Illinois Supreme Court

The Illinois Supreme Court announced today that on June 1, 2020 the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office will begin offering an option for attorneys to request a Certificate of Good Standing online through a link on the Supreme Court’s website. Attorneys shall make a request for a Certificate of Good Standing by filling out requested information and then paying the $15 fee electronically on the Illinois State Treasurer’s ePAY site, a full-service electronic payment program specifically designed for Illinois governments. Additional copies will cost $5 each. The Clerk’s Office is unable to offer an electronic copy of the certificate itself…
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today the repeal of Supreme Court Rule 185, creation of new Rule 45, and amendments to Rule 46 and Rule 241. These rules all relate to the use of remote hearings via telephone or video conferencing in the courts and the official recording of these court proceedings. The rule changes are effective immediately. “The Illinois Courts were exploring new policies for expanding remote appearances in civil cases before the pandemic hit,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of those policies for both civil and criminal…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today a temporary order to harmonize the current procedure for eviction cases during the COVID-19 pandemic with new federal requirements recently adopted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. The goal of this order is to ensure there are no inadvertent violations of the new federal law during the pandemic that would result in improper and unnecessary evictions at such a difficult time for residents of Illinois. “We are aware that the pandemic has not only…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down three opinions on Thursday, May 21. In People v. Green, the court weighed in on conflict-of-interest issues when an attorney has represented an intended victim of a crime where another person turns out to be the actual victim.  In Levin v. Retirement Board of the County Employees’ & Officers’ Annuity & Benefit Fund, the court upheld an appellate court decision that a county board exceeded its authority in denying an employee health insurance because she was previously a state employee. In Lewis v. Lead Industries Association, the court held that plaintiffs in a class…
The Illinois Supreme Court today issued an order and operational guidelines to help courts statewide resume in-person operations and establish procedures for remote hearings. Since mid-March, the state’s courts have been operating under precautionary measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to conduct emergency and essential matters. This order is effective June 1 and modifies the Court’s March 17, 2020 order so that each circuit may return to hearing all court matters either in-person or remotely according to a schedule adopted for each county by the chief circuit judge. Remote hearings, which have proven to be successful nationwide,…
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court will preside over a ceremony to administer the attorney’s oath to 336 new attorneys on Thursday, May 7, at 10:30 a.m. via live video broadcast. This bar admission ceremony is for all certified candidates who have passed the February 2020 bar exam. Ceremonies would typically be held in each of the five judicial districts in Illinois, but this ceremony is being conducted remotely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony will be recorded and will be posted on the Court’s website no later May 8. “This virtual ceremony is…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today that the Illinois bar exam, originally scheduled for July 28-29, 2020, has been rescheduled to September 9-10, 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Illinois Supreme Court also entered an order to relax rules for administering the bar exam to allow the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar the flexibility to prepare for and administer a bar examination in a manner that maintains the health and well-being of all applicants and others involved with the administration of the bar examination. “This decision was made after careful consideration of the health and safety…
The Illinois Supreme Court has entered an order temporarily amending Supreme Court Rule 206 to ease the requirements for remote depositions. The amended Rule is effective immediately. Significantly, a new Committee Comment to the Rule states: “Where a deponent testifies from a remote location and no neutral representative or representative of an adverse party is present in the room with the testifying deponent, care must be taken to ensure the integrity of the examination. The testifying deponent may be examined regarding the identity of all persons in the room during the testimony. Where possible, all persons in the room during…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today an emergency order which limits freezes on personal bank accounts during the COVID-19 pandemic. This order temporarily relieves debtors of the burden of asset freezes, up to the $4,000 exemption provided by law, at a time when they have limited recourse to the courts. The order is available on the court website. “The court is pleased to provide relief to those who truly need it during these extraordinary times,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “We are also thankful to groups on both sides of this issue who collaborated to help achieve this…
The Illinois Supreme Court, for the first time in its history, will hold oral arguments via the Zoom videoconference platform when it hears cases in May. The court is doing this to practice social distancing while still conducting court proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic. “These are extraordinary times, but what we have found is that we can keep our traditions the same. Holding oral arguments via Zoom would have sounded beyond our abilities a few months ago, but now feels almost normal,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “The court has found that a lot of our regular work –…
The Illinois Supreme Court has announced that attorneys with a June 30, 2020 MCLE compliance deadline may opt for a three-month extension at no cost if they choose the option by July 31, 2020. Hundreds of free accredited courses are available, including the ISBA’s member-only 15 hours of free CLE per bar year (which ends June 30), sponsored by the ISBA Mutual Insurance Company. The full press release is as follows: The Illinois Supreme Court recognizes that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attorneys with last names beginning A-M in the 2018-2020 reporting period may be unable to complete their continuing…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down four opinions on Thursday, April 16. In People v. Lindsey, the court held that the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights were not violated when the police obtained a search warrant partially based on a drug dog alerting outside his hotel room. In Dynak v. Board of Education of Wood Dale School District 7, the court held that section 24-6 of the School Code only permits teachers to use up to 30 days of accumulated paid sick leave during the six-week period immediately following the birth of a child, and not at the start of the…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down two opinions on Thursday, April 2. In People v. Brown, the Supreme Court found that a circuit court unnecessarily reached a constitutional issue in its determination that requiring someone to have a FOID card for an in-home weapon is unconstitutional. In Crim v. Dietrich, the Court addressed post-trial motions and remanded for a new trial de novo on only the issue raised in the post-trial motion. People v. Brown By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender In 2017, Vivian Brown’s estranged husband called the sheriff’s department and reported that she was…
The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Pretrial Practices (Commission) has released its final report concerning pretrial reform in the Illinois criminal justice system. For two years, the Commission studied best practices in use around the country, consulted pretrial reform experts, listened to stakeholders throughout the state, and analyzed the myriad sources of academic and professional analysis of pretrial issues. A preliminary report was released in December 2018. The Commission held public hearings in Springfield, Champaign/Urbana, Chicago, and Freeport between April and June 2019. The written comments and testimony submitted during those public hearings were incorporated into the final report and…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down four opinions on Thursday, March 19. In People v. McLaurin, the court reinstated a man’s conviction of being an armed habitual criminal. In People v. Hill, the court declined to overrule its prior decision in People v. Stout, which holds that the odor of burnt cannabis, alone, is enough to provide probable cause to search a vehicle. In People v. Jackson, the court upheld a murder conviction despite the defendant’s claims of error. In Whitaker v. Wedbush Securities, Inc., the court construed article 4A of the Illinois Uniform Commercial Code to determine whether the…
Effective for anything filed on March 16 through March 31, 2020, the Illinois Supreme Court has approved relaxing the requirement in Paragraph 8a of the Supreme Court’s Electronic Filing Procedures and User Manual to give parties 14 days instead of the usual five days to provide the Court the 13 copies of certain e-filing documents. Here is current language in the manual which specifies the types of documents: “8a. Upon acceptance of the following document types: briefs, petitions for rehearing, petitions for leave to appeal and any answers to a petition for leave to appeal or petition for rehearing, the…