Part 2.00 Proceedings Before Trial

2-2.01 Appearances, Jury Demands and Certificates of Attorney


A. Attorneys appearing in any matter shall file an Appearance form in a separate document which includes in typewritten form or in legible printing the attorney’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail and State of Illinois attorney registration number. A self-represented litigant appearing in any matter shall file an Appearance form in a separate document, which includes in typewritten form or in legible printing, the self-represented litigant’s name, mailing address, and telephone number. Additionally, a self-represented litigant may designate a single e-mail address to which service may be directed. When an Appearance is filed by other than a sole practitioner, the name of an individual attorney responsible for trial of the cause shall be designated. 

B. A written Jury Demand filed by a party in any matter shall be contained in a separate document, and the Clerk of the Circuit Court shall not record any Jury Demand not so filed.

C. In any civil matter, including D and F cases, the Claimant/Plaintiff/Petitioner shall file the appropriate Certificate of Attorney identifying the type of case being filed with the initial pleading. Each division within the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit may develop its own Certificate of Attorney. Failure to file the Certificate of Attorney with the initial pleading will result in rejection of the filing by the Clerk.
 
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2-2.02 Pleadings to be Readily Comprehensible


A. Pages of all pleadings shall be numbered.  Paragraphs and factual allegations in pleadings shall be numbered and each paragraph shall contain only one factual allegation. 

B. If a pleading contains multiple counts or affirmative defenses, each count or defense shall bear a short title concisely stating the theory of liability or defense. If the pleading is filed on behalf of or against multiple parties and all such parties are not asserting the same claims or defenses as to all opposing parties, the title of each count or defense shall also concisely designate the subgroup of parties to whom it pertains. 

C. Incorporation of facts by reference is permitted pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 134, provided the pleading remains readily comprehensible. 

D. The Court may order a consolidation of pleadings into one finished comprehensible set.

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2-2.03 Reassignment of Cases


A. Any case being re-filed under a new number after a voluntary or involuntary dismissal, shall be assigned to the Judge who was assigned to the original dismissed case and placed in the same procedural posture as the original case. 

B. Upon the filing of any Declaratory Judgment action, the case shall be assigned to the Judge assigned to the underlying case.

C. The Clerk of the Circuit Court shall require a Certificate of Attorney to be filed with all pleadings initiating a civil case. Failure to file the Certificate of Attorney with the initial pleading will result in rejection of the filing by the Clerk.

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2-2.04 Written Interrogatories


A party may serve written Interrogatories pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 213. Except to the extent that a different limitation is imposed pursuant to Supreme Court Rule or the Code of Civil Procedure, no party may serve more than thirty Interrogatories, including subparts, during the pendency of the case.

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2-2.05 Discovery Documents


A. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, Depositions, Interrogatories, Requests, Answers or Responses, and other Discovery documents shall not be filed except as necessary to resolve disputed issues of procedure, fact, or substantive law or pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 201(o) or 207.

B. Discovery documents and Notice of Filing shall be served pursuant to Supreme Court Rules 11 and 12. The Proof of Service shall be prima facie evidence that such document was served. When a party issues a Subpoena for documents pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 204(a)(4), that party shall file Notice and Proof of Service upon all remaining parties certifying that copies of such documents were provided to those parties at their expense or that specified parties have declined copies.

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2-2.06 Days for Taking Depositions/Attendance


A. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties or ordered by the Court, Depositions shall not be taken on Saturdays, Sundays or Court holidays, shall be noticed to be taken no earlier than 8:30 a.m., and shall be concluded or recessed not later than 6:00 p.m.

B. In the absence of agreement of all parties attending a Deposition, or Order of Court, only the parties, including a representative of a corporation, partnership or like entity, the parent or next friend of a minor, attorneys of record and purely consulting experts may attend Discovery Depositions.

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2-2.07 Apportionment of Time, Deposition


Except by Court Order, the parties to a Deposition shall apportion the time among themselves prior to the start of any Deposition. Absent agreement, time shall be equally divided among the parties, excluding the party being deposed, without prejudice to brief clarification.

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2-2.08 Seasonably Updating Discovery 


Supreme Court Rules 213(i) and 214 require a party to seasonably supplement or amend prior Answers, Responses or disclosures whenever new or additional information becomes known to that party.

Pursuant to said Rules, every party shall have the duty to seasonably supplement through trial.

“Seasonably” shall be defined in the following terms:

A. When the trial is sixty days or more in the future, the party discovering the new information and/or documents that must be disclosed to the opposing party(ies), shall tender the information as soon as practicable, but in any event no later than fourteen days after discovering the information.

B. When the trial is less than sixty days in the future, the party discovering new information and/or documents that must be disclosed to the opposing party(ies), shall tender the information immediately and without delay.

C. When the information and/or documents are discovered during trial, the party(ies) shall  tender immediately and without delay.

Any party who fails to comply with this Rule is subject to sanctions under Supreme Court Rule 219.

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2-2.09 Compliance with Supreme Court Rule 222


A Plaintiff shall comply with the disclosure requirements of Supreme Court Rule 222 at the time the Complaint is filed, and each Defendant shall so comply within the time allotted by the Case Management Order.


Amended by the Circuit Judges of
the 19th Judicial Circuit on June
5th, 2017, effective immediately.

 
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2-2.10 Local Subpoena Rules, Pretrial Discovery


A. Upon request, the Clerk of the Circuit Court shall issue a Subpoena limited to the production of specified documents, objects or tangible things. A Subpoena, whether issued by the Clerk of Court or an attorney, shall direct the person or entity to whom the Subpoena is directed to produce the designated documents, objects or tangible things. Any item may be sought which constitutes or contains evidence relating to any of the matters within the scope of the examination permitted under the Supreme Court Rules. No oral examination of any person served or responding to a Subpoena issued pursuant to this Rule is permitted. 

B. Subpoenas issued pursuant to this Rule shall be served in accordance with the Supreme Court Rules. A copy of said Subpoena and Proof of Service shall be served within forty-eight hours of issuance upon all parties who have appeared in the action.

C. The recipient of a Subpoena who has actual or constructive possession or control of the specified documents, objects or tangible things sought by the Subpoena shall respond to any lawful Subpoena of which he has actual knowledge, if payment of the fee and mileage has been tendered. Service of a Subpoena by mail may be proved prima facie by return receipt showing delivery to the deponent or his authorized agent by certified or registered mail at least seven days before the date on which compliance is required, and an affidavit showing that the mailing was prepaid and was addressed to the deponent, restricted delivery, return receipt requested, showing to whom, date and address of delivery, with a check or money order for the fee and mileage enclosed.

The recipient of the Subpoena who has constructive or actual possession or control of the specified documents, objects or tangible things, may comply with said Subpoena, without personal appearance, by forwarding complete and legible copies, by first class, prepaid mail to the party or attorney causing the Subpoena to have been issued. The person or custodian of records of the entity responding to the Subpoena shall certify in writing that compliance is complete and accurate.

D. Any Subpoena issued under this provision seeking specified documents, objects or tangible things shall bear the following legend on the face of said Subpoena, or conspicuously attached thereto:

YOU MAY COMPLY WITH THIS SUBPOENA BY MAILING LEGIBLE AND COMPLETE COPIES OF ALL SPECIFIED DOCUMENTS, OBJECTS OR TANGIBLE THINGS REQUESTED IN THIS SUBPOENA TO THE PARTY OR LAW FIRM WHOSE ADDRESS APPEARS BELOW. COMPLIANCE BY MAIL REQUIRES A CERTIFICATION THAT THE DOCUMENTS, OBJECTS OR TANGIBLE THINGS MAILED ARE COMPLETE AND ACCURATE AND CONSTITUTE GOOD FAITH COMPLIANCE WITH THE MATERIALS REQUESTED BY SAID SUBPOENA.

DO NOT FORWARD MATERIALS BEFORE DATE STATED ON SUBPOENA.

E. No Subpoena issued under this provision may be returnable less than seven days following its date of service. Within said seven days, any party may timely object to the Subpoena and, for good cause shown by the objecting party, the Court may quash the Subpoena, or impose such conditions or limitations as the Court deems equitable.

F. The party causing the Subpoena to be issued shall be liable to the party subpoenaed for the reasonable costs of copying or reproduction. The Court may enter such Orders as may be necessary to enforce the payment of said copying costs, or apply any sanction authorized by Supreme Court Rule 219.

Any party may request copies of all materials obtained by any party pursuant to this Rule. Expenses of copying shall be borne by the party requesting copies, and said materials shall be reproduced and forwarded to the requesting party not less than ten business days following receipt of the subpoenaed materials.

G. If a party or person unreasonably refuses to comply with this Rule, or any Order entered under this Rule, the Court may find said person or party in contempt and punish said party or person accordingly, and may impose any sanction authorized by Supreme Court Rule 219.

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2-2.11 Progress Calls


The Chief Judge, by Administrative Order, may provide for regular progress calls of cases filed in the Civil and Family Divisions. In connection with such a progress call, the Judge shall request the Clerk to notify the attorneys of record or self-represented litigant who has filed an  Appearance that the case will be called on a date certain for the purpose of a Case Management Conference. A failure to appear at such progress call shall constitute grounds for dismissal except for good cause shown.

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2-2.12 Supreme Court Rule 218 Case Management Conference


Supreme Court Rule 218 Case Management Procedures are mandatory for Law and Family cases. In all other civil matters, Rule 218 conferences shall be governed by Local Court Rule, Administrative Order of the Chief Judge or, in their absence, by the discretion of the assigned Judge and shall be scheduled at the discretion of the Court.

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2-2.13 Dismissal for Want of Prosecution/Inactive Docket 

A. In all civil cases, except for cases governed by a separate Local Rule, where no appeal is pending and there has been no action of record for a period of one year, the Court may summarily dismiss the cause of action.

B. In all cases subject to mandatory arbitration pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 86 et.seq., where no appeal is pending and there has been no action of record for a period of forty-five days, the Court may summarily dismiss the cause of action. 

C. Whenever the Probate Court determines that there has been no action of record for a period not less than one year, or determines that a representative has failed to comply with the provisions of LCR 5-3.06, the Court may order transfer of the estate to an inactive docket or dismiss the case for want of prosecution. The case shall thereafter be designated closed by the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The estate may be reopened and removed from the inactive docket on the Motion and Order of the Court.

D. In all Small Claims cases where there has been no action of record for a period of forty-five days, the Court may summarily dismiss the cause of action.

E. Upon dismissal of any cause for want of prosecution, the Clerk of the Circuit Court shall give all self-represented litigants and all attorneys of record Notice of the dismissal by regular U.S. Mail within ten days of the dismissal. A copy of the Notice with the Clerk’s certificate of mailing shall be made of record.

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2-2.14 Procedures for Initial Case Management Conference in Law Cases (ad damnum over $50,000)


A. In all Law cases, at the time of filing of the initial Complaint, the Clerk shall stamp on all Complaints and Summons a time and date for an Initial Case Management Conference. Said date shall be approximately seventy-five days from the date of filing of the initial Complaint. In setting the Conference, the Clerk shall choose from those dates and times provided by the administrative office. The assigned date and time shall be incorporated into the following Notice:

NOTICE
PURSUANT TO LCR 2-2.14

THIS CASE IS HEREBY SET FOR AN INITIAL CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
IN COURTROOM _____ ON 
____________________, _____ AT _____ A.M./P.M.

FAILURE TO APPEAR MAY RESULT IN THE CASE BEING DISMISSED OR AN ORDER OF DEFAULT BEING ENTERED.


B. If the parties are “at issue” more than thirty-five days prior to the scheduled Conference, it shall be the obligation of the Plaintiff(s) to appear before the assigned Judge within ten days of being at issue for the purpose of setting the matter for an Initial Case Management Conference. Proper Notice shall be sent to all appearing parties. The parties shall be considered “at issue” when the last required Answer is filed.

C. In all Law cases, the party filing the initial pleading is required to maintain a lower or bottom margin of no less than two and one-quarter inches on the first page of the initial pleading, and all copies thereof, so as to allow sufficient space for the Clerk to affix the Case Management Conference Notice.

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2-2.15 Trial Calendar


A. Each division of court shall keep and maintain such calendars of cases for trial as shall be designated by Administrative Order.

B. Failure of a party to be ready when the case is reached for trial will subject the cause to dismissal for want of prosecution or other sanctions as set forth in the Supreme Court Rules. 

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2-2.16 Medical Experts


A. Charges for medical-legal services should be no higher than a physician’s charges for other medical services, and shall be computed having due regard for the time, effort and skill  required. 

B. A physician, who has not been paid for treatment rendered to a patient, should still cooperate fully with the patient’s attorney. The physician should neither refuse nor delay the submission of medical records or reports, participation in conferences with the attorneys, testimony at Depositions or trial, or any other actions necessary to the resolution of the patient’s legal claim. 

C. If any party files a Motion which raises the issue of reasonableness of a physician’s fee for testimony at a Deposition or at trial, the Court may issue an Order to be served upon the physician, requiring the physician to demonstrate by records or in person that the fee requested is reasonable.

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2-2.17 Procedures for Disposition of Pending Law Cases in Personal Injury Actions Involving Claims of Minor or Disabled Person, by Trial Court

A. The settlement without trial of a pending lawsuit for personal injuries sustained by a minor or disabled person shall be presented for approval to the Judge hearing the case. A Petition to settle an action on behalf of a minor or disabled person shall have attached thereto a report of the attending physician stating the nature and extent of the injury. Approval shall be subject to the provisions of LCR 5-3.23, except that the Judge hearing the case may waive the filing of a written Petition under LCR 5-3.23 for the approval of attorney’s fees in excess of twenty-five percent of the settlement. If the Judge hearing the case approves the settlement, the Order approving the settlement shall set forth the attorney’s compensation, the cost, the expenses, and the net amount distributable to the minor or disabled person.

B. For distribution to be made as a result of a lawsuit for personal injuries sustained by a minor or disabled person where a Judgment has been entered after trial, the Judge hearing the case shall enter an Order for distribution setting forth the amount of the Judgment, the attorney’s fees, the costs, the expenses, and the net amount distributable to the minor or disabled person. Distribution shall be subject to the provisions of LCR 5-3.23, except that the Judge hearing the case may waive the filing of a written Petition under LCR 5-3.23 for approval of attorney’s fees in excess of twenty-five percent of the award.

C. The Order setting forth the distribution shall provide that the amount distributable to the minor or disabled person shall be paid only to the representative of the minor or disabled person appointed by the Probate Court in the estate filed on behalf of the minor or disabled person and that vouchers evidencing receipt of the funds be filed with the Court within a time prescribed by the Court. In the event that an estate has not yet been opened, a Petition for Guardianship shall be filed with and heard by the Probate Court within thirty days of the Trial Judge’s Order. A copy of the Trial Judge’s Order shall be attached to the Petition for Guardianship.

D. If the Petition proposes a “structured settlement”, future payments must be guaranteed by an entity rated “A” or higher by Best’s Insurance Guide or other rating service found acceptable to the Court.

E. When any funds are to be received by a parent or legal representative on behalf of a minor child, such funds shall be required to be deposited in an account in a financial institution approved by the Court for the benefit of the minor, and shall not be withdrawn without approval by Court Order. The financial institution so approved by the Court shall be insured either by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (F.D.I.C.) or by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (F.S.L.I.C.).

F. The Court shall continue the case to a specific date for the purpose of having a voucher from the financial institution filed. The voucher from the depository shall acknowledge receipt of the funds and a copy of the Order of the Court approving settlement and shall include the express language that “No withdrawals shall be made from this account, unless authorized by Order of Court, at any time prior to [date upon which the minor will reach the age of majority]”.

G. A Petition for withdrawal from said account prior to the minor reaching the age of majority shall be in writing and shall state the amount in the account the time of presenting the Petition, the annual income available to the minor, the amount and purpose for the withdrawal, and the amount of the last authorization for withdrawal from the account for the same purpose.

H. If the amount distributable to the minor or disabled person is less than the amount provided in Section 25-2 of the Probate Act, the Judge hearing the case may, by order, provide for distribution in accordance with the provisions of Section 25-2 of the Probate Act.

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2-2.18 Procedures for Disposition of Pending Law Cases in Wrongful Death Actions, by Trial Court


The procedure to be followed in law cases involving actions for wrongful death brought on behalf of a decedent by the representative appointed in the decedent’s estate by the Probate Court, when pending in a Court other than the Probate Court shall be as follows:

A. The settlement of a pending lawsuit for wrongful death without trial shall be presented for approval to the Judge hearing the case. Unless waived by the Judge hearing the case, the provisions of LCR 5-3.23 shall apply. If the Judge hearing the case approves the settlement, the Order approving the settlement shall set forth the attorney’s compensation, the costs, the expenses, and the net amount distributable to the legal representative or to each person entitled thereto pursuant to the provisions of the Wrongful Death Act.

B. For distribution to be made under a pending lawsuit in a wrongful death case where a Judgment has been entered after trial, the Judge hearing the case shall enter an Order for distribution setting forth the amount of the Judgment, the attorney’s fees, the costs, the expenses, and the net amount distributable to the legal representative or to each person entitled thereto pursuant to the provisions of the Wrongful Death Act.

C. When the distributable amount received by a representative pursuant to the provisions of this Rule is an asset of the decedent’s estate and is further subject to the provisions, of the Probate Act, it shall be accounted for and administered in the decedent’s estate. It shall be the responsibility of the representative to furnish a bond in sufficient amount to cover any increase in the value of the personal estate occasioned by the distribution.

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2-2.19 Procedures for Settlement of Person Injury and Wrongful Death Claims in Probate Court


A. Each Petition for leave to settle a cause of action for personal injuries sustained by a minor or disabled person, or a cause of action for the wrongful death of a person whose estate is in the course of administration, when no separate lawsuit is pending, shall be executed by the representative. The attorney for the representative, if any, shall certify in writing as a part of the Petition that, in his opinion, based upon the law and the facts and law applicable thereto, the proposed settlement is just and proper. Courtesy copies of the Petition and attachments shall be provided to the Court at least five court days in advance of the hearing.

B. In the case of a minor, the minor shall appear in open court at the hearing on the Petition.

C. The Court may, on its own Motion, appoint a Guardian ad Litem to investigate the merits of the proposed settlement.

D. Any Order in the Probate Court approving a settlement of a wrongful death action shall also establish the distributive rights of the persons entitled to the proceeds.

E. A Petition to settle an action on behalf of a minor or disabled person shall have attached thereto a report of the attending physician stating the nature and extent of the injury.

F. If the Petition proposes a “structured settlement,” future payments must be guaranteed by an entity rated “A” or higher by Best’s Insurance Guide or other rating service found acceptable to the Court.

G. The Order entered approving settlement shall provide for the distribution of the settlement funds and the filing of vouchers, which evidence receipt of any portion of the fund, with the Court within a time prescribed by the Court.

H. When any settlement funds are to be received by a parent or legal representative on behalf of a minor child, such funds shall be required to be deposited in an account in a financial institution approved by the Court for the benefit of the minor, and shall not be withdrawn without approval by Court Order. The financial institution shall be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (F.D.I.C.) or by such other entity as may be approved by the Court.

The Court shall continue the case to a specific date for the purpose of having a voucher from the financial institution filed. The voucher from the depository shall acknowledge receipt of the funds and a copy of the Order of the Court approving settlement and shall include the express language that “No withdrawals shall be made from this account, unless authorized by Order of Court, at any time prior to [date upon which the minor will reach the age of majority].”

I. A Petition for withdrawal from said account prior to the minor reaching the age of majority shall be in writing and shall state the amount in the account at the time of presenting the Petition, the annual income available to the minor, the amount and purpose for the withdrawal, and the amount of the last authorization for withdrawal from the account for the same purpose. 
 
J. Unless a statute provides for a lesser fee amount, any allowance for fees out of a settlement of a cause of action for personal injuries to a minor or disabled person or out of a distribution to a ward as a result of the settlement of a wrongful death cause of action shall not exceed twenty-five percent of the settlement. However, if it shall appear to the Court upon the filing of a Verified Petition by the attorney prosecuting the cause of action that the twenty-five percent fee would not fairly compensate the attorney for the work performed, the Court shall fix the fee at whatever amount it determines to be fair and reasonable.

2-2.20 Certificates of Attorney- Motions to Vacate or Modify

The Clerk of the Circuit Court shall require a Certificate of Attorney to be filed with any Motion to Vacate or Motion to Modify a Judgment Order. Such certificate shall require the party filing the motion to indicate whether the order sought to be vacated or modified is final and appealable, non-final and non-appealable, or is to vacate a dismissal for want of prosecution. Failure to file the Certificate of Attorney with the Motion to Vacate or Motion to Modify will result in rejection of the filing by the Clerk.

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