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Brantley v. Delnor Hospital

MARCH 5, 1970.

ORVAL L. BRANTLEY, ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF LARRY BRANTLEY, DECEASED, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

THE DELNOR HOSPITAL, INC., A CORPORATION, AND JOHN L. ROGERS AND D. GIEDRAITIS, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County, Sixteenth Judicial Circuit; the Hon. JOHN S. PETERSEN, Judge, presiding. Order affirmed.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE DAVIS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

At issue in this case is whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying two motions filed by the plaintiff seeking the vacation of the order of dismissal entered April 25, 1969.

The complaint was filed December 22, 1965. The defendant, The Delnor Hospital, Inc., filed a motion to strike the complaint on January 20, 1966, and the defendant, John L. Rogers, filed an answer thereto on January 21, 1966, which answer contained a motion to strike Count IV of the complaint and to strike parts of Count III. The defendant, D. Giedraitis, likewise filed an answer wherein he moved to strike Count V and to strike parts of Count III.

The record indicates that on February 9, 1966, the court disposed of the aforesaid motions, and The Delnor Hospital, Inc., was ruled to answer or otherwise plead on or before March 14, 1966. It filed an answer to the complaint on November 1, 1966.

On April 25, 1969, the trial court entered the following order:

"A general call of the docket being held under Rule Four (4) of the Circuit Court for the 16th Judicial Circuit, Kane County, Illinois, pursuant to Order of Court, and it appearing that all Attorneys of Record have received due notice of said call, and the Court having heard statements of said attorneys in open Court and being fully advised as to the premises;

"And the Court finding further that no just reason has been offered why the above captioned cause should not be dismissed from the general docket for lack of prosecution;

"NOW THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the above captioned case be dismissed.

"ENTER, this 25th day of April, A.D. 1969." (Emphasis ours.)

On May 7, 1969, the plaintiff filed a motion to vacate this order and recited therein that the case came on for hearing at a general call of the docket on April 25, at which time the attorneys for the plaintiff were on trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County; that the plaintiff has a meritorious cause of action; that the only reason the attorneys for the plaintiff did not answer the docket call was that they were then on trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County; and that the cause was dismissed for want of prosecution. This motion was denied on May 7, 1969.

Thereafter, on May 22, 1969, the plaintiff filed a further motion to vacate the order of dismissal, which contained the allegations of the prior motion and further stated:

"That Administrative Rule 4 of this Court provides as follows:

"On the last Fridays in the months of April and October in each year of this Court there shall be a general call of the Docket, both law and chancery on which call all cases remaining thereon, in which positive action has not been taken and no attempt made for trial or final disposition of the same during one year next preceding such call, may be dismissed at ...


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