Latest from Illinois Lawyer Now

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the four Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down Thursday, June 17. In In re Application of Tax Deed, the court analyzed case-specific facts for purposes of determining whether section 22-85 of the Property Tax Code could be applied to void a tax deed. In Municipal Trust & Savings Bank v. Moriarty, the court construed section 2-202 of the Code of Civil Procedure to determine whether a private process server may serve process on a defendant in Cook County without first being appointed by the circuit court. In Roberts v. Alexandria Transportation, Inc., the…
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today amendments to Rule 756 and Rule 751, which will give $10 from the attorney registration fee to the Illinois Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) and an additional $10 allocation for the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) to provide funding for Illinois Court Help. The amended rules are effective July 1, 2021. The Illinois Supreme Court Rules including Amended Rules 756 and 751 can be found here. The $20 reallocation ($10 for LAP, $10 for Illinois Court Help) will not increase attorney registration fees. Instead,…
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today amendments to Rule 11 and Rule 371 which alter the manner of serving certain legal documents and how a rule on confidential records is applied. The amendment to Rule 371 is effective immediately. The amendment to Rule 11 is effective July 1, 2021. The Illinois Supreme Court Rules can be found here: http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/Rules/default.asp Rule 11 is the “Manner of Serving Documents Other Than Process and Complaint on Parties Not in Default in the Trial and Reviewing Courts.” The amendment to Rule 11 now allows email to be used…
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the nine Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down Thursday, May 20. Seven of the cases are civil and two are criminal. People v. Bochenek By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender Dominic Bochenek was convicted of identity theft based on the unauthorized use of another person’s credit card information to purchase cigarettes. The underlying transaction occurred at a gas station in Lake County, but Bochenek was charged in DuPage County under a provision in the venue statute which allows for the charge to be brought in the county where the…
The Illinois Supreme Court’s Illinois Judicial Conference (IJC) recently announced the release of a new jury orientation video which will serve as an introduction to jury service for all 24 circuit courts in Illinois. “Jury service is a hallmark of the American justice system,” said Chief Justice Anne M. Burke, who also serves as Chair of the IJC. “This video serves as an excellent introduction for those called to jury duty and answers many questions they may have to make for a positive experience.” Jury orientation provides an important first impression of the court for prospective jurors. This orientation video…
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the Illinois Supreme Court opinion handed down Wednesday, April 21. In Elam v. The Municipal Officers Electoral Board for the Village of Riverdale, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Municipal Officers Electoral Board for the Village of Riverdale invalidating a candidate’s eligibility to run for village trustee in the general election because of invalid signatures on his nominating petition. Elam v. The Municipal Officers Electoral Board for the Village of Riverdale, 2021 IL 127080 By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde & O’Meara LLP In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Overstreet,…
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the five Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down Thursday, April 15. In People v. Wise, the court held that the state failed to prove that the defendant possessed a gun “on or about his person.” In People v. Johnson, the court resolved the question of whether an individual’s standing to file a post-conviction petition under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act is a proper consideration at the first stage of proceedings under the Act or whether a determination of standing is more appropriately made at the second stage of proceedings. In People v. Bass, the…
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the two Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down Thursday, March 18. In People v. Burge, the Supreme Court denied a defendant’s motion to withdraw her guilty plea after she asserted that it was involuntary because she was unaware she would lose her job if she pled guilty. In Ciolino v. Simon, a defamation case that arose from a documentary about an exoneration scandal, the Supreme Court considered whether the one-year window when the suit could be filed opened when the movie premiered at a publicized film festival. People v. Burge By Kerry J.…
Our panel of leading appellate attorneys reviews the Illinois Supreme Court opinion handed down on Thursday, March 11. In Jones v. Municipal Officers Electoral Board, the court examined the decision of the Municipal Officers Electoral Board for the City of Calumet City that disqualified the plaintiff as a candidate for mayor of Calumet City because he filed his nomination papers 13 days after a referendum passed that disqualified him. Jones v. Municipal Officers Electoral Board By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde & O’Meara LLP In this administrative review proceeding, the Illinois Supreme Court examined the decision of the Municipal Officers Electoral…
The Illinois Supreme Court announced today two amendments to Order M.R. 30370 regarding remote proceedings in adult criminal cases. The Illinois Judicial Conference’s Court Operations During COVID-19 Task Force (Task Force) recommended these amendments to avoid any ambiguity and to simplify logistical issues regarding the waivers. The orders are available on the court website. The first amendment is to the Title and Preamble of the order to clarify that the order does not apply to juvenile cases. The second amendment is to section II(C) and strikes Section II(E) to state that whether the waiver by a defendant to hold…
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today an order for the creation of a new Supreme Court Statutory Court Fees Task Force (“Task Force”) to replace the original 15-member Task Force created under the Access to Justice Act. The new Task Force is charged with conducting a thorough review of the entire Criminal and Traffic Assessment Act (CTAA), including the various statutory fees imposed or assessed on criminal defendants and civil litigants and the fiscal impact of the new civil and criminal fee schedules. It will also identify any issues with implementation and propose recommendations…
The Illinois Supreme Court today announced the expansion of the Remote Access Policy (RAP) for Illinois licensed attorneys and legal services providers in User Group 5. This will give Illinois attorneys expanded access to court information and documents in the 87 county courts currently integrated and certified through re:SearchIL. The expansion is effective March 1, 2021. The full text of the RAP and the User Group Access Chart is available online. “The Court is very pleased with this important step in providing remote access to court documents statewide,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “This has been a collaborative…
Chief Justice Anne M. Burke and the Illinois Supreme Court announced today two new temporary orders and one amended order regarding eviction cases and electronic signatures in Illinois courts. The orders were first proposed by the Illinois Judicial Conference Court Operations During COVID- 19 Task Force (“Task Force”) to address the anticipated surge of evictions once the moratoria expire and improve access to justice for self-represented litigants. The Orders are available on the Court website by clicking here. “The Court would like to thank the Task Force for its extensive work on the evictions issue,” Chief Justice Anne M.…
The Illinois Supreme Court issued two opinions on Friday, February 19. In People v. Jackson, the Supreme Court upheld an appellate court’s decision to deny a defendant leave to file a successive postconviction petition. In People v. Birge, the Supreme Court held that a circuit court judge did not err in reciting all four of the Rule 431(b) principles together to a group of prospective jurors, and the Supreme Court also vacated the defendant’s restitution order and remanded the matter for a new hearing to determine the proper amount of restitution. People v. Jackson By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of…
The Illinois Supreme Court today issued an order in remote criminal case proceedings. The order sets forth which criminal case proceedings can be held remotely in light of the ongoing COVID- 19 pandemic. This order, a proposal from the Illinois Judicial Conference’s Court Operations During COVID-19 Task Force (Task Force), is effective immediately. The order, M.R. 30370, modifies the Court’s March 17, 2020 order as modified by the order of May 20, 2020. “This order provides guidance for our courts to address the backlog of criminal cases created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Chief Justice Anne M. Burke said. “The Supreme…
The Illinois Supreme Court issued one opinion on Thursday, February 4. In Rehfield v. Diocese of Joliet, the Supreme Court held that a fired Catholic principal can’t sue the school for her termination because the diocese’s actions are protected by constitutional religious freedom guarantees. Rehfield v. Diocese of Joliet By Michael T. Reagan The court held here that the principal of a Catholic grade school who alleges that she was discharged for reporting threatening conduct of a parent to the police was barred from bringing claims for retaliatory discharge and a violation of the Whistleblower Act. The opinion for the…