 any federal, State, or local governmental agency, and may SB331 Enrolled -11- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 take other actions that may be necessary or convenient to 2 accomplish any purpose authorized by this Act. 3 (b) The Foundation may also undertake directly, or 4 by grant or contract, the following activities to assist 5 legal information centers, regional legal services 6 hotlines, dispute resolution centers, self-help 7 assistance desks, and qualified civil legal services 8 providers: 9 (1) provide research, training, and technical 10 assistance; and 11 (2) serve as a clearinghouse for information. 12 (Source: P.A. 87-123.) 13 (30 ILCS 765/25) (from Ch. 5, par. 2050-25) 14 Sec. 25. Acceptance of funds. Any assets, moneys, or15 grants presently possessed by the Foundation shall be16 retained by the Foundation and shall be used for the purposes17 of this Act. The Department of Agriculture is empowered to18 make grants of funds to the Foundation to be used for the19 purpose of this Act.The Foundation has the authority to 20 receive and accept any and all grants, loans, subsidies, 21 matching funds, reimbursements, federal grant moneys, fees 22 for services, and other things of value from the federal or 23 State government or any agency of any other state or from any 24 institution, person, firm, or corporation, public or private, 25 to be used to carry out the purposes of this Act. 26 (Source: P.A. 87-123.) 27 (30 ILCS 765/35) (from Ch. 5, par. 2050-35) 28 Sec. 35. Reports. 29 (a) Each recipient of moneys under this Act must 30 annually submit a report to the Foundation. This report must 31 include (i) either (A) an audit of the funds received from 32 the Foundation by a certified public accountant or (B) a SB331 Enrolled -12- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 fiscal review approved by the Foundation setting forth the 2 manner and amount of expenditures made with the funds 3 received from the Foundation and (ii) a description of the 4 programs on which they were expended. The reports are public 5 records available for inspection upon request. 6 (b) The governing board of the Foundation must prepare 7 an annual report to the Governor, the President of the 8 Senate, the Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the 9 House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of 10 Representatives, and the Justices of the Illinois Supreme 11 Court. The report must include (i) a statement of the total 12 receipts and a breakdown by source during each of the 13 previous 2 calendar years, (ii) a list of the names and 14 addresses of the recipients that are currently receiving 15 funds and that received funds in the previous year and the 16 amounts committed to recipients for the current year and paid 17 in the previous year, (iii) a breakdown of the amounts paid 18 during the previous year to recipients and the amounts 19 committed to each recipient for the current year, (iv) a 20 breakdown of the Foundation's costs in administering the 21 Fund, and (v) a statement of the Fund balance at the start 22 and at the close of the previous calendar-year and the 23 interest earned during the previous calendar-year. The 24 report must include any notices the Foundation issued denying 25 applications for moneys under this Act. The report, in its 26 entirety, is a public record, and the Foundation and the 27 Governor shall make the report available for inspection upon 28 request. 29 Report. The Foundation shall submit a report detailing30 its operations and accounting for its use of grant funds, the31 number of farmers served under this Act and the type of32 services performed, the number of mediations performed and33 the results of the mediations to the Governor, the President34 of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives,SB331 Enrolled -13- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 the Attorney General and the Director of the Department of2 Agriculture on or before January 1 of each year.3 (Source: P.A. 87-123.) 4 (30 ILCS 765/40 new) 5 Sec. 40. Limitations on use of funds. No funds made 6 available to a recipient may be used for the purpose of (i) 7 lobbying; (ii) encouraging political activities, labor or 8 anti-labor activities, boycotts, picketing, strikes, or 9 demonstrations; or (iii) investigative or legal compliance 10 activities unrelated to a pending dispute. A recipient may 11 not use funds received under this Act to file an individual 12 action or class action under the Migrant and Seasonal 13 Agricultural Worker Protection Act (29 U.S.C. 1801 and 14 following) or other labor laws. 15 (30 ILCS 765/45 new) 16 Sec. 45. Responsibilities of recipients. With respect 17 to the provision of services funded under this Act, each 18 recipient shall ensure the following: 19 (1) the maintenance of quality service and, where 20 applicable, compliance with the Illinois Rules of 21 Professional Conduct; and 22 (2) compliance with this Act in the expenditure of 23 funds. 24 (30 ILCS 765/50 new) 25 Sec. 50. Termination of funds; procedures. 26 (a) The Foundation may suspend or terminate funds it has 27 authorized under this Act upon its determination that a 28 recipient is not operating in compliance with the 29 requirements of this Act. 30 (b) An action by the Foundation proposing to suspend or 31 to terminate an existing grant of funds under this Act may SB331 Enrolled -14- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 not become final until the recipient has been afforded notice 2 of the proposed action and the opportunity to be heard in 3 accordance with the procedures established by the Foundation. 4 5 (30 ILCS 765/30 rep.) 6 Section 30. The Illinois Farm Legal Assistance Act is 7 amended by repealing Section 30. 8 Section 95. Severability. The provisions of this 9 amendatory Act of the 91st General Assembly are severable 10 under Section 1.31 of the Statues on Statutes. SB331 Enrolled -15- LRB9100872MWgcC 1 INDEX 2 Statutes amended in order of appearance 3 30 ILCS 765/Act title 4 30 ILCS 765/1 from Ch. 5, par. 2050-1 5 30 ILCS 765/5 from Ch. 5, par. 2050-5 6 30 ILCS 765/10 from Ch. 5, par. 2050-10 7 30 ILCS 765/15 from Ch. 5, par. 2050-15 8 30 ILCS 765/20 from Ch. 5, par. 2050-20 9 30 ILCS 765/25 from Ch. 5, par. 2050-25 10 30 ILCS 765/35 from Ch. 5, par. 2050-35 11 30 ILCS 765/40 new 12 30 ILCS 765/45 new 13 30 ILCS 765/50 new 14 30 ILCS 765/30 rep.
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