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Illinois Civil Litigation Recent Legal Answers from Lawyers

Illinois Civil Litigation Recent Legal Answers from Lawyers

Defamation Of Character

Answered 5 months ago by attorney Bruce Robins   |   1 Answer
I'm assuming the accusation is false.  If it were true, you would have no defamation claim.  If the person knew the allegation was false when he/she made it, you probably have a claim for libel/slander (depending on how the false allegation was communicated; libel is written, slander is verbal).  I believe that this statement, questioning your integrity in connection with your work, falls into the category of defamation per se, which means that you don't have to prove actual monetary damges to be compensated, but it is not 100% clear.  If you have to prove damages, you may have a tough time doing so (assuming that you do not lose your job over the claim).... Read More
I'm assuming the accusation is false.  If it were true, you would have no defamation claim.  If the person knew the allegation was false... Read More
It is possible that the rules are different in Illinois, but where I practice a lawyer's obligation generally ends upon judgment. with no need to notify the other side.  Thus, any papers which need to be served in any subsequent proceedings should be served on the client  Of course, the attorney can continue to represent the client after judgment if they both agree, but here you are on notice that the lawyer is not continuing to represent the former client, and the client is the one who has to receive all notices.... Read More
It is possible that the rules are different in Illinois, but where I practice a lawyer's obligation generally ends upon judgment. with no need to... Read More
It's hard to say if it is bad.  You have every right to change attorneys if you're not satisfied with yours.  If you're going to change, its better to do so early in the case.  The down side is that your new attorney will take some time to get up to speed, and you will be paying for the time spent (assuming that you are paying your attorney on a time basis).    ... Read More
It's hard to say if it is bad.  You have every right to change attorneys if you're not satisfied with yours.  If you're going to change,... Read More
You can try, but absent a contract or statute which provides for the prevailing party to have his legal fees and expenses reimbursed by the loser,, each side pays their own.  However, if you are suing your landlord under your lease, you need to review it; leases generally contain attorneys' fees provisions.... Read More
You can try, but absent a contract or statute which provides for the prevailing party to have his legal fees and expenses reimbursed by the loser,,... Read More

Removing myself from a car title.

Answered a year and 8 months ago by attorney Bruce Robins   |   1 Answer
Anybody can sue anybody for anything, but I don't see what basis you would have to be removed from the loan (it's the loan that matters, not the title; being removed from title doesn't excuse you from your obligations as co-signer of the loan).  The finance company agree to loan money to buy the car based on your credit.  It never agreed to loan your ex money without your credit, and presumably never promised that you would be relieved of your obligations if you broke up.  You might have a better chance suing your ex, but unless he promised that he would assume sole responsibility for the loan if you ever broke up, I don't see that your claim now is very strong.  Bottom line is that if you are ever required to pay anything because of the auto loan, then you may have a good case against your ex for him to reimburse you (assuming that he has the money with which to do so), but unless someone else of equal financial stature agrees to substitute for you as a co-obligor under the loan, I don't see any reason why the finance company would let you off the hook.... Read More
Anybody can sue anybody for anything, but I don't see what basis you would have to be removed from the loan (it's the loan that matters, not the... Read More
You would sue the estate for (I assume) breach of contract.
You would sue the estate for (I assume) breach of contract.
If all you're looking for is to salve your conscience, you can send the plaintiff a money order in a blank envelope without revealing anything about yourself.  However, this will not remove the judgment of record.  The only way to do that is to satisfy the judgment, interest and all, or get the plaintiff to agree to accept less in full settlement of the judgment.  In return you would get a document from the plaintiff acknowledging that all obligations under the judgment have been sastisfied, and you would file that document (in New York its called a "Satisfaction of Judgment", but it may be called something else in Illinois) with the appropriate official (in New York it would be the County Clerk).  In that event, however, I don't see how you'd avoid revealing details about yourself.... Read More
If all you're looking for is to salve your conscience, you can send the plaintiff a money order in a blank envelope without revealing anything about... Read More

Can this case be brought to court?

Answered 2 years and 3 months ago by attorney Bruce Robins   |   1 Answer
Your recourse if sued is to defend the case.  Assuming you have no documentation or other witnesses to back up your story (I assume her kids won't back you up in court), when it comes time for a hearing you will tell your story and hope that the court believes you and not her, which seems l ikely to me (although I haven't heard the other side) since she has no contract, no invoice, and she didn't do anything to collect for almost a year and a half.. BTW, it's none of my business, but what was the point in refusing the attorney's letter?  A letter can't force you to do anything you don't want to do.  If you refuse to communicate with the attorney, you may leave the other side with no choice but to sue you.... Read More
Your recourse if sued is to defend the case.  Assuming you have no documentation or other witnesses to back up your story (I assume her kids... Read More

Can I sue a friend?

Answered 2 years and 10 months ago by attorney Bruce Robins   |   1 Answer
Can you sue a friend?  Of course, but your problems are (a) finding him/her to serve (although you may be able to get a default judgment if you make diligent efforts to try to locate and serve him/her); and (b) assuming you succeed in your suit, collecting on your judgment, either because you can't locate your ex-friend, or he/she has no assets or income from which to satisfy the judgment.... Read More
Can you sue a friend?  Of course, but your problems are (a) finding him/her to serve (although you may be able to get a default judgment if you... Read More

Do I need a signed contract in order to sue for money owed to me?

Answered 2 years and 11 months ago by attorney Bruce Robins   |   1 Answer
You don't need a signed agreement to sue someone to repay a loan you made them, although it would obviously help you prove your case.  It is not clear to me whether you meant that you had filed bankruptcy, or the debtor had, but either way you can't now sue for a loan defaulted on prior to the bankruptcy (assuming that you are still within the statute of limitations anyway).  If you're referring to your friend's bankruptcy, the debt was presumably discharged in the bankruptcy.  If you're referring to your own bankruptcy, which I am assuming was a Chapter 7, any receivable you had became the property of your bankruptcy estate, to be used to pay your creditors.  You were required to list that asset in your filing, with potentially severe consequences if you didn't.  It is only if the trustee of your bankruptcy estate knew about the claim and declined to pursue it (or if you paid back all your creditors in full) that you might have a right to do so yourself.... Read More
You don't need a signed agreement to sue someone to repay a loan you made them, although it would obviously help you prove your case.  It is not... Read More
As a rule (with a few exceptions which don't seem present here), any type of civil claim requires not only a wrong (here negligence) but damage caused by that wrong.  Thus, for example, if a driver runs a red light and hits your car, you could sue for the damage done to your vehicle, medical bills arising from the accident, lost wages if you had to miss work due to the accident, etc.  If, however, you swerve and miss the guy who ran the light, you have no claim.  The other driver has committed the same wrong in both cases, and could conceivably face reckless driving criminal charges, but you have no civil claim because you suffered no damages.  The same is true here.  Did you eat the plastic?  Did it cause you any harm?  Did it cost you any money?  I assume that if the answer to any of the foregoing questions was yes, you would have mentioned it.  You may have a claim for the price of the sandwich, but you have no other damages.  That being said, it is possible that the restaurant will be willing to compensate you in some way to avoid bad publicity.  But I wouldn't expect much.... Read More
As a rule (with a few exceptions which don't seem present here), any type of civil claim requires not only a wrong (here negligence) but damage... Read More

Can I sue for someone causing damages to my car?

Answered 3 years and 6 months ago by attorney Bruce Robins   |   1 Answer
Basically you are asking whether you can sue someone who stole your car, drove it drunk, and totaled it.  The answer is yes.  However, to the extent that your insurance covered any of the damages, your insurance company would get it back off the top.  Also, you appear to have a good claim, but that doesn't mean that you will be able to collect if the guy has no assets.... Read More
Basically you are asking whether you can sue someone who stole your car, drove it drunk, and totaled it.  The answer is yes.  However, to... Read More
I'm aware of no limitations on an inmate's right to sue anyone against whom (or against which) he/she has a claim.  If, for example, someone ran his car through your front window, I don't believe that the fact that you are incarcerated would bar you from suing the driver.  The logistics of prosecuting such a suit, however, obviously will be difficult.... Read More
I'm aware of no limitations on an inmate's right to sue anyone against whom (or against which) he/she has a claim.  If, for example, someone ran... Read More

How to find out if a bequest if signatures are authentic?

Answered 4 years and 5 months ago by attorney Bruce Robins   |   1 Answer
Hire a handwriting expert to compare the signature on the bequest with examples of your brother's signature that you know to be valid.
Hire a handwriting expert to compare the signature on the bequest with examples of your brother's signature that you know to be valid.
You're making this too complicated.  It's your car.  The lot's negligence reduced the value of your car by $8,500, even though you spent $x to fix it.  You can sue for $8,500 plus $x (although without knowing a lot more I can't predict whether you're likely to win.)  Your mom has no claim; it's not her car, so she suffered no damage.  If it was your mom's car, she could sue but you would have no claim.... Read More
You're making this too complicated.  It's your car.  The lot's negligence reduced the value of your car by $8,500, even though you spent $x... Read More
Nobody can tell you that you can't be sued, because you can be sued for anything.  It is unlikely that you would be sued for slander, since slander is oral defamation, and you haven't mentioned any oral statements you made about the man, let alone any that could be considered defamatory.  You could be sued for libel, which is written defamation, but if so you have at least 3 potential defenses: 1) to state that the car was abused by its prior owner is a statement of opinion, not fact, and therefore not actionable; 1) if it is considered a statement of fact, the statement that the van was abused by its prior owner is true, and therefore not actionable; and 3)  even if the statement was libelous, the prior owner has suffered no damages from it (the statement does not appear to me to fall within the categories of libel per se, for which the plaintiff need not show damages; in this case, the prior owner would not only have to show that you libeled him, but also that the libel had somehow caused him damages by, for example, causing  him to lose his job.)... Read More
Nobody can tell you that you can't be sued, because you can be sued for anything.  It is unlikely that you would be sued for slander, since... Read More
No.  They may have a right to get your dad's estate to pay their legal fees (if you are administering your dad's estate, you would be sued as executor or administrator, but that doesn't mean that you are being sued individually, just in your representative capacity), but if you really inherited nothing from your dad, you would not have any liability.... Read More
No.  They may have a right to get your dad's estate to pay their legal fees (if you are administering your dad's estate, you would be sued as... Read More
Although still technically allowed, alenation of affection suits are very much disfavored in Illinois and require, among other things, a showing of actual monetary damage from the alienation.  Punitive damages are not allowed.  There is legislation pending which would do away with this cause of action completely.  Are you sure you want to spend your time on this kind of thing?... Read More
Although still technically allowed, alenation of affection suits are very much disfavored in Illinois and require, among other things, a showing of... Read More
First thing to do is notify your homeowner's insurance company, and any other insurer  you  think might cover the event (for example, if you have an umbrella policy) even if you don't thinki you're covered.  You only have a limited time to assert coverage before you are in danger of waiving your rights under the policy.  If you are covered, the insurance company will provide you with an attorney to defend you. Assuming that your policy does not cover this, you should defend the suit.  It is up to you whether to hire an attorney or not, but i would recommend it.  If you decide to handle it yourself, I hope the following  helps. It sounds like the "paper" to which you refer is a complaint, which you must respond to within a relatively short period of time (which should be set forth in the papers).  You have to file an answer in which you deny the allegation that it was yoiur dog, along with denying any other allegation you know to be false, and stating that you do not have sufficient knowledge to know whether an allegation is true whenever something is alleged which is outside of your personal knowledge (for example, if the complaint alleges that the plaintiff continues to suffer pain due to his/her injuries, you would deny knowledge or informaiton sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of that allegation, because  you have no personal knowledge of whether that is true or not) and asserting any affirmative defenses you may have (affirmative defenses are defenses for which the defendant bears the burden of proof, that is, defenses which absolve the defendant of liability even if the plaintiff is able to prove everything alleged in the complaint, like statute of limitations, or that the claim had been released, etc.)  If the plaintiff  has no evidence that the dog was yours, or if you have incontrovertible proof, or discover such proof during the discovery process, that the dog wasn't yours, you may be able to move for summary judgment.... Read More
First thing to do is notify your homeowner's insurance company, and any other insurer  you  think might cover the event (for example, if... Read More

Who's responsible?

Answered 4 years and 10 months ago by attorney Bruce Robins   |   1 Answer
Law school 101 - sue everybody who might possibly be responsible!  It seems to me that the aunt and her daughter are both responsible.  The aunt breached her contract with you to hold on to the money and only disburse it when and if the daughter's car deal went through.  The daughter breached her agreement with you by not repaying the loan and by using the money for something other than a car.... Read More
Law school 101 - sue everybody who might possibly be responsible!  It seems to me that the aunt and her daughter are both... Read More
While I am not familiar with Illinois statutes specifically, there is a statute of limitations on virtually every crime.  If you wish to have charges brought against someone, you should speak with the local prosecutor's office or the police.
While I am not familiar with Illinois statutes specifically, there is a statute of limitations on virtually every crime.  If you wish to have... Read More
Of course your daughter can file a civil suit against him, and against the girlfriend as well.  Hopefully, the girlfriend's insurance is sufficient to cover your daughter's damages.
Of course your daughter can file a civil suit against him, and against the girlfriend as well.  Hopefully, the girlfriend's insurance is... Read More
While I am not specifically familiar with Illinois procedure, in the jurisdictions in which I practice there is no requirement that a subpoena be signed by the person being subpoenaed.  Such a requirement would make no sense. If you're asking whether service was proper because the subpoena was delivered to a family member rather than you, personally, again I am not familiar with Illinois procedure, but in most states service upon a person of suitable age and discretion at the home of the person being subpoenaed would be sufficient, although additional steps (such as an additional mailing) may be required.... Read More
While I am not specifically familiar with Illinois procedure, in the jurisdictions in which I practice there is no requirement that a subpoena be... Read More
You should contact the clerk of the Court in which the divorce action is pending, who should be able to guide you from there.
You should contact the clerk of the Court in which the divorce action is pending, who should be able to guide you from there.
If the eboyfriend sued your girlfriend for the money she owes him, she would certainly be entitled to get a copy of the letter in discovery in that action.  Absent that, however, I know of no statute which gives your girlfriend a right to a copy of the letter, although it is possible that there is an Illinois statute of which I am unaware, as I do not practice in Illinois.  Assuming, however, that the ex-boyfriend had a right to refuse to give your girlfriend a copy of the letter, he is also within his rights in asking for consideration (quid pro quo) in exchange for waiving that right.  Hindsight is 20-20, but your girlfriend shoudl have made a copy of the letter when she signed it.... Read More
If the eboyfriend sued your girlfriend for the money she owes him, she would certainly be entitled to get a copy of the letter in discovery in that... Read More