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  • July 27, 2021 5:18 AM | Anonymous member

    From: 19th Judicial Circuit

    Beginning on September 7, 2021, Lake County will be relaxing social distancing requirements, and court appearances will take place in-person or by Zoom.

    Paralegals should take note of the required language on Notices of Motion: 

    “Parties wishing to attend the presentment of this motion may appear in-person in the courtroom or may attend remotely on Zoom video and telephone conferencing. A Zoom Meeting ID, Password and Link for this court call will be listed by courtroom, date and time at:”

  • July 27, 2021 5:00 AM | Anonymous member
    From: Illinois Supreme Court

    The Illinois Appellate Court, First District, has adopted new rules of procedure which will become effective on July 1, 2021.

    Most of the current rules were adopted in 2004 and have been only slightly amended since then. After the Illinois court system converted to electronic filing in 2017, questions arose regarding conflicts in the existing rules in the new largely electronic filing environment. The rules also contained many archaic and outdated references.

    In late 2019, the then-chair of the First District Executive Committee, Justice Maureen Connors, requested that Justice Mathias W. Delort form a working group to draft new rules. Justice David Ellis, a former parliamentarian of the Illinois House of Representatives, and Justice Carl Walker served as judicial members of the working group. The court clerk, Thomas Palella, deputy clerk Tina Schillaci, and appellate attorney Julia Maness, also contributed their substantial expertise to the group’s work.

    The working group sent letters to the various agencies and groups involved in most of the court’s caseload: The Appellate Lawyers Association, which includes hundreds of private attorneys; and the appellate divisions of the offices of the Cook County State’s Attorney, the Cook County Public Defender, the Illinois Attorney General, the Chicago Corporation Counsel, the Cook County Public Guardian, and others requesting comments regarding the existing rules. All responded with helpful suggestions.

    A first draft of the amended rules was prepared. The working group met numerous times, painstakingly reviewing the draft for compliance with supreme court rules, conformity with existing practices, understandability, and other requirements. Due to the impact of the pandemic, the working group’s progress was delayed while the court retooled itself to function in the new post-COVID environment. The working group picked up its work again in late 2020.

    In early 2021, the First District Executive Committee reviewed the draft and made additional suggestions. Over the last few weeks, all 24 members have reviewed the draft rules and several justices requested additional changes.

    Besides the changes noted above, the new rules are markedly different from the old rules in that they group like material together and are written in simpler language. In a notable change from most redrafts of laws and court rules, the new rules are actually less verbose than the old rules. The old 40 rules have been replaced by 24 new rules, and the new rules are shorter than the old ones by about 2,200 words.

    The old rules included a rule regarding the court’s mediation program, which was numbered as Rule 37. Because Illinois Supreme Court Rule 310.1 requires that any appellate court rule regarding a mediation program be approved by the supreme court, it was decided to leave the existing text of Rule 37 in place. The mediation rule has been renumbered as Rule 21 to maintain proper sequence.

    The Court’s Reporter of Decisions reviewed the final draft and offered stylistic and grammatical edits to conform to the court’s official style manual.

    The new rules were circulated to the full court in late April, and they were approved by a unanimous vote of all 24 justices on May 5, 2021. The new rules are effective July 1, 2021. The current rules and the new rules are both available on the court’s website at

    The justices and court staff who worked on this project believe that the new rules will not only enable it to carry out its work more efficiently, but also answer procedural questions often asked by attorneys and litigants in a clear and concise manner.

  • July 27, 2021 5:00 AM | Anonymous member
    From: IL Supreme Court

    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.

    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 as a primary option for serving the eligible documents and removes a previous reference which directed service via the Electronic Filing Manager.

    Rule 371 directs procedures for “Confidential Records When On Review” which states sealed or otherwise confidential circuit court records closed when filed in the reviewing courts maintain the same confidentiality as applied in the circuit courts. It also provides the parties of record will “have the same level of access, if any.” The amendment to Rule 371 clarifies the confidentiality requirements to the court record “does not apply to an opinion or Rule 23 order disposing of an appeal, or to a supervisory order affecting the validity of an opinion or Rule 23 order.”

    These amendments were proposed by the Supreme Court’s e-Business Policy Advisory Board (Board). The Hon. David A. Hylla, a former judge on the Third Circuit of Illinois from 2006 to 2019, serves as the Board Chair.

  • July 15, 2021 6:57 PM | Anonymous member

    From: IL Supreme Court -ATJ Commission 

    Earlier this week, the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice (ATJ Commission) announced the completion of its annual review of the Financial Affidavit suite of forms for use in Family & Divorce Cases.

    Patrons should immediately discontinue the use of the forms published in 2016 and begin using the newly published documents.

  • July 15, 2021 5:00 AM | Anonymous member

    From: IL Supreme Court

    The Illinois Supreme Court announced today an amendment to Order M.R. 30370 concerning residential evictions. Timed to coincide with the resumption of eviction filings effective August 1, 2021, the amended Order provides for a one-month period in which the judiciary will focus on referring newly filed cases to State programs providing financial assistance to landlords and tenants.

    Because of a concern that the expiration of the eviction moratorium could potentially flood Illinois Courts with a large volume of cases seeking to be heard and decided in a short time frame, the Illinois Supreme Court will institute a triage period in which certain newly filed residential eviction cases cannot be acted on until the final expiration of the moratorium. Courts will use this time to guide landlords and tenants to programs designed to help them avoid eviction.

    The triage period will begin on August 1, 2021, with the implementation of this amended order, and will conclude on September 1, 2021, when the order is vacated.

  • July 07, 2021 4:00 PM | Anonymous member

    From: Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County

    Please note that eFileIL will be unavailable for Probate, Domestic Relations, and Domestic Violence Divisions beginning Wednesday, July 7th at 8:00 p.m. CST.  The system will be unavailable for e-filing until Monday, July 12th at 8:00 a.m.

    During this time you will be able to file your court documents in person at the courthouse (Daley Center) for these divisions during regular business hours. Conventional filing will be available on Thursday, July 8 and Friday, July 9th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

    The motion type will no longer be selected in the Case Cross Reference section. It will now be selected in the Filings section.

    You will select your motion related filing code and then select your motion type in the dropdown box below the filing code.

    There will be more motion codes than before, and you will need to select the one that fits the case type or motion type you are filing. Select "Motion Hearing-Type Not Listed" if none of the other options fits your filing.

    In addition, specific to the Probate division, you will no longer have to file a subsequent filing to schedule your Opening Case Management Hearing Date. The system will now generate your Opening Case Management date when your new case is accepted. The court date and time will print on the face of your e-filed documents.

    Changes to the eFileIL system are effective July 12, 2021

  • July 01, 2021 6:04 PM | Anonymous member

    From: Cook County - Domestic Relations Division

    Effective immediately, each law firm or practitioner handling cases in the Domestic Relations Division may by Motion seek a Standing Order for the appointment of designated special process servers. Each Standing Order will have a six-month duration, with the first such Standing Order to expire on December 31 , 2021.  

    Obtain details on presenting these motions and a form Standing Order Appointing Special Process Server in our discussion board!

  • June 03, 2021 6:05 AM | Anonymous member

    From: Cook County Record

    Illinois courthouses will be allowed to lift masking requirements for courthouse visitors, attorneys and personnel who are fully vaccinated.

    On May 27, the Illinois Supreme Court issued an order amending its previous COVID-related mask rules.

    Under the previous guidance, issued in August 2020 in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, everyone working in or visiting courthouses in Illinois were required to wear a face covering.

    In the new order, the high court, following new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, now said courts may opt not to require face coverings only for people who have not been fully vaccinated. However, the order still allows lower courts throughout the state to require everyone in courthouses to wear face coverings, regardless of their vaccination status.

  • April 28, 2021 2:39 PM | Anonymous member

    From: Illinois Supreme Court

    The Illinois Supreme Court announced amendments to Order M.R. 30370 regarding residential evictions. One of these amendments states that a landlord’s challenge to a tenant’s reliance on the Governor’s eviction moratorium must be raised in a motion that identifies with specificity the legal or factual basis for any such challenge and where facts pled in the motion are sworn under penalty of perjury. This change is intended to make clear that landlords maintain the burden of proving why the eviction moratorium does not apply to a tenant at all times. The amendments also state that the motion may be set for by hearing only if, on its face, it reflects a viable basis for relief. If the reviewing judge denies the motion, the case shall be dismissed, without prejudice, and the court record sealed. 

    A copy of the Amended Order on Residential Evictions Proceedings can be found in our members' only Resource Center.

  • April 12, 2021 6:10 AM | Anonymous member

    From: Workers’ Comp Commission Chairman

    Please be advised that the Illinois Attorney General's computer system has become disabled.  This has rendered it impossible for the members of the Attorney General's Office to access their e-mail, calendars, and file notes.  Because of the difficulties now being experienced, the Attorney General's Office may be unable to proceed with matters that are set in the coming days.  

    Further, they may be unable to respond to e-mail correspondence.  If for some reason an Assistant Attorney General does not appear for a matter that is set for hearing (pre-trial or trial) in the coming days, we have asked that the Commissioners and Arbitrators continue these cases. 

    The Attorney General's Office will notify us when their system is back in operation. We will likewise notify the Bar of any additional developments. 


    Michael J. Brennan 

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