Uniform Law Commission to Meet in Louisville

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Uniform Law Commission
111 N. Wabash Ave., Suite 1010, Chicago IL 60602

Contact:  Katie Robinson, ULC Communications Officer, krobinson@uniformlaws.org

For Immediate Release:

New Act on Criminal Records Accuracy Scheduled for Completion

July 16, 2018 — A national law group comprising members from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will meet in Louisville, Kentucky, for the 127th Annual Meeting of the Uniform Law Commission (ULC).  A busy agenda of legislative drafts, including a new act meant to improve the accuracy of criminal history records, will be debated at the meeting.

Seven new uniform or amendments to acts are scheduled for completion at this summer’s annual meeting.  A full meeting agenda is available here.  Drafts which will be debated at the meeting are posted online here.

The Uniform Criminal Records Accuracy Act was drafted to improve the accuracy of criminal-history record-information in response to studies showing that criminal records are often inaccurate or incomplete due to a variety of reasons.  The act provides multiple points of data collection and reporting of relevant information, including biometric and disposition information.  The act requires courts to collect and report relevant data while including guidance for jurisdictions interested in exempting their courts or giving their courts the option to opt out.  Additionally, the act proposes the creation of a voluntary mistaken identity prevention registry that is modeled on identity theft-specific registries managed by several states and the federal government.  The act also provides several oversight functions, such as establishing procedures and conducting regular audits. 

The Uniform Civil Remedies for Unauthorized Disclosure of Intimate Images Act addresses an increasingly common form of abuse that causes immediate, and in many cases, irreversible harm.  The act creates a cause of action for unauthorized disclosure of private, intimate images.  The act also outlines procedures enabling victims to protect their identity in court proceedings.  In addition, the act provides various remedies for victims, including actual damages, statutory damages, attorney’s fees, punitive damages, and repayment of profits.

The Uniform Fiduciary Income and Principal Act is an updated version of the Uniform Principal and Income Act, which has been adopted in 47 jurisdictions.  It provides a set of modern accounting standards for fiduciaries to allocate receipts and disbursements between principal and income, and to adjust those allocations as appropriate.  This latest version of the act includes innovative and flexible rules on unitrust conversion, which were omitted from the last major revision approved in 1997 but have since proved to be popular in states.  It also adds a useful section on governing law and expands the scope beyond trusts and estates to include other successive ownership arrangements.

The Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (RULONA) is designed to modernize and clarify the law governing notaries public, their responsibilities and duties, and to provide a stable infrastructure for the performance of notarial acts with respect to electronic records.  The 2018 Amendment to RULONA authorizes notaries public to perform notarial acts in the state in which they are commissioned for remotely located individuals using audio-visual communication technology regardless of where the individual may be located.  This amendment is not limited to foreign located individuals; it extends the authority to any remotely located individuals. This amendment was prepared in response to a rapidly emerging trend among the states to authorize the performance of notarial acts by means of audio-visual technology.

The Uniform Nonparent Custody and Visitation Act addresses the rights of third parties other than parents to custody of or visitation with a child.  Those rights are also affected by the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), which held that courts must give deference to decisions of fit parents concerning the raising of children, including concerning grandparents’ visitation rights.  The Act recognizes a right to seek custody or visitation for two categories of individuals: (1) nonparents who have served as consistent caretakers of a child without expectation of compensation, and (2) other nonparents who have a substantial relationship with a child and who demonstrate that denial of custody or visitation would result in harm to the child.

The Uniform Supplemental Commercial Law for the Uniform Regulation of Virtual-Currency Businesses Act is designed to address the commercial law rights of virtual-currency businesses that have control over their customers’ virtual currency and their customers providing to those businesses and customers duties and rights comparable to those enjoyed by customers of securities intermediaries under Article 8, Part 5 of the Uniform Commercial Code.  Other goals of the act include enhancing the “negotiability” of virtual currency when transferred or exchanged and enabling owners of virtual currency assets to use their virtual currency as collateral under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code.  The act is a companion to the Uniform Regulation of Virtual-Currency Businesses Act, which was promulgated by the ULC in 2017.

Amendments to UCC Articles 1, 3, 8, and 9 have been drafted to provide the substantive commercial law rules to support a national electronic registry for residential mortgage notes with minimal displacement of state laws.  Until the federal National Mortgage Note Repository Act referred to in the Amendments is enacted, the Amendments are not part of the official text of the UCC, and states should NOT undertake to introduce or enact these amendments.

The ULC, now in its 127th year, comprises more than 350 practicing lawyers, governmental lawyers, judges, law professors, and lawyer-legislators from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Commissioners are appointed by their states to draft and promote enactment of uniform laws that are designed to solve problems common to all the states.

After receiving the ULC’s seal of approval, a uniform act is officially promulgated for consideration by the states, and legislatures are urged to adopt it.  Since its inception in 1892, the ULC has been responsible for more than 200 acts, among them such bulwarks of state statutory law as the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Probate Code, the Uniform Partnership Act, and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act.

Other drafts which will be debated at the ULC annual meeting, but which are not scheduled for final approval, include the Electronic Wills Act, the Highly Automated Vehicles Act, the Registration of Canadian Money Judgments Act, and the Tort Law Relating to Drones Act.

The current drafts of all of these acts can be found at the ULC’s website at www.uniformlaws.org.

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