Appeal Of Post-Judgment Motion Not Saved By Rule 303

Bridgette Glickman, owner of a condominium unit, fell on ice in a stairway at the condo building. She sustained multiple fractures to her ankle. Among others, she sued the condominium association for negligent maintenance of the stairway.

The trial court dismissed Glickman’s complaint against the association because the accident happened before the association elected its first board of managers. The case proceeded against the other defendants − the developer and the designer of the building. Glickman appealed the dismissal of the association within the mandated 30-day deadline. About four months later, she asked the trial court for permission to file an amended complaint against the association.

The trial court denied Glickman’s request to amend, so she made the denial part of her appeal. The First District Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the ruling that Glickman’s request came too late for the trial court to decide. The filing of Glickman’s notice of appeal did not relieve the trial court of jurisdiction. But her failure to file the request to amend within 30 days did. Here’s what the appellate court stated:

As a general rule, the trial court is divested of jurisdiction over a cause upon the filing of a notice of appeal … However, under the recently amended version of Supreme Court Rule 303(a)(2) … the trial court retains jurisdiction over a timely filed postjudgment motion … Because Glickman’s motion involved the party that was dismissed from the lawsuit and since it was not filed within the 30 days allowed under Rule 304(a) … it was not timely filed and the trial court no longer had jurisdiction over the dismissed party. Therefore, the trial court’s denial of Glickman’s motion for leave to file an amended complaint is affirmed.

Don’t fret, though, if your sympathy is with Ms. Glickman. The dismissal of Glickman’s complaint against the association was reversed. Read the whole case, Glickman v. Teglia, No. 1-08-0392 (2/19/09), by clicking here.