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Eviction Actions 2020 Edition

This practical guide details Illinois statutes and municipal ordinances dealing with evictions.

This handbook covers eviction actions under Illinois statutes and the municipal ordinances of Chicago and Evanston, including common defenses and the unique requirements of these cases that are typically tried in high-volume courts in which tenants often appear pro se and stays of enforcement are common. It covers preliminary considerations, statutory indications for eviction actions, activities before demands or suit, statutory notices, suits, defenses, counterclaims, pretrial activities, trials, judgments and possession orders, posttrial motion practice, fee-shifting in the commercial lease context, and appeals.

Paul B. Porvaznik, Bielski Chapman, Ltd., Chicago

I. Introduction

II. Preliminary Considerations

III. Statutory Indications for Eviction Actions

IV. Activities Before Demands or Suit

V. Statutory Notices

        A.    Forcible Entry on Realty
        B.    Peaceable Entry on Realty and Wrongful Withholding of Possession
        C.    Entry into Vacant or Unoccupied Lands
        D.    Holding Over
                1.    Holdover After End of a Term
                2.    Holdover After Notice To Quit
                        a.  Periodic Tenancies
                        b.  Nonpayment of Rent and Other Breaches of Lease
                        c.  Commercial Context — Damages
                        d.  Lease Termination vs. Possession Termination: Why It Matters
                        e.  Are Tenant Improvement Costs Considered “Rent”?
                        f.   Lessor’s Duty To Mitigate
                        g.  General Notice Considerations
                        h.  Methods of Serving Notice
        E.    Vendee Under Contract Remaining in Possession After Breach or Demand
        F.     Grantor Staying in Possession After Sale or Owner Staying in Possession After Court-Ordered Sale
        G.    Condominium Unit Owner’s Failure To Pay Assessments or Fines
        H.    Common Interest Communities
        I.     Summary of Notice Requirements

VI.  Suit

        A.    Service
        B.    Venue
        C.    Required Complaint Allegations
        D.    Parties Plaintiff (Who Can Sue?)
        E.    Who Should Be Named Defendants?
                1.    In General
                2.    Commercial Context
        F.    Summons and Service of Process
        G.   Posting Mechanics

VII. Defenses

        A.    Notice Defenses
        B.    Habitability Defenses
        C.    Defense of Payment
        D.    Defense of Waiver of Breach of Lease
        E.    Defense of Retaliatory Eviction
        F.     Equitable Defenses
        G.    When the Tenant’s Landlord Is Foreclosed On
        H.    Other Defenses
        I.     Defenses in Office Lease Context
        J.     Independence of Condominium Owner’s Obligation To Pay Assessments from Association’s Duty To
                 Maintain Common Elements
        K.    Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance Security Deposit Rules
        L.     Prohibited Lease Provisions in Chicago

VIII. Counterclaims

IX. Pretrial Activities

        A.    Discovery
        B.    Use and Occupancy
        C.    Continuances

X. Trial

        A.    Juries
        B.    Conduct of the Trial
        C.    Sample Direct Examination of Landlord’s Property Manager in Commercial Lease Case

XI. Judgment — Eviction Order

        A.    The Order
        B.    Stay of Enforcement
        C.    Enforcement

XII. Posttrial Motion Practice

XIII. What About Fee-Shifting in the Commercial Lease Context?

XIV. Appeal

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This handbook covers eviction actions under Illinois statutes and the municipal ordinances of Chicago and Evanston, including common defenses and the unique requirements of these cases that are typically tried in high-volume courts in which tenants often appear pro se and stays of enforcement are common. It covers preliminary considerations, statutory indications for eviction actions, activities before demands or suit, statutory notices, suits, defenses, counterclaims, pretrial activities, trials, judgments and possession orders, posttrial motion practice, fee-shifting in the commercial lease context, and appeals.

Paul B. Porvaznik, Bielski Chapman, Ltd., Chicago

I. Introduction

II. Preliminary Considerations

III. Statutory Indications for Eviction Actions

IV. Activities Before Demands or Suit

V. Statutory Notices

        A.    Forcible Entry on Realty
        B.    Peaceable Entry on Realty and Wrongful Withholding of Possession
        C.    Entry into Vacant or Unoccupied Lands
        D.    Holding Over
                1.    Holdover After End of a Term
                2.    Holdover After Notice To Quit
                        a.  Periodic Tenancies
                        b.  Nonpayment of Rent and Other Breaches of Lease
                        c.  Commercial Context — Damages
                        d.  Lease Termination vs. Possession Termination: Why It Matters
                        e.  Are Tenant Improvement Costs Considered “Rent”?
                        f.   Lessor’s Duty To Mitigate
                        g.  General Notice Considerations
                        h.  Methods of Serving Notice
        E.    Vendee Under Contract Remaining in Possession After Breach or Demand
        F.     Grantor Staying in Possession After Sale or Owner Staying in Possession After Court-Ordered Sale
        G.    Condominium Unit Owner’s Failure To Pay Assessments or Fines
        H.    Common Interest Communities
        I.     Summary of Notice Requirements

VI.  Suit

        A.    Service
        B.    Venue
        C.    Required Complaint Allegations
        D.    Parties Plaintiff (Who Can Sue?)
        E.    Who Should Be Named Defendants?
                1.    In General
                2.    Commercial Context
        F.    Summons and Service of Process
        G.   Posting Mechanics

VII. Defenses

        A.    Notice Defenses
        B.    Habitability Defenses
        C.    Defense of Payment
        D.    Defense of Waiver of Breach of Lease
        E.    Defense of Retaliatory Eviction
        F.     Equitable Defenses
        G.    When the Tenant’s Landlord Is Foreclosed On
        H.    Other Defenses
        I.     Defenses in Office Lease Context
        J.     Independence of Condominium Owner’s Obligation To Pay Assessments from Association’s Duty To
                 Maintain Common Elements
        K.    Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance Security Deposit Rules
        L.     Prohibited Lease Provisions in Chicago

VIII. Counterclaims

IX. Pretrial Activities

        A.    Discovery
        B.    Use and Occupancy
        C.    Continuances

X. Trial

        A.    Juries
        B.    Conduct of the Trial
        C.    Sample Direct Examination of Landlord’s Property Manager in Commercial Lease Case

XI. Judgment — Eviction Order

        A.    The Order
        B.    Stay of Enforcement
        C.    Enforcement

XII. Posttrial Motion Practice

XIII. What About Fee-Shifting in the Commercial Lease Context?

XIV. Appeal

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