Judgments in Eviction Cases

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Author: Richard Wheelock, LAF
Last updated: December 2004

Possession, Rent and Attorney’s Fees

If the court finds that the landlord has proven the allegations contained in the complaint by the preponderance of the evidence, then the court shall enter judgment for possession of the premises in favor of the landlord. 735 ILCS 5/9-109.5. If a claim for rent has been joined in the complaint, judgment may also be entered for the amount of rent found due. 735 ILCS 5/9-106. In the event the court enters judgment on behalf of the landlord, costs shall be entered in favor of the landlord. 735 ILCS 5/9-110. Judgment for the landlord’s attorney's fees may be entered only if the lease provides for such recovery and the collection of fees is not prohibited by any statute or ordinance. See e.g. Section 5-12-140(f) of the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance which renders unenforceable any lease provision requiring the tenant to pay these fees and Section 5-12-180 which prohibits the collection of attorney’s fees in forcible entry and detainer actions.

Stay of Judgment

The court may stay enforcement of this judgment for any period of time that the court and/or the parties deem reasonable and appropriate. However, judgments for possession in eviction actions brought pursuant to 740 ILCS 40/11 (Section 11 of the Controlled Substance and Cannabis Nuisance Act); 735 ILCS 5/9-118 (Emergency housing eviction proceedings); and 735 ILCS 5/9-119 (Emergency subsidized housing eviction proceedings) may not be stayed more than seven days by the court and actions brought pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/9-120 (Leased premises used in furtherance of a criminal offense) not more than seven days unless all parties agree to a longer period.

Expiration of Judgment

The Forcible Act provides that no judgment for possession may be enforced more than 120 days after the judgment is entered "unless upon motion by the plaintiff the court grants an extension of the period of enforcement of the judgment." 735 ILCS 5/9-117. The statute contains specific instructions regarding the language that the plaintiff must include in this motion. The statute further provides that the court may deny the motion if the tenant demonstrates that the tenancy has been reestablished, that the breach upon which the eviction was based has been waived or cured, that the landlord and tenant have entered into a post-judgment agreement, or that other legal or equitable grounds exist to bar enforcement of the judgment.

Execution of Judgment Upon Unknown Occupants

The Forcible Act was recently amended to allow for the eviction of "unknown occupants." See 735 ILCS 5/9-107.5. Service upon an unknown occupant now may be made by serving a copy of the summons and complaint naming "unknown occupants" upon the tenant or any unknown occupant or person of the age of 13 or upwards occupying the apartment. However, if the summons and complaint do not name "unknown occupants" and if in the process of executing an order of possession the Sheriff finds persons in possession of the apartment not named in the order, then the Sheriff shall leave or post a notice to "unknown occupants" notifying them of their right to file within 7 days a petition with the court that sets forth their legal claim to possession of the apartment. Failure of the unnamed occupants to file such a petition will result in their subsequent eviction by the Sheriff.

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