By John M. Fitzgerald (left), Partner, Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC
Garrett L. Boehm, Jr., Shareholder, Johnson & Bell, Ltd.
Effective November 1, 2016, the Illinois Supreme Court has made significant amendments to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 307, which governs interlocutory appeals from, among other things, orders granting or denying motions for injunctive relief. These amendments were successfully proposed by the ALA in the hope that they would promote fairness, efficiency and clarity in Rule 307 interlocutory appeals.
Rule 307 was amended in two primary ways.
First, the amendments provide that parties to Rule 307(a) appeals no longer need to file a full record on appeal. They may instead file a Rule 328 supporting record, which is compiled by the appellant (not the circuit court clerk) and supported by affidavit. The appellee may file a supplemental supporting record if he or she feels that the appellant’s supporting record was incomplete. The process of compiling a Rule 328 supporting record can be much quicker and easier than compiling a full record on appeal, and this more expeditious manner of presenting a pertinent record to the reviewing court can be essential in a Rule 307 interlocutory appeal, in which at least one party normally claims the existence of an emergency. (Pursuant to the amendment, full records on appeal are still required in cases arising under the Juvenile Court Act where an order terminating parental rights has been entered.)
Second, the amendments effectively overrule the Illinois Appellate Court’s opinion in Nizamuddin v. Community Education in Excellence, Inc., 2013 IL App (2d) 131230. Nizamuddin held that, in Rule 307(d) appeals — which are appeals from orders granting or denying motions for temporary restraining orders (TROs) — the notice of appeal must be filed in the appellate court (not the circuit court) even though “the rule does not state point-blank” that the notice must be filed in the appellate court. See Nizamuddin, 2013 IL App (2d) 131230, ¶ 6. The Supreme Court’s amendment now specifies that the notice of appeal in a Rule 307(d) interlocutory appeal — as in all other types of appeals — shall be filed “in the circuit court.”
Nizamuddin also held that parties may not file documents via mail or delivery to a third-party commercial carrier in Rule 307(d) appeals, notwithstanding that Rule 373 expressly authorizes that method of filing papers in a reviewing court and there is nothing in Rule 307 to the contrary. See Nizamuddin, 2013 IL App (2d) 131230, ¶¶ 7-11. The Supreme Court has amended Rule 307 to provide that Rule 373 may be utilized in Rule 307(d) appeals, provided that the relevant documents are sent by overnight delivery.
The ALA remains active in proposing amendments to the Illinois Supreme Court Rules that are intended to promote fairness, efficiency and clarity in the appellate process. The ALA appreciates the Illinois Supreme Court’s adoption of the amendments proposed by the ALA. Any ALA members who have ideas for amending the Illinois Supreme Court Rules are encouraged to contact the co-chairs of the ALA Rules Committee, John Fitzgerald and Garrett Boehm.