Justia Civil Procedure Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Illinois Supreme Court
Bridgeview Health Care Ctr., Ltd. v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co.
Bridgeview Health Care Center filed a class action complaint against Clark, an Illinois resident who operates Affordable Digital Hearing, a sole proprietorship out of Terre Haute, Indiana. Bridgeview alleged that Clark sent Bridgeview and others unsolicited faxes and claimed violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 47 U.S.C. 227; common law conversion of its fax paper and toner; and violation of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, 815 ILCS 505/2. Clark had a comprehensive general liability policy issued by State Farm, an Illinois corporation. The policy was purchased through an Indiana agent and issued to Clark’s Indiana business address. State Farm sought declaratory judgment that it had no duty to defend in Indiana state court. The action was dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction over Bridgeview. Bridgeview sought a declaration, in Illinois state court that State Farm had a duty to defend and indemnify Clark under the advertising injury and property damage provisions of the policy. State Farm argued that Illinois law conflicts with Indiana law on coverage issues and that Indiana law should apply. The circuit court found that there was no conflict and no need to conduct a choice-of-law analysis. The appellate court reversed, finding that decisions cited by State Farm were sufficient to raise the possibility of a conflict, requiring a choice-of-law analysis The Illinois Supreme Court reversed, finding that State Farm failed to meet its burden of demonstrating that an actual conflict exists between Illinois and Indiana law.View "Bridgeview Health Care Ctr., Ltd. v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co." on Justia Law
In re Rita P.
A psychiatrist at Chicago-Read Mental Health Center sought a court order authorizing involuntary treatment of Rita. Stating that Rita met the criteria for a diagnosis of “schizophrenia paranoid type,” the doctor requested authorization to administer specific medications, including Risperidone, for up to 90 days. At a hearing, there was testimony about Rita’s behavior before her hospitalization, about police response to a call about Rita’s behavior, and about Rita’s own descriptions of her delusions and trying to choke herself to kill the people inside her. Rita had not threatened anyone at Chicago-Read, and no cause existed to place her in restraints or administer emergency medication. Although generally cooperative, Rita refused to attend group therapy, and would not take medication. The circuit court authorized involuntary treatment. The appellate court reversed, finding that the trial court failed to comply with the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code, 405 ILCS 5/3-816(a), requirement that final orders “shall be accompanied by a statement on the record of the court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law.” The Illinois Supreme Court reinstated the trial court order, reasoning that reading the code as “directory,” so that noncompliance can be excused, does not impair the safeguards the law is intended to protect.View "In re Rita P." on Justia Law
BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP v. Mitchell
Mitchell executed a promissory note, secured by a mortgage on her Chicago home. Four years later, the lender filed a complaint to foreclose the mortgage. The special process server’s affidavit described substituted service: process was left at Mitchell’s residence with her daughter, Foreman, who lived at the residence. Mitchell did not answer. The lender mailed notice of intent to move for judgment of foreclosure and sale on June 9, 2010. On June 3, the lender moved for an order of default. On June 9, the court granted the motions. A notice of sale was mailed to Mitchell’s address and a judicial sale was held on September 13. On August 2, 2011, the lender sought an order of confirmation. Notice of the motion was mailed to Mitchell. The circuit court confirmed the sale on September 14. On October 12, Mitchell filed an appearance and a motion to vacate the order, asserting that “to the best of her knowledge” she was never served, had not received notice of the motion for default judgment, had been informed that a loan modification was approved, and did not receive notice of the September 14 order. She later withdrew her motion and moved to quash the order or, in the alternative, for relief from judgment under the Code of Civil Procedure, 735 ILCS 5/2-1401, and the Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law, 735 ILCS 5/15-15083. Mitchell asserted her only child is a son and she does not know anyone named Foreman. The circuit court denied the motion. The lender subsequently argued that Mitchell waived objections to jurisdiction by filing a post-judgment motion to vacate. The appellate court noted that failure to comply with statutory requirements results in waiver of “all objections to the court’s jurisdiction over the party’s person” and that Mitchell’s waiver “worked prospectively and retroactively.” The Illinois Supreme Court reversed, holding that waiver of personal jurisdiction is prospective only and does not serve to validate retroactively orders entered without personal jurisdiction. View "BAC Home Loans Servicing, LP v. Mitchell" on Justia Law
In re Marriage of Tiballi
The circuit court dissolved the Tiballi marriage in 2005, awarding joint legal custody of daughter Francesca, but placing residential custody with Sheila. In 2010, Robert sought to modify custody. The court appointed a psychologist to advise it pursuant to the Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, 750 ILCS 5/604(b), dismissed the petition, and ordered Robert to pay the fees of that psychologist. The appellate court affirmed, rejecting Robert’s argument that the psychologist’s fees were not “costs” under the Code of Civil Procedure, 735 ILCS 5/2-1009(a). The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. Requiring a party who has his custody petition dismissed without prejudice, for non-abusive reasons, to automatically bear the full cost of a section 604(b) evaluator is beyond the scope of the Code and the Marriage Act. The Marriage Act is the specific statute that controls the matter and evaluator fees are not “court costs” within the meaning of the Code or Civil Procedure. When the circuit court appointed the section 604(b) evaluator, it ordered the parties to share equally in his fees without prejudice to ultimate allocation. The court never made that ultimate allocation because of its mistaken belief that section 2-1009 mandated the fees be taxed entirely to Robert as costs.View "In re Marriage of Tiballi" on Justia Law
People v. Clark
Clark was indicted under 720 ILCS 5/14-2(a)(1)(A) for having used an eavesdropping device to record a conversation between himself and attorney Thomas without her consent and having used a device to record a conversation between himself, Judge Janes, and Thomas while Janes was acting in the performance of official duties, without the consent of either. Defendant stated that he was in court and attorney Thomas was representing the opposing party; there was no court reporter nor was there any recording device, so he made recordings to preserve the record. He claimed he had a first amendment right to gather information by recording officials performing their public duties. The circuit court dismissed, holding that the statute is unconstitutional on substantive due process and first amendment grounds. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed, reasoning that if another person overhears what we say, that person may write it down and publish it, but if that same person records our words with a recording device, even if it is not published in any way, a criminal act has been committed. The statute goes too far in its effort to protect individuals’ interest in the privacy of their communications and burdens substantially more speech than necessary to serve interests it may legitimately serve. It does not meet the requirements necessary to satisfy intermediate scrutiny.View "People v. Clark" on Justia Law