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Appellate Court Confirms Right of Tenant to Attorney Fees in RLTO Counterclaim

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in appellate court, appellate court decision, attorney fees, Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, counterclaim, court decision, eviction law, eviction law attorney, RLTO

An August, 2015 Illinois Appellate Court decision has confirmed that a Chicago tenant who successfully prosecutes a counterclaim in an eviction action for damages under Chicago’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) is entitled to an award for the tenant’s attorney fees. The First District Appellate court in Shadid v Sims rejected the landlord’s argument that RLTO only provides for an award of attorney fees where a tenant prevails in a separate action initiated by the plaintiff.

In the Shadid case, the plaintiff landlord had filed what the court characterized as a “garden-variety eviction lawsuit” for non-payment of rent. The tenants counterclaimed alleging various violations of RLTO. After a bench trial, the lower court ruled that the tenant had met their burden of proving a RLTO violation and that they were entitled to a full offset of the rent then owed. The Court then granted the tenants the right to file a Petition for Attorney Fees, which they did, seeking $9,878. The landlord argued that the tenants were not entitled to attorney fees because they were not the plaintiffs; rather they were defendants and counter plaintiffs. The trial court agreed and dismissed the Petition for Attorney Fees. The appellate court reversed the trial court decision and remanded the case to the trial court with instructions to grant the Petition and award the tenants reasonable attorney fees under RLTO.

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord eviction law attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about how to properly serve eviction notices or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants.

Cook County Sheriff Expected to Announce Eviction Moratorium During 2015 Christmas Holiday Period

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in Cook County Sheriff's eviction backlog, eviction law, eviction law attorney, holiday moratorium

As has been done in prior years, it is expected that the Cook County Sheriff will soon announce a moratorium on evictions during the last couple of weeks in December. In fact, the Sheriff’s Office is presently stepping up the pace of the evictions it is completing, with the moratorium in mind.

Landlords should note that the present eviction backlog is approximately five weeks. This backlog is likely to increase substantially as a result of the holiday moratorium as well as the Sheriff’s refusal to conduct evictions on unusually cold or snowy days.

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord eviction law attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about how to properly serve eviction notices or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants.

The Special Nature of Illinois Eviction Proceedings

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in anti-trust laws, Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance, eviction law attorney, evictions, Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, Illinois legislature, rental income

Illinois evictions are governed by the Forcible Entry and Detainer Act (the “Act”).  That Act is designed to deal with the termination of the relationship of landlord and tenant and must balance the rights of both landlords, who generally are relying upon the rental income of their properties to pay their mortgages, and tenants, who are using the landlord’s property for their home or business.

 

In balancing the interests of landlords and tenants, the Illinois legislature created an expedited proceeding, focused upon who has the right to possession of the apartment or commercial space.  Because of this, the Act specifically limits issues which may be raised in defense of an eviction proceeding.  Section 106 of the Act specifically provides that “no matters not germane to the distinctive purpose of the proceeding shall be introduced” in defense of the proceeding.

 

The bottom line of the limitation to matters “germane” to the issue of possession is that the Courts have prohibited eviction defendants from raising such issues as a claim that the landlord owes the tenant money for a contract dispute between the parties or that the landlord has violated anti-trust laws.  On the other hand, the Courts have specifically permitted defenses based upon the  habitable condition of residential premises, violation of Chicago’s Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance and racial or other discrimination having motivated initiation of the eviction proceeding.

 

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord eviction law attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about how to properly serve eviction notices or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants.

New Procedures Announced in Daley Center Eviction Cases with Jury Demand

Written by Kreisler-Law-PC on . Posted in eviction court, eviction law attorney, evictions, jury demand, jury trial, jury trial judge

Effective April, 2015, the Presiding Judge of the First Municipal District of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois announced a new procedure for eviction cases where the defendant files a demand for a jury trial.

Eviction cases which are assigned to the Daley Center are initially assigned at random to one of five courtrooms which hear only non-jury cases. Under the new procedure, when a defendant files a demand for trial by jury, the case is then transferred to room 1301 on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday within ten (10) days after the transfer order is entered. On the appointed day, the case is then assigned to a jury trial judge and courtroom.

All further matters in the case, including motions for discovery and for use and occupancy, are then heard by the assigned jury trial judge.

This replaces the current procedure under which jury cases were re-assigned to a single courtroom (Courtroom 1501) and all motions or other proceedings before trial were handled in Courtroom 1501. Under current practice, the case was only transferred to a jury trial judge on the date of trial

Feel free to contact an experienced Illinois landlord eviction law attorney at Kreisler Law if you have questions about the new procdure or any other area of the laws governing landlords and tenants

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