Illinois Supreme Court

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…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Wednesday, February 26. In Burns v. Municipal Officers Electoral Board, the court upheld the constitutionality of a provision of the Illinois Municipal Code restricting the power of home rule municipalities to impose term limits. Burns v. The Municipal Officers Electoral Board of Elk Grove Village By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC In an expedited appeal affecting the upcoming primary election, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a provision of the Illinois Municipal Code restricting the power of home rule municipalities to impose term limits. The…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down two opinions on Friday, February 21. In People v. Gayden, the court considered whether to provide a means for a defendant to challenge his trial attorney’s failure to file a motion to suppress where the record on direct appeal was found to be insufficient to evaluate that claim. In Joiner v. SVM Management, LLC, the court reaffirmed its prior holdings that a class action lawsuit is mooted when the named plaintiff rejects tender of full relief before a class certification motion is filed. People v. Gayden By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State…
The Illinois Supreme Court today announced a pilot program utilizing volunteer pro bono attorneys to reduce the backlog of criminal appeals that are currently pending with the Office of the State Appellate Defender (OSAD) across the state. In this six-month pilot program, pro bono attorneys will help reduce the backlog by substituting for OSAD in certain criminal appeals. The pilot program will launch in the First and Second Districts of the Appellate Court with managerial assistance from the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. Upon favorable assessment of the pilot program, it would be expanded to include the Third, Fourth…
The Illinois Supreme Court has amended several Rules pertaining to bail and bond, effective March 1. The Supreme Court on Feb. 6 announced that it has amended Rules 501, 526, and 528. Changes to Rule 528, which pertains to bail schedule-ordinance offenses, petty offenses, business offenses, and misdemeanors, cap bail fees at $100. The amended Rules can be viewed online.…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down eight opinions on Friday, January 24. Full summaries of the opinions are available below. People v. Ashley By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender Marshall Ashley was convicted of stalking under 720 ILCS 5/12-7.3(a)(2), (c)(1), based on allegations that he knowingly engaged in a course of conduct directed at Keshia Tinch, which he knew or should have known would cause her to suffer emotional distress. Evidence at trial was that defendant called Tinch, argued with her, and threatened to come over and kill her, causing Tinch and her mother to leave…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down five opinions on Thursday, December 19. The ISBA’s panel of leading civil attorneys reviewed the opinions and provided summaries. In Ammons v. Canadian National Railway Co., the court interpreted the meaning of sections 55 and 60 of the Federal Employers’ Liability Act. In Iwan Ries & Co. v. the City of Chicago, the court addressed the city of Chicago’s power to tax tobacco products other than cigarettes. In Jones v. Pneumo Abex, LLC, an asbestos-related case involving claims of civil conspiracy, the Supreme Court remanded to the appellate court for reconsideration of a summary…
The Illinois Supreme Court today announced the approval of a new Remote Access Policy (RAP) to take effect on January 1, 2020. The RAP, which includes an implementation plan for expanding remote access to court information and documents, will initially be released to a subset of Illinois licensed attorneys selected by the Illinois State Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Technology for a trial period using the statewide re:SearchIL portal for court records. The RAP, which was developed by the e-Business Policy Advisory Board in conjunction with the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, supersedes the previous Electronic Access Policy…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Thursday, December 5. In People v. Eubanks, the court held 625 ILCS 5/11-501.2(c)(2) unconstitutional as applied to the defendant. Section 501.2(c)(2) permits the warrantless collection and testing of an individual’s blood, breath, or urine for alcohol or drugs if the police have probable cause to believe that the individual was driving under the influence and was involved in a motor vehicle accident causing death or personal injury to another. People v. Eubanks By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender In a decision which included both a special concurrence,…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down nine opinions on Thursday, November 21. Full summaries of the opinions are available below. People v. Abdullah By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender Illinois Supreme Court Rule 606(b) provides that where a timely post-trial or post-sentencing motion is filed “by counsel or by defendant, if not represented by counsel,” any notice of appeal—whether filed before or after the timely motion—should be stricken by the trial court so that the timely motion can be ruled upon. A defendant must then file a new notice of appeal within 30 days of the…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Thursday, October 24. In Yakich v. Aulds, the court vacated a circuit court judgment, which declared unconstitutional section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Yakich v. Aulds By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC Making clear that the Illinois Supreme Court, and only that court, may overrule and modify its opinions, the court vacated a circuit court judgment declaring unconstitutional section 513 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, 750 ILCS 5/513(a) (West 2018). The vitality of section 513(a) arose in the…
The Illinois Supreme Court handed down two opinions on Friday, October 18. In People v. Murray, the court reversed a defendant’s conviction of unlawful possession of a firearm by a street gang member on the basis that the Illinois Streetgang Terrorism Omnibus Prevention Act requires proof of specific offenses in order to satisfy the “course or pattern of criminal activity” element necessary to establish that an individual is a street gang member. In People v. Austin, the Supreme Court rejected a circuit court’s determination that a criminal charge against a woman who distributed private sexual images of her ex-fiancee’s lover…
The Illinois Judicial Conference (IJC) has announced its three-year strategic agenda for the Illinois judicial branch. The IJC has created a mission statement, vision statement, and core values for the branch, along with strategic goals and strategies designed to achieve them. The agenda will serve as a guide for the future of the branch as it begins the implementation phase. The mission of the branch will be “to protect the rights and liberties of all by providing equal access to justice, resolving disputes, and upholding the rule of law pursuant to the powers and duties entrusted to us by the…
The Illinois Supreme Court on Sept. 26 amended Rules 206, 212, 306, 308, 315, and 342. All changes go into effect Oct. 1. Amended Rule 206 makes it explicitly clear that a “party has the right to use the video recording of a deposition or any part thereof in lieu of reading from a stenographic transcript of the deposition.” Amended Rule 212 states that discovery depositions may be used “as a former statement, pursuant to Illinois Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2).” Amended Rule 306 now includes a requirement that “[a]fter the petitioner has filed the petition [for interlocutory appeal] and…
The Illinois Supreme Court has amended Rule 767, which pertains to reinstatement petitions for lawyers who have been disbarred or suspended. The changes go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. The amended Rule clarifies what attorneys must include in a petition for reinstatement. The amended Rule states that “[t]he petition shall set forth the date on which discipline was imposed, the attorney’s intent to be reinstated to the roll of attorneys admitted to practice law in this State, and a statement that the attorney has deposited $1500 with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission to be applied against the costs of…