H.B. 407





Chief Sponsor: Jacob L. Anderegg

Senate Sponsor: ____________

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill requires that a person that sues the state or a political subdivision disclose the
             10      person's source of funding.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    allows the state or a political subdivision that is being sued to stop or delay a project
             14      or the enforcement of a statute or ordinance to file a motion to uncover the source of
             15      funding for the lawsuit;
             16          .    allows the motion to be filed at any time;
             17          .    sets a penalty for refusal to disclose; and
             18          .    sets a threshold funding requirement for disclosure.
             19      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      ENACTS:
             25           78B-5-829 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             27      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:

             28          Section 1. Section 78B-5-829 is enacted to read:
             29          78B-5-829. Transparency in litigation funding.
             30          (1) As used in this section:
             31          (a) "Lawsuit" means an action against the state or a political subdivision of the state
             32      that impacts the health, safety, or welfare of the citizens of the state or the political subdivision.
             33          (b) "Third party entity" means a person, as defined in Section 68-3-12.5 , that provides
             34      funding for a lawsuit against a state or a political subdivision of the state.
             35          (2) A governing body or chief executive of the state or a political subdivision of the
             36      state may, by resolution, request, from any person that has given notice that the person plans to
             37      initiate a lawsuit against the state or a political subdivision of the state, disclosure of all third
             38      party entities that have contributed 5% or more of the person's funding for the lawsuit.
             39          (3) If a lawsuit is filed that attempts to delay or stop the state or a political subdivision
             40      of the state from beginning or continuing a project or enforcing an ordinance or statute, and the
             41      information requested in Subsection (2) has not been received by the state or a political
             42      subdivision of the state, the state or a political subdivision of the state may file a motion with
             43      the court requesting the information.
             44          (4) The immediate effect of the motion shall be to stay the lawsuit until disclosure is
             45      made, however, if the suit is regarding a construction project that has already begun, the project
             46      may not be halted unless the court finds good cause to order stoppage.
             47          (5) A plaintiff who fails to disclose the information requested may be held in contempt
             48      by the court and subject to dismissal of the action. If an action is dismissed for failure to
             49      disclose, the court may order the plaintiff to pay attorney fees and costs incurred by the state or
             50      a political subdivision of the state.
             51          (6) If there is more than one plaintiff and one or more of the plaintiffs refuses to
             52      disclose the information, the plaintiffs refusing to disclose may be sanctioned by the court in
             53      accordance with Subsection (5).

Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-25-14 11:54 AM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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