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Solo In Chicago

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Follow the Path of the Summons/Affidavit Return...

It sounds like some sort of kids game doesn't it? Unfortunately this "game" can be a pain in the @$%$#@ when the Cook County Sheriff's proof of service affidavit doesn't find its way to the court file like it's supposed to.

This was a new one for me earlier this week. This was one of those rare cases where the Sheriff actually made effective service on a defendant in a case (or at least they said they did). Case was in District 5 Bridgeview but the summons had been placed down in room 701 at Daley. So the week before our trial date (forcible entry and detainer case) we verify with the Sheriff that there's been good service over the phone. Then I get down to court Monday and there's no Sheriff's Deputy's affidavit in the court file. I run down to the Sheriff's branch office in Bridgeview and they present me with some printout (not an affidavit as required by IL Rules of Civ. Pro) that says there's been good service...judge says not good enough (some judges will take this as proof of service). Well, this didn't exactly get my Monday off to a great start.

Today I follow-up on the matter in room 701 at Daley since that's where the original summons had been placed for service. Beyond getting terrible customer service their answer is "we sent the affidavit to the Circuit Clerk in District 5." Maybe they did...the greater fault MAY lie with the Circuit Clerk but who mails anything important without making a copy?? But no they didn't have one. We'll check with the Circuit Clerk in Bridgeview but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Aside from the quality of government issues we have in Cook County, I think the above may cause me to try and deal with the branch Sheriff offices more often rather than placing most of our stuff for service at Daley Center. By doing this at least the step of the Sheriff getting proof of service from Daley Center to the suburban courthouses is eliminated.

2 Comments:

At 1:53 AM, Blogger Marie said...

Something I do for all summonses, even those to be served by our most trusted private process server: Staple a pre-addressed stamped envelope to the original summons (or document to be returned). I don't know if that would work in Cook County, but it might be worth a try.

I like your blog.

 
At 9:33 AM, Blogger Bill said...

I formerly practiced law in Illinois. I am currently running a business in Iowa that is trying to collect on a judgment in Illinois. The debtor has never appeared in court for a judgment debtor exam. Apparently they are unable to serve the defendant because he hides out in a security building. Is this common in Cook County Courts?

 

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