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Legal Memorandum: Rules on Post-judgment Matters

Issue: What is the current structure of the rules on post-judgment matters?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Rules on post-judgment matters; Current structure
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: 558 N.E.2d 583; 464 N.E.2d 871; 674 N.E.2d 496; 559 N.E.2d 819
Cited Statutes: Section 72 of The Civil Practice Act; 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-1401; 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-183; 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-183(g); §12-183(h)
Date: 07/01/2006

Section 72 of The Civil Practice Act introduced the current structure of the rules on post-judgment matters.  While a portion of the Act was codified at 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-1401, other parts of the Act became a part of 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-183.  The provisions of the Act were discussed more at the time of their enactment than they have been since then.  There has been little case law addressing the Act’s application in the most fundamental of situations; so, some of the best direction comes from the earlier commentaries.  According to Judge Charles H. Davis, the Act was intended to govern all post-term relief from judgments coming thirty days after the entry of judgment with only limited exceptions, none of which is relevant to the instant case. 

In his article for the Illinois Bar Journal, Judge Davis discussed the application of the provision to correct judgments and the process it sets out.  Judge Davis first made note of the pleading requirements in the Act, which is a first step to its use.  “The petition must be filed in the same proceeding in which the order, judgment or decree was entered. . . . The petition must be supported by affidavit or other appropriate showing as to matters not of record.”  Judge Charles H. Davis, The Scope of Section 72 of the Civil Practice Act, 55 Ill. Bar J. 820 (June 1967) at 820 (citing 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-183 (emphasis added)).  The judge wrote that