The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will hold a remote public hearing on seven proposals on Wednesday, June 24, 2020. The committee will hear comments on all proposals, including a proposal that would repeal Supreme Court Rule 23 in its entirety and require all written opinions by the Appellate Court to be published.
The repeal of Rule 23 would be significant for the legal profession in Illinois. Currently, Rule 23 allows the Illinois Appellate Courts to decide a case by issuing an opinion, a written order, or a summary order. Written orders and summary orders are treated the same for purposes of their non-precedential value.
This Rule, created before the internet and when hardcover books were published containing appellate decisions, requires a written opinion when an appellate decision establishes a new rule of law, modifies, explains, or criticizes an existing rule of law, or resolves, creates, or avoids an apparent conflict of authority within the Appellate Court. Otherwise, the Court’s decision may be by order, which is not precedential and may not be cited by any party except under limited circumstances.
Today, all opinions and “Rule 23 orders” are accessible on the Court’s website as they are released. The elimination of Rule 23 (or specifically Rule 23(e)) would allow litigants and judges to freely cite all appellate decisions in filings, arguments, and decisions.
The hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. CT via Zoom. The public is invited to join the livestream on the Court’s YouTube page.
Written public comments are welcome. Comments must be submitted by Wednesday, June 10, 2020, to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to: Committee Secretary, Supreme Court Rules Committee, 222 N. LaSalle Street, 13th Floor, Chicago, Illinois 60601. All written comments will be published on the Illinois Supreme Court’s website.
Those who would like to testify should send an email or written request to the Rules Committee Secretary, as noted above, no later than Wednesday, June 17, 2020.
A complete list of proposals the Court seeks comments on can be found below.
Submitted by practitioner Roy C. Dripps, would amend Supreme Court Rule 212(d). The proposal would provide a uniform rule addressing the use of depositions taken in previously dismissed and refiled Illinois cases, in federal court prior to remand, and in other states in which the case was dismissed and refiled in Illinois.
Submitted by the Chicago Bar Association, would amend Supreme Court Rules 306, 315, 316, 341 and 368. The proposal would amend Rule 306 to permit a party to request that the circuit clerk file a complete record when an interlocutory appeal is filed. The proposal would also amend Supreme Court Rules 315 and 368 noting that when the appellate court files a corrected opinion where no petition for rehearing has been filed, that the corrected opinion does not extend the time for a party to petition for leave to appeal. The proposal would also amend Supreme Court Rule 316 to provide that the length of an application for appeal to the Supreme Court on certificate shall be governed by Supreme Court Rule 367. The proposal would also amend Supreme Court Rule 318(c) to indicate that e-filed stamped copies of a pertinent appellate court brief may be filed with the Supreme Court. Lastly, the proposal would amend Supreme Court Rule 341 to provide that a Table of Contents must be included in appellant’s brief, but will not be included in the word count.
Submitted by practitioner Lauren Riddick, would amend Supreme Court Rule 113. This proposal would allow for electronic service of foreclosure sale notices to all parties providing an email address.
Submitted by retired Judge James C. Murray, would repeal Supreme Court Rule 23 in its entirety. This proposal would require all written opinions by the Appellate Court to be published.
Submitted by Judge Robert McLaren, would amend Supreme Court Rule 303. This proposal to amend Rule 303 would provide that during the pendency of the circuit court’s jurisdiction over the cause generally, the trial court may entertain a motion to reconsider its denial of a post judgment motion; however, such a request for reconsideration will not toll the running of the time within which a notice of appeal must be filed.
Submitted by the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar, would amend Supreme Court Rule 704. The proposal would add a definition of the term “jurisdiction” as that term is used in subsection (d) of the rule; the proposal also amends subsection (i) to allow “remote” practice of law in Illinois by attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions doing work for non-Illinois clients while the attorney is temporarily residing in Illinois for up to 6 months.
Submitted by the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice, proposes a new Rule to the Supreme Court for Practice and Procedure in Eviction Act Cases. The proposal would require all eviction complaints to include a copy of the written eviction notice or demand and, where applicable, the relevant portions of the lease.
Justice Thomas L. Kilbride serves as Supreme Court liaison to the Rules Committee. Antonio Romanucci of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, is committee chair. All proposals must be approved by the Illinois Supreme Court before taking effect.
For more information, visit the Illinois Supreme Court’s website.
Mark C. Palmer contributed to this article.