Judiciary Committee Report – Week 4, 2018

SSB 3013Mortgage releases;
SSB 3014 – Waiver of spousal share in powers of attorney;
SSB 3025 – Traffic camera prohibition;
SSB 3035 – Inmate reading rooms;
SSB 3044 – Failure to wear seatbelt. 



SSB 3013 relates to mortgage releases. The committee adopted a strike-after amendment that deletes Code section 535B.11, the Banking Chapter, which currently provides a remedy to mortgagors when a mortgagee does not provide a release and satisfaction after a mortgage is paid off. The bill now provides one procedure for the release and satisfaction of a mortgage in Chapter 655, Satisfaction of Mortgages.


  • Clarifies that a mortgagee must acknowledge satisfaction in writing no more than 30 days after the the mortgage is paid off.
  • If a revolving line of credit is secured through the mortgage, the mortgagee only must file a release and satisfaction upon payment in full, as long as the mortgagor makes a written request to the mortgagee that the mortgage be released.
  • If a mortgagee fails to discharge within 30 days of the request, the mortgagee is liable for all actual damages, plus reasonable attorney fees. Under the bill, the mortgagee is subject to a $500 penalty.
  • The bill, as amended, adds a new Code section (requested by the Bankers), which limits liability of a mortgagee if the mortgagee has reasonable procedures to achieve compliance with the requirements of filing mortgage releases; the mortgagee complied with the procedure in good faith; and the mortgagee was unable to comply with its obligations because of circumstances beyond its control.

[1/30: short form]


SSB 3014 comes from the Iowa State Bar Association and gives specific additional powers relating to real property if the agent (person given power over another’s financial matters) in a financial power of attorney is given general authority over a person’s interests in real property. If the power of attorney does not specifically restrict an agent’s power relating to certain real property interests, the agent could relinquish any and all of the principal’s rights of dower, homestead and elective share. Dower is a spouse’s right to a portion of their deceased spouse’s real property. An elective share is the property that a surviving spouse can choose to receive contrary to a deceased spouse’s will. SSB 3014 is effective upon enactment. The committee adopted an amendment that removes retroactivity language to conform the Senate bill to the House bill.
[1/30: short form]


SSB 3025 bans traffic cameras in Iowa. The bill prohibits the state or any political subdivision from using an automated or remote system for traffic-law enforcement. Highlights of the bill include:

  • Automated or remote system for traffic-law enforcement is defined as a camera or other optical device designed to work in conjunction with an official traffic-control signal or speed-measuring device to identify vehicles breaking the traffic laws and to issue citations by mail or electronic means.
  • Prior to July 1, 2018, local authorities must discontinue using automated or remote systems for traffic-law enforcement and must remove any equipment.
  • Effective July 1, 2018, all local ordinances authorizing the systems are void.
    • However, any citation issued or mailed prior to July 1, 2018 is not invalid.
  • The bill is effective upon enactment.

1/30: 7-6 (Yes: Edler, Garrett, Schneider, Schultz, Sinclair, Taylor, Zaun; No: Bisignano, Boulton, Dawson, Kinney, Petersen, Shipley)]


SSB 3035 is a Department of Corrections proposal that strikes the Code section requiring that the department provide suitable space for reading material for inmates (reading rooms). The bill also prohibits the department from using any money to distribute or make available commercially published information or material to inmates that is sexually explicit or features nudity. Thus, pursuant to this legislation, no staff time can be used to go through print material to determine whether it’s sexually explicit or features nudity or to deliver such materials to the offenders. Playboy magazine would be an example of print material that features nudity. The department maintains that the process to determine whether print materials are suitable involves a substantial amount of staff time. The department will adopt rules to administer this law.
[1/30: 12-1 (No: Taylor)]


SSB 3044 relates to a person’s failure to wear a seatbelt and injuries incurred in an accident. Under current law, if an individual is injured in a motor vehicle accident and it can be shown that the failure to wear a seatbelt or safety harness contributed to their injuries, the damages awarded in a civil suit may be reduced by up to 5 percent. The bill increases the amount by which damages can be reduced to 25 percent. There must be substantial evidence that failure to wear a seatbelt or safety harness contributed to the injury.
[1/30: short form]