Illinois Appellate Court Discusses Appropriateness of Dismissing Case After Plaintiff Misses Important Filing Deadline

Motorcycle on RoadWhen you are injured in a serious accident, there are certain things that you must consider, including getting prompt medical attention and dealing with the inconvenience and stress that the accident causes in your life. Having a seasoned Chicago motorcycle accident attorney on your side can help you understand your legal rights and navigate the legal system efficiently and correctly. As a recent appellate opinion illustrates, failing to abide by certain rules can have devastating consequences for your right to recovery.

The plaintiff filed a complaint against the County of Winnebago, stating that he was injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of a defective roadway. The defendant moved for summary judgment, and the court entered a judgment in favor of the defendant based on this motion. The plaintiff decided to file a motion to reconsider, which would have been due on January 3, 2017, pursuant to court rules and the order entering judgment in the defendant’s favor.

The plaintiff filed a motion to reconsider that had a date stamp of January 4, 2017. The next day, the plaintiff filed a motion seeking for leave to file his motion to reconsider nunc pro tunc, which means in an effort to correct a prior action and to have the newly filed motion deemed timely. In support of this request, the plaintiff alleged that he suffered from an illness and that because of deadlines in other cases that his attorney was handling, he was unable to file by the deadline. He also cited technical difficulties with the website used to file documents. The plaintiff cited a provision in the Illinois Supreme Court Rules regarding system and user errors and attached an affidavit from the attorney’s paralegal describing her attempt to file the document two minutes before midnight on the date it was due.

The defendant opposed the plaintiff’s motion, stating that it was untimely and that an exception should not be made. The defendant stated specifically that the Illinois Supreme Court Rule referred to problems with the website instead of issues that a user had with filing a document. The lower court ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant, finding that the paralegal simply did not understand what she was supposed to do on the website and that a technical error was not involved. The plaintiff appealed.¬†The appellate court decided the issue on other jurisdictional matters¬†but noted that the plaintiff had ample time to file the motion to reconsider and that there were other avenues of recourse that the plaintiff could have explored upon the expiration of the deadline to file the motion to reconsider.

If you or a loved one were injured in a motorcycle accident, the time for you to file a claim seeking compensation from the party who caused your injuries may be running out. At Therman Law Offices, we are well-versed in Illinois court system rules and can help you ensure that your rights are protected and asserted to the fullest extent possible throughout the proceedings. We offer a free consultation to help you learn more about your situation and options, so call us at 773-545-8849 or contact us online.

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