The Illinois Supreme Court’s recent decision in a foreclosure action could have far-reaching implications for litigations within the state. In a 5-2 decision, the Court ruled that anyone seeking to serve a defendant in Cook County via special process server must first secure a Cook County judge’s authorization for the summons to be valid.
The case arose from a foreclosure action in Kankakee County. In the underlying case, the plaintiff Municipal Trust and Savings Bank filed a complaint for mortgage foreclosure against defendant Dennis J. Moriarty in December 2016 and issued summons from Kankakee County, where the mortgaged commercial properties are located. A special process server ultimately served the defendant at Rush Hospital in Chicago, which is located in Cook County. Upon the plaintiff’s motion, the circuit court entered a judgment for foreclosure and sale. Following entry of the foreclosure judgment, a sheriff’s sale was held on the property, and plaintiff was the successful bidder. The bank then filed a motion for confirmation of the foreclosure sale.
The defendant filed a Section 2-1401 petition challenging the judgment as void arguing that the circuit court was without personal jurisdiction to enter the default judgment in the foreclosure proceeding. The Defendant asserted that under section 2-202 of the Code, a special process server cannot serve process on a defendant in Cook County without first being appointed by the circuit court. The circuit court denied the defendant’s section 2-1401 petition finding that the special process server was not required to be specially appointed to serve process on the defendant. The appellate court affirmed. The defendant petitioned for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, which granted his petition. Continue reading ›