Last month, the Illinois Supreme Court amended various rules governing appellate practice. Specifically, on March 8, 2016, the court amended Rules 304(b)(6) (Judgments and Orders Appealable without a Special Finding), 306(a)(5) (Interlocutory Appeals by Permission), 306(b) (Procedure for Interlocutory Appeals by Permission), 310.1 (Appellate Settlement Conference Program), 311 (Accelerated Docket), and 312 (Docketing Statement). These amendments became effective immediately. As noted in the respective committee comments, the amendments reflect the recent changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, Pub. Act 99-90 (eff. Jan. 1, 2016) (amending 750 ILCS 5/101 et seq.), which changed the terms “Custody,” “Visitation” (as to parents) and “Removal” to “Allocation of Parental Responsibilities,” “Parenting Time” and “Relocation.”
Also on March 8, 2016, and effective immediately, the Supreme Court amended Rule 367(c), governing petitions for rehearing. The rule mandates that petitions for rehearing in the Supreme Court shall be mailed to the Report of Decisions at 207 W. Jefferson, Suite 305, Bloomington, Illinois 61701.
Finally, the Supreme Court amended Rule 604(d), which pertains to appeals by defendants from a judgment entered upon a guilty plea. The amendment removed the words "If a motion to withdraw the plea of guilty is to be filed[.]"
That portion of the rule now provides: "The defendant's attorney shall file with the trial court a certificate stating that the attorney has consulted with the defendant either by phone, mail, electronic means or in person to ascertain defendant's contentions of error in the sentence and the entry of the plea of guilty, has examined the trial court file and both the report of proceedings of the plea of guilty and the report of proceedings in the sentencing hearing, and has made any amendments to the motion necessary for adequate presentation of any defects in those proceedings."
On March 15, 2016, the Supreme Court amended Rule 315 effective immediately. Subsection (d) and (f), respectively, each now allow for a 7,000 word limitation on petitions for leave to appeal and answers. Subsection (i) accounted for the amendments to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act noted above.
The amendments can be found here (March 8 order) and here (March 15 order).