Trial Court Must Grant Extension Within 30 Days Of Judgment To Preserve Additional Time For Reconsideration Motion

The Singels were divorced in April 2006. Thirty days later, Thomas’s new lawyer filed a motion requesting an extension of time to file a motion to reconsider the dissolution judgment. That motion was denied in August. The trial court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction because neither a motion to reconsider had been filed nor an extension granted within 30 days of the dissolution judgment.

Thomas appealed that ruling in September, but Mary Beth fought appellate jurisdiction on the basis that the Notice of Appeal had not been filed within 30 days of the judgment. The appellate court agreed with Mary Beth and dismissed the appeal.

The Notice of Appeal clearly was filed more than 30 days after the judgment. So the disputed issue was whether Thomas’s motion for an extension of time to file the motion for reconsideration, which he filed within 30 days of the judgment, but was not ruled on until three months later, tolled the time to file a Notice of Appeal. The court ruled that Thomas’s motion did not extend the time to file; it had to be granted within that time.

Contrary to what respondent [Thomas] contends, it does not matter that he filed his motion or an extension of time within 30 days after the entry of the judgment. Under section 2-1203(a) [of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure], an initial extension beyond the 30-day limit must be granted within that 30-day period.

See the whole case, IRMO Singel, No. 2-06-0897 (5/16/07), by clicking here.