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Response to Request for Production in Illinois Circuit Court–At A Glance

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Use this “At A Glance Guide” to learn the statewide rules of civil procedure (Illinois Compiled Statutes and Illinois Supreme Court Rules) applicable to responses to requests for production in Illinois Circuit Court.  For more detailed information, including local rules, on responses to requests for production in a specific Illinois Circuit Court, please see the SmartRules Illinois Circuit Court Request for Production Guide for the court where your action is pending.

Timing:

A request for production must allow a reasonable time for response which may not be less than twenty-eight (28) days absent an order of the court or agreement of the parties. IL Supreme Court R. 214.

Except with leave of court and for good cause shown, no discovery procedure “shall be noticed or otherwise initiated” prior to the time that all defendants have appeared or are required to appear in the action. IL Supreme Court R. 201(d).

Unless the court orders otherwise for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice, a party may use methods of discovery in any sequence. IL Supreme Court R. 201(e).

Unless the court orders otherwise for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice, the fact that a party is conducting discovery “shall not operate to delay any other party’s discovery.” IL Supreme Court R. 201(e).

Response to Request for Production Rules:

A party served with a written request to produce or inspect must (1) produce the requested documents as they are kept in the usual course of business or organized and labeled to correspond with the categories in the request, and all retrievable information in computer storage in printed form or (2) serve upon the party so requesting written objections on the ground that the request is improper in whole or in part. IL Supreme Court R. 214.

Where there is no objection to compliance the party served with a request for production must produce the requested items. Documents must be produced as they are kept in the ordinary course of business, or organized and labeled to correspond to the request. All information in computer storage must be produced in printed form. IL Supreme Court R. 214.

A party objecting to requests for production must serve written objections. An objection may be in whole or in part. If the objection is based on a claim that the requested items are not in the responding party’s possession or control, and if the requesting party seeks a hearing on the objections, the responding party may be required to submit to court examination or deposition about the whereabouts of the materials. IL Supreme Court R. 214.

Full disclosure in discovery is required as to any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action, whether it involves a claim or defense of the party requesting the disclosure or of any other party. Full disclosure includes the “existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any documents or tangible things,” as well as “the identity of any persons having knowledge of relevant facts.” IL Supreme Court R. 201(b)(1).

The word “documents” includes, but is not limited to, papers, photographs, films, recordings, memoranda, books, records, accounts, communications and retrievable information in computer storage. IL Supreme Court R. 201(b)(1).

A party responding to requests for production must “furnish” an affidavit stating whether the production is complete in accordance with the request. Where the request is objected to in part, the remainder of the request must be complied with. IL Supreme Court R. 214.

When a party responding to discovery withholds information or documents from disclosure under a claim of privilege such claim must be expressly made and supported by a description of the nature of the documents, communications or things withheld and the exact privilege claimed. IL Supreme Court R. 201(n).

Discovery materials may not be filed except upon leave of court or as authorized by statute or local rule. IL Supreme Court R. 201(m).

Notwithstanding the above, discovery requests to non-parties must be filed with the court. IL Supreme Court R. 201(o).

Objections to a request for production must be served on the party making the request. IL Supreme Court R. 214.

Request for Production in Illinois Circuit Court–At A Glance

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Use this “At A Glance Guide” to learn the statewide rules of civil procedure (Illinois Compiled Statutes and Illinois Supreme Court Rules) applicable to requests for production in Illinois Circuit Court.  For more detailed information, including local rules, on requests for production in a specific Illinois Circuit Court, please see the SmartRules Illinois Circuit Court Request for Production Guide for the court where your action is pending.

Timing:

A request for production must allow a reasonable time for response which may not be less than twenty-eight (28) days absent an order of the court or agreement of the parties. IL Supreme Court R. 214.

Except with leave of court and for good cause shown, no discovery procedure “shall be noticed or otherwise initiated” prior to the time that all defendants have appeared or are required to appear in the action. IL Supreme Court R. 201(d).

Unless the court orders otherwise for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice, a party may use methods of discovery in any sequence. IL Supreme Court R. 201(e).

Unless the court orders otherwise for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice, the fact that a party is conducting discovery “shall not operate to delay any other party’s discovery.” IL Supreme Court R. 201(e).

Request for Production Rules:

Any party may, by written request to any other party:

1. Direct the production, copying reproduction, photographing, testing or sampling of specified documents, objects or tangible things whenever relevant to the subject matter of the action. IL Supreme Court R. 214.

2. Gain access to real estate for the purpose of inspections, surveys, or the taking of samples or photographs whenever relevant to the subject matter of the action. IL Supreme Court R. 214.

3. Seek information calculated to lead to the discovery of any of the items listed above whenever relevant to the subject matter of the action. IL Supreme Court R. 214.

The request must state the place and manner of performing the acts compelled by the request. IL Supreme Court R. 214

Discovery materials may not be filed except upon leave of court or as authorized by statute or local rule. IL Supreme Court R. 201(m).

Notwithstanding the above, discovery requests to non-parties must be filed with the court. IL Supreme Court R. 201(o).

A copy of the request for production should be served on all other parties entitled to notice. IL Supreme Court R. 214.

Jury Demand in Illinois Circuit Court–At A Glance

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 Use this “At A Glance Guide” to learn the statewide rules of civil procedure (Illinois Compiled Statutes and Illinois Supreme Court Rules) applicable to making a jury demand in Illinois Circuit Court. For more detailed information, including local rules, please see the Illinois Circuit Court SmartRules Guides: Jury Demand.

Timing:

A plaintiff who wishes to have his or her case tried by jury must file a demand for jury trial at the time of commencement of the action. This provision applies equally to counterclaimants and third party plaintiffs presenting claims that are triable by jury. If the complaining party does not demand trial by jury, a defendant desiring trial by jury must file a demand not later than the filing of his or her answer. A party who does not demand trial by jury at the time of filing his or her pleading waives the right to a jury trial. 735 ILCS 5/2-1105(a).

A jury demand may be accepted after all pleadings have been filed in the following circumstances:

If an action is filed seeking equitable relief and the court later determines that one or more of the parties is entitled to trial by jury, the plaintiff, within three (3) days of the entry of the court’s order, or any defendant within six (6) days, may file a demand for trial by jury with the clerk of the court. 735 ILCS 5/2-1105(a).

If a plaintiff who had demanded a trial by jury subsequently waives the right, the defendant may demand a jury trial by “promptly” upon notification of the waiver, filing a demand with the clerk and paying the proper fees, if any. This option is also available to co-defendants in the event that a defendant who had demanded a jury trial subsequently waives the right to trial by jury. 735 ILCS 5/2-1105(a).

Jury Demand Rules:

There is no explicit Illinois statutory requirement of a written jury demand, but there is caselaw authority holding that the statute implies the need for a written demand for trial by jury.

The right to trial by jury on a federal claim presented in the Illinois state court system is generally determined based on federal requirements.

Illinois statutes provide that for cases where the claim for damages is $50,000 or less, a jury of six (6) will be employed unless either party demands a jury of twelve (12), and that in all cases the fee for trial by a jury of six (6) shall be half the fee provided for trial by a jury of twelve (12). 735 ILCS 5/2-1105(b).

The authorities cited in this At A Glance Guide are current as of the publication date. For authorities updated in real time, please see the SmartRules Guide for the litigation document you are drafting.

Motion for Discovery Sanctions, Illinois Circuit Court–At A Glance

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Use this “At A Glance Guide” to learn the statewide rules of civil procedure (Illinois Compiled Statutes and Illinois Supreme Court Rules) applicable to bringing a motion for discovery sanctions in Illinois Circuit Court. For more detailed information, including local rules, please see the Illinois Circuit Court SmartRules Guides: Motion for Discovery Sanctions, Opposition to Motion for Discovery Sanctions and Reply in Support of Motion for Discovery Sanctions.

Motion for Discovery Sanctions Rules

The parties must make reasonable efforts to facilitate the discovery process and to resolve differences without the assistance of the Court.

Every motion “with respect to discovery” must incorporate a statement by counsel responsible for trial of the case that:

(1) despite personal consultation with opposing counsel and reasonable efforts to resolve the dispute, counsel have been unable to reach accord, or

(2) opposing counsel has made him or herself unavailable or has acted unreasonably.

IL Supreme Court R. 201(k).

 Illinois Supreme Court Rule 219 provides extensive requirements for the imposition of sanctions for discovery misconduct. IL Supreme Court R. 219.

If the court finds that the refusal or failure (to respond or otherwise comply with discovery requests) was without substantial justification, the court shall require the offending party or deponent, or the party whose attorney advised the conduct complained of, or either of them, to pay to the aggrieved party the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining the order, including reasonable attorney’s fees. If the motion is denied and the court finds that the motion was made without substantial justification, the court shall require the moving party to pay to the refusing party the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred in opposing the motion, including reasonable attorney’s fees. IL Supreme Court R. 219(a). 

If the party presenting requests for admission ultimately proves the genuineness of a fact which was sworn to as denied by the opposing party in his or her response to requests for admission, the requesting party may seek an order requiring the other party to pay “the reasonable expenses incurred in making the proof, including reasonable attorney’s fees.” The court shall issue the order unless the court finds that “there were good reasons for the denial or that the admissions sought were of no substantial importance.” IL Supreme Court R. 219(b).

If any party fails to comply with discovery rules, the court may, in addition to taking other appropriate action, impose on (1) the offending party, (2) that party’s attorney, or (3) both, appropriate sanctions, which may include an order to pay the opposing party reasonable expenses and attorneys fees arising out of the misconduct. If the misconduct was willful, a monetary penalty may also be imposed. IL Supreme Court R. 219(c).

In addition to other remedies, if the court determines that a party has failed to comply with any applicable order or rule the court may order:

(i) that further proceedings be stayed until the order or rule is complied with; IL Supreme Court R. 219(c)(i).

(ii) that the offending party be debarred from filing any other pleading relating to any issue to which the refusal or failure relates; IL Supreme Court R. 219(c)(ii).

(iii) that the offending party be debarred from maintaining any particular claim, counterclaim, third-party complaint, or defense relating to that issue; IL Supreme Court R. 219(c)(iii).

(iv) that a witness be barred from testifying concerning that issue; IL Supreme Court R. 219(c)(iv).

(v) that, as to claims or defenses asserted in any pleading to which that issue is material, a judgment by default be entered against the offending party or that the offending party’s action be dismissed without prejudice; IL Supreme Court R. 219(c)(v).

(vi) that any portion of the offending party’s pleadings relating to that issue be stricken and, if thereby made appropriate, judgment be entered as to that issue; IL Supreme Court R. 219(c)(vi). or

(vii) that in cases where a money judgment is entered against a party subject to sanctions under this paragraph, order the offending party to pay interest at the rate provided by law for judgments for any period of pretrial delay attributable to the offending party’s conduct. IL Supreme Court R. 219(c)(vii).

Notwithstanding the entry of judgment or a dismissal of the action, the court retains jurisdiction, either on motion or its own discretion, to enforce orders imposing monetary sanctions, including those on motions which were pending at the time of the judgment or dismissal. IL Supreme Court R. 219(c).

The court may order that information obtained through abuse of discovery procedures be suppressed. If a party wilfully obtains or attempts to obtain information by an improper discovery method, wilfully obtains or attempts to obtain information to which that party is not entitled, or otherwise abuses these discovery rules, the court may enter any order provided for in paragraph (c) of this rule. IL Supreme Court R. 219(d).

Simplified discovery proceedings, including Mandatory arbitration proceedings and actions involving less than $50,000 in damages, are still subject to the discovery sanctions provisions of Rule 219(c). IL Supreme Court R. 222(i).

Proceedings by and against respondents in discovery are subject to the discovery sanctions provisions of Rule 219(c). IL Supreme Court R. 224(b).

If a party serves notice of a deposition and then fails to attend or proceed with the deposition, any party who attended the deposition pursuant to the notice may move the court for an order requiring the opposing party to pay the reasonable costs incurred in attendance, including reasonable attorney’s fees. IL Supreme Court R. 209(a).

If a party serves notice that a deposition will be taken and then fails to compel the appearance of the deponent by notice or subpoena, as appropriate, any party who attended the deposition pursuant to the notice may move the court for an order requiring the opposing party to pay the reasonable costs incurred in attendance, including reasonable attorney’s fees. IL Supreme Court R. 209(b).

The authorities cited in this At A Glance Guide are current as of the publication date. For authorities updated in real time, please see the SmartRules Guide for the litigation document you are drafting.

Motion for Sanctions (Non-Discovery) in Illinois Circuit Court–At A Glance

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Use this “At A Glance Guide” to learn the statewide rules of civil procedure (Illinois Compiled Statutes and Illinois Supreme Court Rules) applicable to bringing a motion for sanctions (non-discovery) in Illinois Circuit Court.  For a more detailed treatment, including local rules, please see the Illinois Circuit Court SmartRules Guides:  Motion for Sanctions (Non-Discovery), Opposition to Motion for Sanctions (Non-Discovery), and Reply in Support of Motion for Sanctions (Non-Discovery).

Deadline:

Motions for sanctions filed under Supreme Court Rule 137 (governing the signature requirement and bad faith or frivolous papers) must be filed within thirty (30) days of the entry of final judgment in the case, or, in the event of a post-judgment motion, within thirty (30) days of the ruling.  IL Supreme Court R. 137.

Certification Required:

Every pleading, motion, or other paper must be signed by at least one attorney of record, and the signing attorney’s individual name and address must be stated in the papers. An unrepresented party must sign his or her own papers.  By signing a paper, the signer certifies:

1. That he or she has read the paper;

2. That, to the best of his or her knowledge and belief, the paper is well grounded in fact and warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law; and

3. That the paper is not interposed for any improper purpose, such as harassment, delay, or needless increase in litigation costs.

The Court may impose sanctions against anyone who signs a document in violation of any of these requirements. Unsigned papers will be stricken, unless the pleading party signs the pleading promptly after the omission is brought to his or her attention. IL Supreme Court R. 137.

Other Motion for Sanctions Rules:

If any party in a summary judgment proceeding files an affidavit in bad faith or solely for purposes of delay, the court shall order the party presenting the affidavit to pay to the other party reasonable expenses incurred as a result of the filing, including attorney’s fees. Any party or attorney found to have filed an affidavit in bad faith may also be held guilty of contempt. 735 ILCS 5/2-1005(f).

Sanctions under Rule 219(c) may be imposed for misconduct in arbitration proceedings. IL Supreme Court R. 91(b).

When sanctions are imposed, the judge shall set forth with specificity the reasons and basis of any sanction imposed either in the judgment itself or in a separate written order. IL Supreme Court R. 137. IL Supreme Court R. 219(c).

The authorities cited in this At A Glance Guide are current as of the publication date. For authorities updated in real time, please see the SmartRules Guide for the litigation document you are drafting.

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