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Kevin O'Flaherty

What changes in the law are in store for Illinois residents for 2024? In Illinois, recent updates to civil procedure, insurance code, property tax code, employment laws, and family law have brought about significant changes that impact both legal practitioners and the general public alike. One such development is the introduction of new rules to Illinois civil procedure. Staying informed about these developments and their implications is crucial for those involved in legal matters in the state.

Recent Updates to Illinois Civil Procedure

New rules to Illinois Civil Procedure

The landscape of civil procedure in Illinois has undergone noteworthy changes. These updates include enhanced discovery procedures, alterations to pleadings and motions, and revised court procedures. These modifications intend to make the litigation process more efficient and increase the effectiveness of justice in the state.

One notable change is the implementation of enhanced discovery procedures. The updated discovery procedures expand access to courts and aim to settle disputes expeditiously, providing prompt relief to aggrieved parties, including police officers. These procedures speed up the litigation process and encourage efficiency, resulting in a more just and timely settlement of civil disputes.

Enhanced Discovery Procedures

The enhanced discovery procedures in Illinois serve to streamline the litigation process and promote efficiency. These updated rules encompass the court’s ability to issue protective orders to regulate discovery and may involve the participation of a task force in certain cases. These rules, by making the litigation process more efficient, broaden access to courts, expedite dispute resolution, and provide quick relief to injured parties.

By comparing the updated discovery procedures in Illinois to those of other states, we can see some distinctions. In Illinois, parties are required to attempt to resolve their discovery discrepancies outside of court. This approach encourages parties to:

  • Reach an agreement on their own accord
  • Reduce the need for court intervention
  • Promote efficiency
  • Reduce the burden on the court system.

Changes to Pleadings and Motions

Recent modifications to pleadings and motions in Illinois Civil Procedure have introduced stricter requirements and deadlines.

  • Pleadings must now contain a succinct and precise statement of the pleader’s cause of action, counterclaim, defense, or reply.
  • All objections to pleadings must be raised by motion.
  • Courts are allowed to alter pleadings at any point, prior to or after judgment, to conform to the proofs.

These changes, brought about by the amendatory act, have a significant impact on litigation from their effective date, enabling more comprehensive amendments to pleadings, ensuring that cases can be adjudicated based on their merits rather than technicalities. However, attorneys must be cautious, as failing to adhere to the new deadlines in pleadings and motions may lead to involuntary dismissal of the action, default judgment, and potential sanctions imposed by the court.

Modified Court Procedures

As technology continues to evolve, the legal system has also adapted to incorporate electronic processes in its court procedures. Recent modifications in Illinois include the implementation of remote hearings and electronic filing systems. These changes aim to increase efficiency and access to justice, as well as reduce costs and improve convenience for all parties involved.

Remote hearings are now permitted in certain exempted case types or proceeding types, with the approval of the presiding judge. Participants, including a person standing, may appear remotely, and the judge or clerk shall initiate the session and determine the order of speaking.

Electronic filing systems, such as EFileIL and the centralized electronic filing manager (EFM), have been implemented to streamline the submission process for court filings. These technological advancements have revolutionized the way court procedures are conducted, providing equal access to justice and fostering a more efficient legal system.

New Rules Impacting Illinois Insurance Code

Besides the changes in civil procedure, some significant updates have also been made to the Illinois Insurance Code. These new rules include expanded coverage requirements and revised claims handling procedures. These modifications aim to provide greater protection for policyholders and promote transparency and fairness in the insurance industry.

One of the most significant updates in the Illinois Insurance Code is the new regulation concerning dog breeds. Homeowners or renters insurance policies can no longer raise premiums based on the breed of dog present in the residence. This change, which took effect immediately, prevents insurance companies from discriminating against certain dog breeds and ensures that homeowners and renters are not unfairly penalized for their choice of pet.

Expanded Coverage Requirements

The expanded coverage requirements in the Illinois Insurance Code aim to provide enhanced protection for policyholders. These changes include extending health benefit coverage for immigrant adults and addressing disputes between insurers and policyholders regarding coverage obligations in biometric privacy-related litigation.

These expanded coverage requirements have various implications for insurance companies in Illinois. They necessitate substantial alterations to health insurance laws, potentially increase homeowners insurance costs, and require updates to preventive services coverage policies. These changes aim to ensure that policyholders are adequately protected and receive the coverage they need.

Revised Claims Handling Procedures

While the specific alterations made to claims handling procedures in the Illinois Insurance Code are not readily accessible, the revised procedures aim to:

  • Promote transparency in the insurance industry
  • Require insurance companies to adhere to proper claims handling practices
  • Disclose pertinent information to policyholders

This approach helps to mitigate disputes and ensure a smoother claims process, providing policyholders with a clear understanding of their coverage and rights.

Despite the intent behind these revised claims handling procedures, some insurance companies in Illinois have faced criticism and complaints from residents regarding their response to the new rules. Instances of lowballed or denied claims for hail roof damage have been reported, with State Farm and Allstate among the companies mentioned in these complaints. However, it is essential to note that these reports are based on individual experiences and may not accurately reflect the response of all insurance companies in Illinois.

Property Tax Code Revisions

Property taxes are a significant concern for many homeowners and businesses in Illinois. Recent revisions to the Property Tax Code have introduced new assessment and appeal processes, as well as expanded tax exemptions. The goal of these changes is to make the property tax system more straightforward and give relief to specific property owners and organizations.

Under the revised Property Tax Code, the evaluation process is now based on recent real estate market data, resulting in a reduced proportion of the total assessed value for Chicago homeowners. These modifications aim to:

  • Create a more equitable and accurate property tax system
  • Ensure that property owners pay their fair share
  • Provide exemptions and benefits to which they are entitled

New Assessment and Appeal Processes

The new assessment and appeal processes in the Illinois Property Tax Code aim to simplify property tax disputes and streamline the overall system. These processes include the court’s ability to issue protective orders to regulate discovery and the involvement of a task force in certain cases.

By implementing these new processes, the Property Tax Code aims to provide a more efficient and accessible system for property owners to navigate. This, in turn, helps to ensure that property taxes are assessed fairly and accurately, ultimately benefiting both property owners and the state.

Expanded Tax Exemptions

Expanded tax exemptions under the Illinois Property Tax Code provide relief for certain property owners and organizations. These exemptions include the senior citizen exemption and the expanded homeowner exemption, which has no maximum exemption amount.

To determine eligibility for these expanded tax exemptions, property owners should consult the Cook County Assessor’s website for further details on the specific exemptions and eligibility requirements. By offering these expanded exemptions, the Illinois Property Tax Code, along with the counties code regulations, aims to provide much-needed relief and support for property owners in the state.

Amendments to Employment Laws

In addition to the updates in civil procedure, insurance code, and property tax code, employment laws in Illinois have also experienced significant amendments. These changes include updated wage and hour regulations and strengthened worker protections, as well as addressing the use of employer’s property. The purpose of these updates is to guarantee fair compensation for employees and to create a safer and more supportive work environment.

One notable change is the introduction of the Freelance Worker Protection Act (FWPA), which grants freelance workers certain rights and benefits. This, along with other amendments to employment laws, demonstrates the state’s commitment to protecting the rights of all workers, both traditional employees and independent contractors.

Updated Wage and Hour Regulations

Recent updates to wage and hour regulations in Illinois require employers to adhere to new requirements, effective January 1, 2023. These requirements involve the maintenance of pay scale and benefits records for each position, as well as the job posting for each position, requiring employees to be informed about their compensation. Governor Pritzker signed the legislation into law on August 11, 2023, demonstrating the state’s dedication to ensuring fair compensation for employees.

The current wage and hour regulations in Illinois stipulate a minimum wage of at least $13 per hour for non-tipped workers aged 18 and older. By updating these regulations, the state aims to guarantee that all workers receive fair compensation for their labor, contributing to a more equitable and prosperous workforce in Illinois.

Strengthened Worker Protections

In addition to updated wage and hour regulations, strengthened worker protections have also been implemented in Illinois. These protections include:

  • Expanded leave benefits
  • Enhanced safety measures for workers
  • The Employee Blood and Organ Donation Leave Act, which grants eligible employees up to 10 days of paid leave in any 12-month period for the purpose of organ and tissue donation.

These strengthened worker protections, enforced by the Illinois Department, aim to provide employees with a safer and more supportive work environment in Illinois, including those with mental health concerns. By implementing these measures, the state demonstrates its commitment to the well-being of its workforce, ensuring that all workers have the necessary protections and resources to thrive in their respective industries.

Developments in Family Law

Family law is another area that has seen significant developments in Illinois. Recent changes include expanded domestic violence protections and updated child custody rules. These developments aim to provide more support and resources for domestic violence victims and advocate for the child’s best interests in custody disputes.

One notable development in family law is the introduction of new legislation to strengthen domestic violence laws in Illinois. This legislation provides protective orders to separate alleged offenders from survivors and enhances safety measures for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and situations where a household member killed another. These expanded protections ensure that victims have the necessary resources to escape abusive situations and seek the help they need.

Expanded Domestic Violence Protections

Expanded domestic violence protections in Illinois aim to provide greater support and resources for victims. These protections include:

  • Assistance in completing necessary forms
  • Prevention of further abuse by law enforcement officers
  • Removal of obstacles that survivors may face when seeking help

By offering these expanded protections, Illinois aims to ensure that victims of domestic violence feel supported and empowered to seek help and break free from abusive situations. Ultimately, these measures contribute to a safer and more supportive environment for all residents of the state.

Updated Child Custody Rules

The updated child custody rules in Illinois prioritize the best interests of the child and strive for equal parenting time between parties. The Child Custody Act has been amended to address custody matters in terms of parenting time and decision-making responsibilities, replacing the term “child custody” with “parental responsibilities”.

By promoting the best interests of the child and encouraging cooperative parenting, the updated child custody rules in Illinois aim to create a more equitable and supportive environment for all parties involved in custody disputes. These changes ensure that children’s needs are prioritized and that custody arrangements are crafted to provide the most beneficial outcomes for all involved.

Impact on Legal Practice

Given all the changes and updates to Illinois law discussed so far, it is necessary to consider their effect on the state’s legal practice. The adaptation to electronic processes and continuing legal education requirements are two significant factors that have influenced the practice of law in Illinois.

As technology keeps advancing and reshaping various industries, the legal profession has also been required to adjust to these changes. Embracing new technologies and adjusting to remote work has become a crucial aspect of the legal practice, ensuring that attorneys can continue to serve their clients effectively and efficiently in the ever-changing landscape of the law.

Adaptation to Electronic Processes

Adapting to electronic processes in Illinois legal practice involves:

  • Adopting new technologies
  • Adapting to remote work
  • The legal system has adopted remote court proceedings and hearings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Implementing electronic filing systems for civil cases.

By adapting to these electronic processes, attorneys in Illinois can provide more efficient and accessible services to their clients. This transition also reduces costs and improves convenience for all parties involved, ultimately contributing to a more streamlined and effective legal system.

Continuing Legal Education Requirements

Continuing legal education (CLE) requirements in Illinois ensure that attorneys stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the law. Attorneys are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of CLE every two years, with at least 6 hours in the area of Professional Responsibility.

Keeping informed about new rules, regulations, and best practices allows attorneys to serve their clients better and contribute to a more effective legal system. Continuing legal education is an essential aspect of the legal profession, ensuring that attorneys are well-equipped to navigate the ever-changing landscape of the law.


In conclusion, the recent updates and developments in Illinois law have had a significant impact on various areas of legal practice. From changes in civil procedure to new rules impacting insurance codes and property tax codes, these modifications aim to streamline processes, promote efficiency, and provide greater protections for individuals and businesses throughout the state.

By staying informed about these changes, attorneys, legal professionals, and the general public can better navigate the complex legal landscape in Illinois. It is crucial for all parties to remain knowledgeable about the latest developments in the law and continue to adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of legal practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Illinois Rule of Civil Procedure 23?

Illinois Rule of Civil Procedure 23 is an amendment to the Appellate Court, creating a presumption against disposing of cases by full opinions and authorizing a third type of disposition in select circumstances. All positive opinions and orders must contain the names of judges who rendered them.

What is the rule 11 in Illinois?

In Illinois, Rule 11 states that documents can be served to parties or their attorneys via email. If the party is not represented by an attorney, service must be made directly to the party. The amendment to Rule 11 requires that each paper must include the signer's address and telephone number.

What is the rule 237 in Illinois?

In Illinois, Supreme Court Rule 237 allows parties to compel another party to appear and produce witnesses at trial. It also requires written notice designating the person required to appear and the production of any original documents which have been previously disclosed. This rule also applies to those subpoenaed for an arbitration hearing. Additionally, all witnesses are required to respond to a lawful subpoena of which they have actual knowledge, provided that payment of the fee and mileage has been offered.

What is the Supreme Court Rule 22 in Illinois?

Supreme Court Rule 22 in Illinois establishes the organization of appellate court districts and provides administrative authority with respect to appellate court rules. Each district consists of one division, except where provided otherwise by order of the Supreme Court, with the First District sitting in the city of Chicago.

What is the new labor law in Illinois 2024?

Beginning in 2024, the Paid Leave for All Workers Act (PLAW) will provide eligible Illinois workers with up to 40 hours of paid leave per year, accruing at one hour for every 40 hours worked. This leave can be used for any reason, without having to provide documentation to an employer, as of March 31st, 2024.

If you need assistance with a civil litigation matter, contact an experienced lawyer at O’Flaherty Law at (630) 324-6666 or fill out our confidential contact form and a member of our team will be in touch.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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