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Carman-Crothers v. Brynda

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division

December 2, 2014

KELLI CARMAN-CROTHERS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JOSEPH A. BRYNDA, Defendant-Appellee (Susan J. Carrano, Defendant)

Page 488

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 11 L 650050. Honorable Janet Brosnahan, Judge Presiding.

SYLLABUS

The trial court did not err in dismissing plaintiff's complaint with prejudice under Supreme Court Rule 103(b) based on plaintiff's unreasonable explanation for the 10-month delay in serving defendant, notwithstanding her claim that she tried to serve defendant at three different addresses with multiple alias summonses and her contention that defendant should have expected service because he had been served by other persons injured in the underlying accident, since defendant's knowledge of the suit does not preclude dismissal under Rule 103(b), and the record showed that plaintiff continued to attempt to serve defendant at addresses that the process servers found to be invalid, rather than taking appropriate actions to discover defendant's real address.

For PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT: Scott Pyles, Michael J. Lichner, Rathbun, Cservenyak & Kozol, LLC, Joliet, Illinois.

For DEFENDANT-APPELLEE: Robert Marc Chemers, Philip G. Brandt, PRETZEL & STOUFFER, CHARTERED, Chicago, Illinois.

JUSTICE NEVILLE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Simon and Justice Pierce concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

NEVILLE, JUSTICE.

Page 489

[¶1] Plaintiff, Kelli Carman-Crothers, appeals from an order of the trial court dismissing her complaint with prejudice for failing to exercise reasonable diligence to obtain service on defendant, Joseph Brynda. On appeal, plaintiff contends that she exercised reasonable diligence in her attempts to serve defendant because she attempted to serve defendant multiple times at three addresses and ultimately served defendant.

[¶2] We find that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it found that plaintiff's explanation for the 10-month delay in serving the defendant was unreasonable. Therefore, we hold that the trial court did not err when it dismissed the plaintiff's complaint with prejudice pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 103(b)(eff. July 1, 2007).

[¶3] BACKGROUND

[¶4] The record reveals that on November 4, 2009, a vehicle operated by defendant struck a pedestrian and a vehicle operated by plaintiff. The accident report listed defendant's address as 20017 Graceland Lane in Frankfort, Illinois (Graceland Lane).

[¶5] On November 2, 2011, plaintiff filed a personal injury complaint against defendant and codefendant Susan Carrano.[1] Plaintiff also issued a summons for service on defendant at the Graceland Lane ...


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