End-Of-Paragraph Fact Cites Comply With Illinois Supreme Court Rules

Charles Gaston sued the City of Danville, Illinois for the wrongful death of his son. Charles appealed after the trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the city.

The record citations in the fact section of the city’s appellate brief were placed at the end of each paragraph, rather than after each sentence. Charles asked the appellate court to strike the facts in the city’s brief and the arguments that relied on those facts. He argued that the city’s method of record citation violated Illinois Supreme Court Rule 341(h)(6), which requires an accurate and fully cited fact section.

The Fourth District Illinois Appellate Court denied Charles’s request and allowed the city’s brief to stand. The court explained:

The city’s brief contains a cite to the record only at the end of each paragraph of the statement of facts and lacks cites entirely in two paragraphs of its argument section. Supreme Court Rule [341] requires a “[s]tatement of [f]acts * * * with appropriate reference to the pages of the record on appeal.” … [T]he city provided the cites at the end of each paragraph of facts and these record cites support the facts stated throughout the paragraph and correspond to the information contained on cited page of the record. The rule does not require the brief to contain a cite at the end of each sentence. Moreover, ” ‘[w]here violations of supreme court rules are not so flagrant as to hinder or preclude review, the striking of a brief in whole or in part may be unwarranted.’ … We deny the motion to strike.

Charles lost that battle but won the war. The judgment for the city was reversed, and the case was remanded back to the trial court. Read the whole case, Gaston v. City of Danville, No 4-08-0803 (7/17/09), by clicking here.