The Illinois Supreme Court today issued a new order in eviction cases. The order is a follow-up to the order the Court issued in May setting forth the requirements for any landlord seeking to evict a tenant from a dwelling unit covered by the CARES Act.
While certain provisions of the CARES Act eviction moratorium have sunset, Gov. Pritzker’s most recent Executive Moratoriums departed from previous orders and changed the parameters for the state’s eviction moratorium. The new order, which was proposed by the Court’s COVID-19 Task Force, is intended to clarify how courts should handle the commencement of eviction actions while the Governor’s moratorium is in effect.
“The pandemic continues to create challenges and I applaud the COVID-19 Task Force for helping the Court move quickly to address them,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said.
The new order sets forth the process for eviction actions during this time and includes a certification form that all landlords must append to any eviction complaint filed until the moratorium expires. If the judge determines that the complaint does not meet the requirements of the moratorium, the eviction complaint will be dismissed without prejudice, the court file will be sealed, and any future refiling fee will be waived. This protects tenants from erroneous filings and allows landlords to correct any errors by permitting them to refile without incurring court costs.
The order also states that the Court makes no ruling regarding the validity of the Governor’s moratorium and presumes its constitutionality absent a successful legal challenge. It is effective immediately and is available with the certification form here.
The Court and the Illinois Judicial Conference created the COVID-19 Task Force in June to serve as a rapid response unit to address ongoing challenges to court operations caused by the pandemic. The Chair of the Task Force is J. Timothy Eaton, Partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP and the Vice Chair is the Hon. Eugene G. Doherty, Chief Judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit.