CHICAGO – The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee will
hear comments July 8 at a public hearing on three proposals, including one
submitted by the Appellate Lawyers Association (ALA) that would make changes to
a Supreme Court rule dealing with interlocutory rights to authorize the filing
of supporting records instead of full records on appeal.
The court said in a release that the ALA’s proposed
amendments would also require that notice of appeal be filed in the circuit
court for appeals authorized under Rule 307, and would allow relevant documents to
be sent by overnight delivery.
Attorney John Fitzgerald, an ALA director and a partner at Tabet
DiVito & Rothstein LLC said the association’s proposal is intended to make
it easier and faster for parties to move Rule 307 appeals through the process.
“We would like to expedite the process,” Fitzgerald told the
Fitzgerald said that Illinois Supreme Court Rule 328 already
allows a supplemental record to be used for appeals. Through this process, the
most relevant documents can be put together without needing to go through the
court clerk’s office. A supplemental record can be created by both sides, and
all of the documents are certified by a lawyer, he said.
“The Rule 328 process is a lot quicker and easier,”
Fitzgerald said. “It’s a fair process.”
Fitzgerald said another component of the ALA’s proposal was
inspired by a ruling made in a 2013 case entitled Nizamuddin v. Community Education in Excellence, Inc.
He said this Rule 307 D appeal was dismissed because it was filed in the trial
court, rather than the appellate court. However, Fitzgerald said Supreme Court Rule 303(a)(1) states that the notice of appeal must be filed in the trial court.
"The Nizamuddin case imposed a different rule for appeals under Rule 307(d); namely, that in appeals filed under that rule, the notice of appeal must be filed in the appellate court," Fitzgerald said. "We disagree with the Nizamuddin decision and believe that notices of appeal in Rule 307(d) appeals, as in other types of civil appeals, should be filed in the trial court."
Also, Fitzgerald said documents cannot currently be mailed
in Rule 307 D appeals because of the emergency nature of those cases. As a
result, the ALA proposal would allow the documents to be mailed using overnight
delivery to accommodate pro se litigants and those who are farther away from
In addition to the ALA proposal, the rules committee will consider
a proposal calling for the creation of a Supreme Court rule to govern the use
of restraints on minors during court proceedings and will consider proposed
changes to Supreme Court rules involving proof of service.
Specifically, a proposal submitted by the Juvenile Justice
Committee of the Illinois Judicial Conference would prohibit the use of
restraints on a minor in a delinquency proceeding unless the court finds, after
a hearing, that the use of restraints is necessary for one or more specified
reasons, including to prevent physical harm to the minor or another person, if the
minor has a history of disruptive behavior that has put others in potentially
harmful situations or presents a substantial risk of inflicting harm on
himself/herself or others or there is a well-founded belief that the minor
presents a substantial risk of flight.
The proposal would establish that restraints can only be
used on minors when the court determines they are necessary and there are no
less restrictive alternatives to restraints to prevent the minor from flight or
inflicting physical harm on himself/herself or others, including the presence
of court personnel, law enforcement officers or bailiffs, the release said.
The proposal would also require that any restraints
authorized under the rule allow the minor limited movement of the hands to
handle court documents and prohibit the minor from being restrained to another
minor, a wall, the floor or furniture while in the courtroom. The proposed rule
would also give the minor’s attorney an opportunity to be heard before the
court orders restraints and require the court to enter an order detailing its
findings if restraints are ordered.
Under a proposal submitted by the Illinois Supreme Court
Commission on Access to Justice, Supreme Court Rule 12 would be amended. Rule
12 governs proof of service in the trial and reviewing courts. The proposed
amendment would replace the word “affidavit” in Rule 12 with “certificate” and
would include reference to section 1-109 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
All of the proposals must be approved by the Illinois
Supreme Court before they could take effect.