The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Joan H. Lefkow
Plaintiff Nereida Mendez has moved for contempt and judgment against citation respondent Republic Bank ("Republic") [#497] alleging that Republic failed to comply with an October 7, 2010 citation to discover assets of defendants Dental Profile/Dental Profile, Ltd., and Dentists, P.C. ("defendants"). Mendez asks this court to hold Republic in contempt and enter judgment against it in the amount of the unpaid portion of Mendez's judgment against defendants. For the reasons set fort herein, Mendez's motion will be granted.
This case has a long and tortured history. It was originally assigned to Judge Mark Filip on June 21, 2004 [#1], then it was reassigned to Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan on March 3, 2008 [#202], and finally to this court on April 6, 2011 [#380]. On April 26, 2007, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Mendez and against defendants on various employment related claims in the amount of $781,181.25. [#139.] This amount was subsequently reduced to $387,931.25. [#206.] Mendez has spent the past four and a half years trying to collect. The court need not recite every procedural twist and turn, but the following dates and events are relevant to resolving the pending motion:
# October 14, 2010: Mendez serves*fn2 Republic via certified mail with a citation, dated October 7, 2010, to discover assets pursuant to 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-1402. The citation directs Republic to (1) freeze defendants' assets, (2) appear on October 21, 2010 at the Kurtz Law Offices for examination, and (3) inform Mendez as to any and all accounts and property held by defendants at Republic. [#532-1 Ex. 1.]*fn3
# October 14, 2010: Certain third party intervenors*fn4
(not including Republic or defendants) move to quash
supplementary proceedings against them and for injunctive relief.
[#312.] After a hearing, the court grants the motion in part on
October 15, 2010, unfreezing certain intervenor accounts but denying
the motion as to others. [#316.]
# October 21, 2010: Republic submits a written answer to the October 7, 2010 citation stating that it is withholding $9,984, but declining to identify the originating account(s). [#532-1 Ex. 4.] Republic does not appear at the Kurtz Law Offices as directed, nor does it produce supporting documentation.
# October 22, 2010: Republic informs Mendez that $9,984 is being withheld solely from the AYA Dental, Ltd. account, and requests an extension to complete document production. [#532-1 Ex. 5.]
# November 5, 2010: Republic informs Mendez for the first time that it holds an account in the name of defendant Dentists, P.C. Mendez informs Republic that it must freeze this account pursuant to the October 7, 2010 citation. [#532-1 Ex. 5.]
# February 21, 2011: Mendez files her first motion for turnover of funds [#352] directed at Republic for $9,984, which Republic identified in its October 21, 2010 answer as belonging to AYA Dental, Ltd. [#532-1 Ex. 5.] The motion is subsequently granted. [#362.]
# February 24, 2011: Republic informs Mendez for the first time that it holds an account in the name of defendant Dental Profile, Ltd. Mendez informs Republic that it must freeze this account pursuant to the October 7, 2010 citation. [#532-1 Ex. 5.] Mendez sends Republic two follow-up e-mails regarding freezing defendants' accounts, which go unanswered by Republic. [Id.]
# March 2, 2011: Mendez files an emergency motion to immediately freeze defendants' accounts. [#360.] At the motion hearing, Mendez's counsel states, MS. KURTZ: Judge, our request also includes immediately freezing the defendants' accounts, Dental Profile and Dentists, P.C.
THE COURT: We had frozen that. Why would I freeze it again? [#532-1 Ex. 3, Hr'g Tr. Mar. 3, 2010 at 15:13--17.] # The court enters and continues the motion stating that "the court reiterates that any accounts at Republic Bank of Chicago in the names of the judgment debtors, Dentists P.C., Perla Dental, and Dental Profile/Dental Profile, Ltd., and any accounts in the names of AYA Dental and AYA Dental, Ltd. are to be frozen." [#362.] # March 9, 2011: Republic answers the October 7, 2010 citation as to defendants and provides Mendez with supporting documentation for defendants' and AYA Dental, Ltd.'s accounts. These documents show that Republic allowed defendants to transfer approximately $716,886.05 out of their accounts between October 14, 2010 and February 28, 2011. [#497 Ex. 2.] # March 28, 2011: Mendez files her second motion for turnover of funds [#365] directed at Republic for $11,416.89, which was the amount identified in defendants' and AYA Dental, Ltd.'s accounts by Republic's March 9, 2011 answer.*fn5
On August 22, 2011, after reviewing Republic's supporting documentation, Mendez filed the instant motion for contempt and judgment against Republic. [#497.] To date, Mendez alleges that she has only collected $33,783.95 from defendants on a judgment of $387,931.25. [See #254 & #363.] Invoking 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-1402(f)(1), Mendez asks this court to hold Republic in contempt and ...