The Bar News

Illinois Supreme Court Announces Triage Period to Wind Down Eviction Moratorium

The Illinois Supreme Court announced today an amendment to Order M.R. 30370 concerning residential evictions. Timed to coincide with the resumption of eviction filings effective August 1, 2021, the amended Order provides for a one-month period in which the judiciary will focus on referring newly filed cases to State programs providing financial assistance to landlords and tenants.

In March 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker declared a State of Emergency in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the President of the United States declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (P.L. 116-136) and American Rescue Plan Act (P.L. 117-2) were passed by Congress and signed into law by the President to deploy over $1 billion to Illinois renters and landlords in rental assistance, housing counseling, legal aid, and mediation services in an effort to prevent evictions.

In response, the Governor prohibited the commencement of certain residential evictions and the enforcement of certain residential eviction orders by Executive Order. The Governor announced that the eviction moratorium would permit filing of new eviction cases on August 1, 2021, though enforcement of certain eviction judgments would remain barred through August 31, 2021.

Because of a concern that the expiration of the eviction moratorium could potentially flood Illinois Courts with a large volume of cases seeking to be heard and decided in a short time frame, the Illinois Supreme Court will institute a triage period in which certain newly filed residential eviction cases cannot be acted on until the final expiration of the moratorium. Courts will use this time to guide landlords and tenants to programs designed to help them avoid eviction.

The triage period will begin on August 1, 2021, with the implementation of this amended order, and will conclude on September 1, 2021, when the order is vacated.

“These cases could not be enforced until the Governor’s moratorium completely expires, so this process will not delay the ultimate resolution of cases in the court system,” said Judge Eugene Doherty, Chief Judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit and Vice-Chair of the Illinois Supreme Court’s COVID Task Force. “In planning for the winding down of the moratorium, the Task Force met regularly with representatives of the Governor’s office to ensure that the process would be as smooth as possible for landlords and tenants. This information sharing between the judicial and executive branches of government was essential in planning the implementation of the triage period.”

Amended Order M.R. 30370 is available on the Court website by clicking here.

Posted on July 15, 2021 by Rhys Saunders
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