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Burman v. Snyder

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Third Division

April 30, 2014

CRAIG A. BURMAN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
DANIEL SNYDER III, Defendant-Appellee. Snyder Development Group, Inc., Defendant

As Corrected.

As Corrected May 13, 2014.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 88 CH 5005. The Honorable Rodolfo Garcia, Judge, presiding.

SYLLABUS

Where plaintiff filed a petition to revive a judgment in 1998, within seven years of the date the judgment was obtained, but did not file a summons until 2011, the trial court properly found that the 1998 petition could not be the basis for enforcing the judgment and the judgment was no longer enforceable, and even assuming that the 1998 petition remained viable, the expiration of the 20-year statute of limitations in 2011, before defendant was served with the summons plaintiff filed in 2011, showed plaintiff's lack of diligence and warranted dismissal of plaintiff's attempt to revive the judgment pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 103(b).

FOR PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANT: George J. Tagler, Chicago, Illinois; Edward A. Berman, PC, Chicago, Illinois.

FOR DEFENDANT-APPELLEE: Myles P. O'Rourke, Robert E. Williams, O'Rourke & Moody, Chicago, Illinois.

PRESIDING JUSTICE HYMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Neville and Mason concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 284

HYMAN, PRESIDING JUSTICE.

[¶1] If handled correctly, a judgment, like an ordinary houseplant, can last a long time, up to 27 years after the date the judgment was entered. But just as neglecting to periodically water a houseplant will eventually cause it to wither and die, neglecting to periodically revive a judgment will eventually cause it to become dormant and extinguish. That is what happened in this case. Plaintiff, almost 7 years after obtaining a judgment, filed a petition to revive the judgment, but never effectuated service of the petition until 14 years later, which was after the twentieth anniversary of the judgment.

[¶2] The circuit court granted defendant's motion to dismiss the petition to revive because: (i) in the absence of a second petition to revive, the judgment had become dormant and, the statute of limitations having run, could no longer be revived; and, alternatively, (ii) plaintiff's having served defendant with the petition after the expiration of the statute of limitations demonstrated lack of diligence justifying dismissal under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 103 (eff. July 1, 2007). Because we agree with the trial court's finding

Page 285

that the plaintiff's judgment became dormant, and by operation of Illinois law, expired when it was not timely revived, we do not need to determine whether the ...


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