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Ill. Supreme Court committee discusses eviction rules, says the process will now be ‘fair, efficient and transparent’

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Springfield, IL - The Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee discussed a change to eviction rules during a virtual public hearing Wednesday. This comes as Gov. JB Pritzker's moratorium on evictions will end in late July. With an anticipated spike of eviction notices coming in August, the committee wants to make the process fair for both parties before eviction cases move to court.

The new Supreme Court rule would require eviction complaints to include copies of written eviction notices along with relevant portions of the lease broken by tenants. Advocates argued landlords should provide proper notice and a reasonable time period to resolve violations before moving forward with evictions. The judge leading the effort for change says it will make the eviction process fair, efficient and transparent.

"Everyone would know what is expected of them, what's required. This is the basis for the action," said 19th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Jorge Ortiz. "Here are the documents, here is the evidence. This would reduce the number of continuances. This would reduce the number of dismissals, I think, also."

Beneficial for all parties

The committee explained this move could benefit tenants, landlords and circuit courts moving forward. They also hope this will help individuals who may not be able to hire an attorney for eviction cases. Members highlighted situations where some landlords file "baseless" eviction notices, leaving tenants with an unfair option to defend themselves.

"Many tenants report to us that they never got any notice, but the landlord is always going to have something to hand out as part of their case in chief. They often do so very quickly, never showing it to the tenant - their opponent," said Pat Wrona, CARPLS Legal Director. "The tenant may not know to ask to review the exhibit before it's received by the court."

Wrona says landlords should reasonably allow tenants and attorneys to review those documents. She describes the current eviction process as "trial by surprise," as it's difficult for tenants to create defense arguments without proper notice.

Mike Miletich

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