In SB1748, effective immediately, the Illinois Legislature modified the Code of Civil Procedure to modify the deposition process and expand the rights of certain parties to have preference in choosing the setting for trial. First, in actions where defendants have a right to demand a mental or physical examination of a plaintiff, plaintiffs may now choose a third party to attend and video record mental or physical examinations. Second, the act substantially modifies the rights of parties to have preference in choosing the setting for trial. The act extended the right to next of kin or surviving spouses in wrongful death actions and lowered the overall age to qualify for preference from 70 to 67.
The amendment additionally dictates that trial shall commence within one year of ruling on the motion for preference, unless a new party is added in the case, in which case any party may move to start trial one year from the addition of a new party. The amendment removed the discretion of courts to grant or deny such motions, changing language to mandate that a motion “shall” be granted when the individual or next of kin demonstrates substantial physical or financial hardship or other good cause. Parties may move for a continuance of six months on a showing of good cause, but further continuance shall only be granted to the extent necessary for trial to commence as soon as practicable. If you have a questions about this law contact Michael Haeberle at email@example.com