What Happens if New Evidence is Discovered After a Trial

What Happens if New Evidence is Discovered After Trial in Illinois?

Video by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Article written by Illinois Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
September 3, 2019

In this article, we answer the question, “what happens if new evidence is discovered after trial in Illinois?” We explain what to do if you discover new evidence after a court order is entered in Illinois.  We discuss motions to reconsider and petitions for relief from judgment and compare and contrast the two.  

For more on post-trial motions in Illinois, check out our article: Post-Trial Motions in Illinois Divorce.

What to Do if You Discover New Evidence After a Court Order is Entered in Illinois

If new evidence is discovered after trial in Illinois, the judgment may be overturned through either a motion to reconsider or a petition for relief from judgment

Either option will require the person seeking to overturn the judgment to show: 

The motion should demonstrate: 

  • That the new evidence would be material to case, meaning that it would change the court’s ruling; and 
  • That the movant was not aware of the evidence at the time of trial through no fault of his or her own. 

Motions to Reconsider Based on New Evidence

Motions to reconsider may be filed within 30 days of the order in question if new evidence is discovered after trial.  

The trial court has discretion as to whether to grant a motion to reconsider.  Motions to reconsider do not require new service of process upon the respondent.  

For more on motions to reconsider, check out our article: Motions to Reconsider in Illinois.

Petitions for Relief from Judgment Based on New Evidence

Petitions for relief from judgment must be filed within 2 years of the judgment in question.  This deadline may be extended if the person filing the petition is under legal disability or duress, or if the grounds for the petition were fraudulently concealed from the petitioner.  

Unlike a motion to reconsider, a petition for relief from judgment require service of process upon the respondent.  

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