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Illinois supreme court swats at a moving target, hits the appellate court instead

January 5, 2013 by in General

In a decision authored by Chief Justice Kilbride, the Illinois Supreme Court seemed a bit perturbed by what it called “the appellate court’s failure to follow proper procedure when filing modified opinions.” The particulars are laid out in the decision, but essentially what happened is that a panel of the First District Appellate Court withdrew a Rule 23 order and issued a published opinion after the Supreme Court had already granted leave to appeal from the Rule 23 order. To make matters worse, the First District did not bother to inform the Supreme Court that it was withdrawing the Rule 23 order or that it was issuing a new opinion.

The Supreme Court reminded us all that once a petition for leave to appeal has been filed, the appellate court loses jurisdiction over the cause of action and may not withdraw or substantively modify its filed opinion. The court went on to “firmly remind” the appellate court that “lax filing practices lead to wasted judicial resources.”

Thus, the published opinion was void for lack of jurisdiction. The Supreme Court then addressed the merits of the appeal from the Rule 23 order.

Cooney v. Rossiter, 2012 IL 113227.

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