Lawyers and pro se litigants are both required to use electronic filing. The issue of filing deadlines is an important one to know. This applies to all types of cases, not just family law.

The plaintiff in a personal injury suit tried to electronically file a motion to reconsider. It was shortly before midnight the day it was due. The motion was not timely uploaded in the clerk’s system. Therefore, it was file-stamped on 12:03 a.m. the next day.

He tried to start the uploading process at about 11:58 p.m. He tried to have the motion to reconsider considered filed on the actual due date. The court did not allow that. He appealed as his Motion to Reconsider could not be heard now.

The appellate court held that the trial court had no jurisdiction to make such a ruling. It held that it had no jurisdiction to hear the merits of the appeal. It dismissed the matter in its entirety.

The plaintiff had conceded that the problem was not based on a technical problem in the e-filing system. It happened because of plaintiff’s user error. Also, problems the plaintiff had in using the system.

The court noted that its opinion to dismiss may seem harsh. The plaintiff lost both his chance to have a motion to reconsider addressed and a potential appeal. He could have filed the motion to reconsider anytime within 30 days of the motion he wanted the court to reconsider.

He could have obtained an extension within those 30 days. He could have requested from the appellate court for leave to file a late notice of appeal under S.Ct. Rule 303(d). He had not done either of these things.

Peraino v. County of Winnebago, 2018 IL App (2d) 170368

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