Slightly Defective Certificate Of Service Does Not Deprive Illinois Appellate Court Of Jurisdiction

In an insurance coverage dispute, Illinois Farmers moved to dismiss Secura Insurance’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Farmers argued that Secura’s Notice of Appeal, mailed to the court the 30th day after the judgment, was deficient because the certificate of service did not state the time of mailing, a requirement of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 12(b)(3). Farmers argued that Secura’s failure to strictly comply with the Supreme Court’s rules doomed the Notice of Filing, thus depriving the appellate court of jurisdiction.

The Second District Illinois Appellate Court rejected Farmers’ position and ruled that jurisdiction was proper. The court ruled that the failure to state the time of service was a very slight defect that did not interfere with or preclude review. Adding “the fact that Farmers does not allege prejudice, we conclude that the defect here amounts to harmless error.”

Get the whole case, Secura Ins. Co. v. Illinois Farmers Ins. Co., No. 2-06-0614 (11/7/07), by clicking here.