First District Illinois Appellate Rules Abuse Of Discretion Standard On Motion To Vacate Foreclosure

A property owner, Burtley, moved to vacate an order of foreclosure that was entered without an evidentiary hearing. He appealed the trial court’s denial of the motion. The parties disputed the appellate standard of review.

Burtley asserted review should be de novo “or what he labels an ‘ends of justice’ standard.” He argued that a motion to vacate should be reviewed by the same de novo standard as a motion to dismiss.

The bank argued that the standard of review was ”whether the trial court abused its discretion by failing to promote substantial justice between the parties . . .”

The appellate court sided with the bank. “We review a trial court’s decision to deny a motion to vacate for an abuse of discretion . . . [W]e determine whether the trial court’s decision to deny a motion to vacate ‘was a fair and just result, which did not deny [the moving party] justice.” The court also rejected Burtley’s position to establish an “ends of justice” standard.

The whole opinion, Deutsche Bank National v. Burtley, No. 1-04-3470 (2/9/07), is available by clicking here.