Santiago v. E.W. Bliss Company

Illinois Supreme Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
2012 IL 111792
Decision Date: 
August 9, 2012
1st Dist.
Cook Co.
Certified question answered; appellate court reversed in part; circuit court vacated in part; remanded with directions.
(Correcting court designation.) Circuit court has discretion, as a matter of law, to dismiss a complaint with prejudice when brought by a plaintiff using a fictitious name without leave of court. Dismissal is justified only when clear record of willful conduct showing deliberate and continuing disregard for court's authority, and a finding that lesser sanctions are inadequate to remedy harm to judiciary and prejudice to opposing party. Cause of action is not per se null and void, under relation-back doctrine, if complaint is filed using name other than person's "legal" name. (KARMEIER and BURKE, specially concurring; THOMAS, dissenting.)