In this article we will explain appeals to the Illinois Supreme Court. Let’s start by explaining the structure of the Illinois court system.
In Illinois, cases begin in one of the County circuit courts. Judgments from the circuit court are appealable to the Illinois appellate courts. The Illinois Supreme Court has discretion to hear appeals from the appellate courts. To learn more about appeals from the circuit courts to the appellate court, check out our article, The Illinois Appeals Process Explained.
If you lose your case in an appellate court after appealing from the circuit court and you do not want to concede, you have two options:
These options are not mutually exclusive. They can be pursued at the same time, or you can pursue a petition for rehearing with the appellate court first, and later file a petition for leave to appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court if the petition for rehearing is denied.
A petition for rehearing requests that the appellate court reconsider its final ruling on your case. Petitions for rehearing are only granted if you can show that:
The deadline to file a petition for rehearing is 21 days from the date of the order you are asking the court to reconsider.
A petition for leave to appeal requests that the Illinois Supreme Court hear your appeal of the appellate court’s decision.
A petition for leave to appeal must be filed by the latest of the following:
The Supreme Court has discretion to grant a motion for leave to file a petition for leave to appeal after tese deadlines, but such motions are not favored and are only allowed in the most extreme and compelling circumstances.
The Illinois Supreme Court is more likely to grant a petition for leave to appeal in the following circumstances:
If a petition for leave to appeal is granted, the petitioner has an option to file a brief in support of the petition. The brief is usually a more extensive explanation of the petitioner’s position than the petition itself. The petitioner, also known as the appellant, must provide notice to all counsel of record within 14 days of the date that the petition for leave to appeal was granted of his or her intention to file a brief or to alternatively let the petition stand as his or her brief. The appellee will also have the option to file a brief in response. Once both briefs are filed, the Illinois Supreme Court will either make a ruling based on the briefs or request that the parties appear before the court for oral argument.