Venue change bill sent back to Senate committee

Amelia Flood Apr. 16, 2009, 12:32am


SPRINGFIELD – A bill that would halt "venue shopping" throughout the state has been returned to the Senate Assignments committee.

The bill, sponsored by Republican State Sen. Kirk W. Dillard, would make it harder for plaintiffs to sue companies that do business in their counties but do not have offices or headquarters in them.

Illinois is home to several lawsuit and class action hotspots, among them Madison and St. Clair counties. If Dillard's bill would reach the floor and pass, the number of suits coming through these courts could be impacted.

The 24th District senator could not be reached for comment.

The Dillard bill amends the Code of Civil Procedure, changing language and venue requirements.

"If none of the parties joined in good faith as defendants in a civil case are residents of this State, an action against those defendants may be commenced in the State only in the county in which the transaction out of which the cause of action arose, or some part of that transaction, occurred," the bill reads.

Corporations could only be sued in counties where they have a headquarters or offices if the new bill passed as is out of committee.

The bill also provides that, if none of the defendants in a civil action are located in Illinois, and if the incident did not take place in Illinois, the action must be dismissed for lack of proper venue.

The bill had a first reading before the Senate Feb 20. It was re-referred to the Assignments Committee April 3. It had been assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

The bill is SB1963

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