The Illinois Supreme Court announced this week that it will lift an order that paused judicial redistricting, effective Jan. 1, 2022. This will change the judicial district boundaries in Illinois for the first time since they were established in 1964.
On June 7, 2021, the Supreme Court entered an order pausing the transition to a new judicial redistricting statue in Public Act 102-0011 (Act), which was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker on June 4, 2021.
The order directed appeals and other matters to continue to be filed in judicial districts as they existed on June 3, 2021.
The Supreme Court paused implementation of judicial redistricting to allow time to plan for the logistical and procedural changes necessitated by redistricting, while also continuing to ensure the proper administration of justice in Illinois.
Updates to e-filing and case management systems software, redistribution of staffing and judicial resources, training of judicial stakeholders, and education of the public and members of the bar were among the changes to the processing of appeals and the administration of the justice system involved with the Act.
What will happen on Jan. 1?
Beginning on January 1, a notice of appeal initiating an appeal to the appellate court or a direct appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court pursuant to Rule 302(b) shall be transmitted by the clerk of the circuit court to the appropriate appellate district as established by the Act.
Additionally, a petition or application or motion under Rule 303(d), Rule 303A, Rule 306, Rule 307(d), Rule 308, Rule 335, Rule 604(c), or Rule 606(c) will be filed in the appropriate appellate district as established by the Act. These provisions will apply regardless of the date of the judgment appealed or sought to be appealed.
Circuit courts will remain subject to the rule that states that when conflicts arise among the districts the circuit court is bound by the decisions of the appellate court of the district in which it sits.
In a redistricted circuit, the appropriate appellate district will be the district in which the circuit was located at the time that the circuit court action was initiated.
If a case is heard by one appellate district on appeal and if a subsequent appeal in that case is heard by a new appellate district pursuant to this order, the new district will treat the decision of the prior district as the law of the case.
That the decision of the prior district applied the law of the prior district that is contrary to the law of the new district will not be a basis for departing from the decision of the prior district.
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