Illinois Supreme Court News

Divided IL Supreme Court: Unconstitutional convictions can't be used to end parental rights

By DM Herra | Aug 14, 2018

A deeply divided Illinois Supreme Court upheld an appellate court decision in favor of a convicted felon fighting the state’s use of his criminal history to terminate his parental rights. In a strongly worded dissension, three of the seven justices warned of judicial overreach and the unintended consequences of new precedent.

New IL Supreme Court credit card collection pleading rules have 'potential' to lengthen process

By Mary Ann Magnell | Aug 10, 2018

The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted new pleading requirements for credit card and debt collection cases, which will result in additional protection for debtors, but also has the potential to lengthen the process, according to one Chicago attorney.

IL high court: Cities can't sidestep lawsuits by simply calling property repairs 'discretionary'

By Dan Churney | Aug 6, 2018

The Illinois Supreme Court has reduced the reach of the legal shield long enjoyed under Illinois state law by cities and other public bodies when faced with personal injury lawsuits, as the high court indicated the rationale advanced by lower court judges in rejecting a woman’s lawsuit over the injuries she sustained tripping on a Danville sidewalk was overbroad.

Harvey, pension funds reach deal on dividing up embargoed state money, end court fight over pension funding

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jul 27, 2018

In a deal that could set a precedent for other financially struggling municipalities to follow, the city of Harvey has reached a deal with its police and firefighter pension funds to end a court fight over how much of the money Harvey gets from the state of Illinois the city should be allowed to spend on current day-to-day operations, rather than police and fire department retirees’ pensions.

Mandatory e-filing in place in all but three counties in Illinois, Cook live this month

By John Breslin | Jul 18, 2018

Mandatory court e-filing for all civil cases is operational in all but three Illinois counties, according to a representative of the company charged with introducing the system.

IL Supreme Court decides to take up Six Flags fingerprint privacy case; spurs fresh rise in BIPA lawsuits

By Cook County Record | Jun 29, 2018

The Illinois Supreme Court has decided to hear arguments over the question of whether the rights of a mother and her teen son were violated under an Illinois privacy law when theme park operator Six Flags required the young man to scan his fingerprints to use his park season pass. And the court's decision to take up the case appears to have helped spur a renewed spurt of lawsuits brought under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

Judicial regulators move to remove Cook judge convicted of fraud, block $192K salary

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jun 19, 2018

About a month after a Cook County judge convicted by a jury of bank fraud filed papers to seek reelection, state judicial disciplinary officials have launched the process to remove her from the bench and prevent her from continuing to collect her more than $190,000 a year salary.

Justice P. Scott Neville takes oath of office, seat on state Supreme Court

By Cook County Record | Jun 15, 2018

P. Scott Neville has taken his seat on the state’s high court, replacing Justice Charles Freeman, the state’s first African American Supreme Court justice, who has retired.

IL Supreme Court takes up Six Flags fingerprint scanning case, to answer question: Who can sue under BIPA?

By Kory Oswald | Jun 14, 2018

With class action lawsuits piling up against employers and other businesses, the Illinois Supreme Court will soon step in to perhaps answer the question of who may sue under a state privacy law when an employer or merchant scans their fingerprints or other biometric identifiers to verify their identity for theme park admission, participation in various programs or to track hours worked, among other purposes.

IL Supreme Court: Clerks can't slap on extra fines, but defendants can't appeal, must sue instead

By DM Herra | Jun 11, 2018

The justices of the Illinois Supreme Court agreed court clerks lack the legal authority to tack on supposedly mandatory fines to judgments entered against defendants, when no judge ever ordered the defendants to pay the fines. However, the court divided sharply over what recourse defendants can use to stop clerks from collecting the fines, nonetheless.

Nickel & Dime: eBay, online retailers warn SCOTUS could unleash lawsuit torrent vs sellers over taxes

By Dan Churney | Jun 7, 2018

Nickel & Dime: eBay, online retailers warn SCOTUS ruling could unleash torrent of lawsuits accusing sellers over taxes

Cook judge convicted of bank fraud, Wheaton lawyer sentenced for child sex assault among 17 lawyers disciplined by state

By Cook County Record | Jun 1, 2018

The Illinois Supreme Court has disbarred two lawyers, and suspended 13 others, including a Cook County judge convicted of bank fraud and another attorney who pleaded guilty to child sex assault, in its latest round of attorney disciplinary actions, announced in late May.

IL Supreme Court: Government can't use change in law to deny info requests filed before law changed

By Dan Churney | May 29, 2018

The Illinois Supreme Court has overruled lower court judges who had decided an Illinois state agency could wait until after a law is changed to use the change in the law to deny a public information request submitted before the law changed.

Illinois Supreme Court: Man's procedural misstep dooms challenge to 'unconstitutional' IL estate tax

By Jonathan Bilyk | May 24, 2018

A man who claimed the state wrongly used a new state law to collect more than $400,000 in taxes on the estate of his mother, who died four days before the tax law took effect, can’t pursue his claims against the state, because he filed in the wrong court, the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled.

Charles Freeman, first African-American IL Sup Ct justice, retires; Appellate justice Neville appointed to replace

By Jonathan Bilyk | May 17, 2018

After nearly three decades on Illinois’ high court, Justice Charles Freeman, the first black justice to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court and a former chief justice of the court, has retired. Illinois First District Appellate Court P. Scott Neville has been appointed to serve the remainder of Freeman's term through 2020.

Facebook: Cook County data mining lawsuit designed to benefit only county government, its hired lawyers

By Jonathan Bilyk | May 10, 2018

Saying only the county and its hired trial lawyers would stand to benefit from any settlement or judgment, Facebook has pushed back against the Cook County State’s Attorney’s attempt to send back to more friendly legal turf the pending legal fight over how much blame Facebook should shoulder for data mining conducted by another firm, ostensibly to benefit the 2016 election campaign of President Donald Trump.

IL Supreme Court suspends law license of Cook County judge convicted of bank fraud

By Jonathan Bilyk | Apr 27, 2018

The Illinois Supreme Court has taken the next step in potentially removing from the bench a Cook County judge convicted of bank fraud, suspending the law license of Jessica Arong O'Brien.

IL Supreme Court strikes appellate order requiring comptroller to release hold on city of Harvey's funds

By Jonathan Bilyk | Apr 26, 2018

The financially-troubled city of Harvey again has been denied access to more than $1 million in its share of state money it says it needs to pay its current police officers, firefighters and other city employees, but which the board overseeing its retired police officers’ pension fund says state law requires the state to pay to them.

News service: Cook courts clerk's reliance on rules to delay access to lawsuits invented from 'whole cloth'

By Jonathan Bilyk | Apr 13, 2018

Saying Cook County’s courts clerk shouldn’t be allowed to use court administrative rules to sidestep the public's constitutional rights, the news organization accusing the clerk of delaying access by days to new lawsuits has asked a federal appeals court to reject the clerk’s assertions she has no obligation under the Constitution to provide swift public access to newly filed court documents.

Judge again sinks Brunswick's bid to undo $25M deal with lawyer who used jury note to avoid loss at trial

By Jonathan Bilyk | Apr 11, 2018

A Chicago federal judge has again turned aside an attempt by boatmaker Brunswick to undo a $25 million personal injury settlement the company says was obtained through fraud, as a federal judge said the company has failed again to lay claim to a protected interest violated by a rival lawyer’s decision to allegedly withhold information about a jury note moments before a verdict would have delivered a win to Brunswick.

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