17 May Rule 102 (May 2023)
The Illinois Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding Supreme Court Rule 102 has made headlines in the Illinois litigation realm this Spring.
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 102 determines how a summons (i.e. an official notice of a lawsuit) must be served on a defendant/respondent. Prior to the April amendments, the regulation allowed for summons to be served electronically via social media messages, emails, and text messages when traditional means of service is impractical.
Now, litigants have additional methods of service at their disposal. Litigants may serve by means of direct message on social media (this does not include comments or posts), text message, and email. In order to do so, Petitioner’s message must attach a copy of the summons and use the specific language that is provided in the statute indicating they have been sued. Also, the court must be satisfied that Respondent has the ability and access to use the technology in which the service is being provided.
As a result of the amendments, the party requesting to deliver summons electronically must first submit a motion presenting that the email address or other delivery method used to contact Defendant/Respondent has been recently utilized by Defendant/Respondent and that the Defendant/Respondent is currently active on the platform. Additionally, Plaintiff/Petitioner must also send a copy of the summons via mail to the address of Defendant/Respondent’s last known physical address. Finally, proof of service must be filed when sending summons electronically.
This amendment was added to give movants more flexibility. It also reflects the increased reliance on technology to communicate. However, it is not required that you serve through social media/technology, these are just alternative methods.
For family law purposes, Petitioners should be considering the platform on which they want to perform service and keep updated information on their spouse’s contact information not only regarding their physical address but their electronic contact information and continue to provide their legal counsel with any updates to this information. If service is not performed in accordance with Section 102, this could create roadblocks to Petitioner in the future of the proceeding.