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Bentley v. Hefti

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

June 2, 2015

RANDY W. BENTLEY, d/b/a BENTLEY CONSTRUCTION, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CHARLES HEFTI and MARION HEFTI, Defendants-Appellants

Appeal from Circuit Court of Macoupin County. No. 12LM58. Honorable Patrick J. Londrigan, Judge Presiding.

Martin Buckley (argued), of Buckley & Buckley LLC, of St. Louis, Missouri, for appellants.

Aaron E. Bellm (argued), of Kasten, Ruyle, Sims & Bellm, P.C., of Carlinville, for appellee.

JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Knecht and Holder White concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

STEIGMANN, J.

Page 599

[¶1] In May 2012, plaintiff, Randy W. Bentley, filed a three-count complaint against defendants, Charles and Marion Hefti, seeking money damages for allegedly uncompensated construction services plaintiff performed for defendants in 2010. On August 28, 2013, plaintiff filed a " Motion for Leave to Add Count[s] IV and V." Attached to that motion was a document entitled " Supplement to the Complaint to Add Count[s] IV and V," in which plaintiff alleged that almost a year earlier, on August 29, 2012, defendant Marion Hefti published defamatory statements against plaintiff. The trial court set the motion for a September 26, 2013, hearing, at which the court granted plaintiff leave to file the purported supplemental complaint instanter. Thereafter, in October 2013, Marion filed a motion to dismiss the purported supplemental complaint, arguing that it was time barred by the one-year statute of limitations for defamation, which had expired on August 29, 2013. See 735 ILCS 5/13-201 (West 2012). The court denied Marion's motion to dismiss.

[¶2] In December 2013, Marion filed this interlocutory appeal pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 308 (eff. Feb. 26, 2010), which calls upon us to answer the following certified question:

" If a motion for leave to file a supplemental complaint pursuant to [section 2-609 of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-609 (West 2012))] is filed with the proposed supplemental complaint attached before the expiration of the statute of limitations, but leave of court is not obtained to file such supplemental complaint until after the statute of limitations has expired, is the new cause of action stated in the supplemental complaint time barred?"

For the reasons that follow, we answer the certified question in the affirmative and remand for further proceedings.

[¶3] I. BACKGROUND

[¶4] The following pertinent facts, which we have gleaned from the parties' pleadings

Page 600

and supporting exhibits, are fairly ...


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