Fifth District Illinois Appellate Court Without Jurisdiction To Allow Permissive Appeal Of Forum Motion

Janet Chochorowski rented a power tiller from a Home Depot in Missouri. She claimed she did not want to purchase a damage waiver, but that she was charged for it anyway. She turned her grievance into a class action lawsuit in Illinois.

Janet’s breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims were dismissed. That left her with a single claim under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. Home Depot moved to dismiss the complaint on the basis of forum non conveniens. The trial court denied the motion, but on a permissive interlocutory appeal, the appellate court reversed. Chochorowski asked for and was granted a rehearing.

On rehearing, the appellate court considered whether it had jurisdiction to review Home Depot’s forum non conveniens motion made pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 306(a)(4) (allowing a permissive appeal “from the denial of a motion for transfer of venue to a court within another county in the state.”) The Fifth District Illinois Appellate Court ruled that Home Depot sought to have the case re-filed in Missouri, not transferred to another Illinois county. Thus, the court ruled that it did not have “authority to grant leave to appeal from the nonfinal order disposing of that issue.” That part of Home Depot’s appeal was dismissed.

Read the whole case, Chochorowski v. Home Depot U.S.A., No. 5-06-0308 (9/21/07), by clicking here.