from the Circuit Court of Lake County. No. 15-LM-1132
Honorable Daniel L. Jasica, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE HUTCHINSON delivered the judgment of the court.
Presiding Justice Hudson and Justice Spence concurred in the
1 Plaintiff, Ally Financial Inc., filed a complaint for
replevin against defendant, Michael Pira, doing business as
Michael's Ultimate Detailing & Design, Inc., seeking
possession of a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado. Defendant asserted
as an affirmative defense that he had a common-law possessory
lien, not only for the cost of the work that had been
performed on the vehicle, but also for the storage fees that
had accrued after the work was completed. The parties filed
cross-motions for summary judgment on the sole issue of
whether defendant's lien included the storage fees. The
trial court found that defendant's lien covered only the
charges relating to the work that had been performed on the
vehicle, and accordingly it ruled in favor of plaintiff.
Defendant now appeals. We affirm.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 We begin by noting that the appellate record contains no
reports of proceedings or bystander's reports. The
following facts are therefore derived from the pleadings.
Much of our factual recitation is relevant only for
4 Plaintiff's verified complaint for replevin was filed
on June 11, 2015. Plaintiff alleged that Robert Siudak had
purchased a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado in March 2013. After
Siudak executed an installment contract with the dealer, the
dealer assigned its interest in the installment contract to
plaintiff, and plaintiff perfected its security interest in
the vehicle. Plaintiff alleged that Siudak brought the
vehicle to defendant's shop shortly before Siudak filed
for bankruptcy, in September 2014. Due to Siudak's
nonpayment, and pursuant to the terms of the installment
contract, plaintiff asserted its right to possession of the
vehicle. However, defendant refused to relinquish possession,
demanding full payment of all storage fees in addition to the
cost of the work that had been performed on the vehicle.
5 Plaintiff asserted that it was not obligated to pay the
storage fees and that it had a superior right to possession
of the vehicle, which had a fair market value of $33, 475.
Accordingly, plaintiff requested that the trial court enter a
judgment granting plaintiff possession of the vehicle, or, in
the alternative, an award against defendant in the amount of
$33, 475. Plaintiff also requested an award for
"[r]easonable attorney's fees, court costs, and for
whatever other relief this court deems appropriate."
6 Defendant's answer was accompanied by an affirmative
defense. Defendant asserted that he had a common
law-possessory lien, for the cost of the work and the storage
fees, that took priority over plaintiff's security
interest. In an affidavit, defendant attested that Siudak
dropped off the vehicle for detailing and minor repairs on
June 9, 2014. The work was completed the next day. The
charges for the detailing and the repairs amounted to $658.
Defendant called Siudak numerous times and left several voice
messages. However, Siudak never returned any of the calls,
nor did he ever return to pick up the vehicle. Defendant
asserted that, as of October 30, 2015, the storage fees
amounted to $27, 780, accumulating at a reduced rate of $60
per day (the normal rate was $75 per day).
7 The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment.
Plaintiff acknowledged that defendant was entitled to the
cost of the detailing and the repairs, and it averred that it
had offered to make such payment. Plaintiff maintained,
however, that defendant's common-law possessory lien did
not extend to the storage fees, as the storage did not impart
any added value to the vehicle. Defendant, on the other hand,
argued that his lien arose by virtue of his contract with
Siudak and that he was therefore entitled to the same rights
as a common carrier.
8 On February 4, 2016, the trial court ruled on the
cross-motions for summary judgment, entering an order that
granted plaintiff's motion and denied defendant's
motion. The order included a ruling that, "as a matter
of law in this case, [defendant's] common law possessory
lien covers repair charges, but not storage charges."
The order also stated that the matter was "continued for
further status" to March 3, 2016.
9 Also on February 4, 2016, the trial court issued an order
of replevin directing the Lake County sheriff to take
possession of the vehicle and deliver it to plaintiff.
However, a handwritten notation stated that execution of the
order was stayed through March 3, 2016. Another handwritten
notation stated that the order would be executed "upon
payment of defendant's common law possessory lien for
10 The record reflects that the next four court dates took
place on March 3, April 14, May 5, and June 2, 2016.
Defendant did not appear in court on any of these dates. On
each occasion, the trial court entered an order of replevin.
None of these orders contained any handwritten notations or
conditions of enforcement.
11 On June 14, 2016, defendant filed a motion for a finding
of "friendly contempt." He stated that he desired
to "test the validity" of the underlying order of
replevin, and he asserted that there was "no direct
precedent" on the issue of whether his common-law
possessory lien covered the storage fees. Accordingly,
defendant requested that the trial court impose a minimal
fine for the purpose of facilitating an interlocutory appeal
pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 304(b)(5) (eff. Mar.
12 Plaintiff filed a memorandum in opposition to
defendant's friendly-contempt motion, asserting that
defendant needed to post a bond if he wanted to retain
possession of the vehicle while the replevin action
"proceed[ed] to final judgment and during any subsequent
appeal." According to plaintiff, defendant's
friendly-contempt motion was nothing more than a procedural
ploy aimed at retaining possession of the vehicle without
having to post a bond.
13 On October 6, 2016, the trial court entered an order
denying defendant's friendly contempt motion. The order
noted that defendant's counsel had failed to appear at
the hearing that day, as well as the previous hearing, and
that the matter was again "continued for status" to
November 3, 2016.
14 The record reflects that plaintiff obtained possession of
the vehicle after the denial of defendant's
friendly-contempt motion. (In its appellate brief, plaintiff
states that it "recovered the Vehicle on or about
October 21, 2016, through its own recovery company and paid
Defendant the total cost of repairs in the amount of
15 On November 3, 2016, the trial court entered an order
prepared by plaintiff's counsel that stated: "This
matter is hereby dismissed, without prejudice and with leave
to reinstate, and without costs to either party."
16 On December 13, 2016, defendant filed a "motion for
the entry of a final and appealable order." Defendant
acknowledged that he had relinquished possession of the
vehicle to plaintiff following the denial of his
friendly-contempt motion. He argued, however, that the order
dismissing the case on November 3, 2016, was not final and
appealable, because it stated that the case was dismissed
"without prejudice and with leave to reinstate."
Defendant therefore requested that the trial court enter an
order "dismissing this case with prejudice."
Plaintiff filed a response in opposition, arguing that the
trial court lost jurisdiction to alter the order dismissing
the case after the passage of 30 days.
17 On February 23, 2017, the trial court granted
defendant's motion for the entry of a final and
appealable order. It entered an order stating in pertinent
part: "This matter is dismissed with prejudice nunc pro
tunc to November 3, 2016; this court finding that, due to a
scrivener's error, the Nov. 3, 2016, dismissal was
entered without prejudice instead of with prejudice."
18 Defendant filed a notice of appeal on March 16, 2017. He
stated that he was appealing from the order dated February
23, 2017, dismissing plaintiff's complaint with
prejudice, as well as from the order dated February 4, 2016,