Friday, October 2, 2015
I Just Missed My Eviction Court Date in Cook County. Is it too late?
No. It's not too late. Chicago tenants miss their court date at the Daley Center for all sorts of understandable reasons. There may be slow trains, missed buses, no babysitter, or the dates just got mixed up. If the tenant is served with the summons and complaint but misses the court date, the Judge will usually enter an Order for Possession (the eviction order). The eviction order will usually include a money judgment against the tenant for the back rent and give the tenant only 7 days to move out before the landlord can have the Cook County Sheriff throw the tenant out.
How to fix it. This is not the end of the world. The tenant must move to vacate (basically, rescind) the eviction order. The tenant has to act fast. He only has 30 calendar days to submit a written motion to the Court asking it to vacate the eviction order. So long as the Motion to Vacate is filed within 30 calendar days, it should granted. The tenant must be careful: if the Motion to Vacate is filed at the last minute, say, on the 30th day, some judges might see this as "gaming the system" and refuse to grant the tenant's Motion. But generally the result is that the eviction order will be vacated and the tenant will then have the right to defend his case.