Williams v. A. E. Staley Mfg. Co., 53236

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtUNDERWOOD; SIMON
Citation83 Ill.2d 559,416 N.E.2d 252,48 Ill.Dec. 221
Parties, 48 Ill.Dec. 221 Vernon E. WILLIAMS, Appellant, v. A. E. STALEY MANUFACTURING COMPANY, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 53236,53236
Decision Date20 January 1981

Page 252

416 N.E.2d 252
83 Ill.2d 559, 48 Ill.Dec. 221
Vernon E. WILLIAMS, Appellant,
No. 53236.
Supreme Court of Illinois.
Jan. 20, 1981.

[83 Ill.2d 560]

Page 253

[48 Ill.Dec. 222] Hillary H. Hallett, Alton (Sidney Z. Karasik, Chicago, of counsel), for appellant.

Vincent J. Hatch, of Donovan, Hatch & Constance, Belleville, for appellee.


On October 31, 1977, plaintiff, Vernon Williams, filed his complaint in the circuit court of Madison County alleging he had suffered injuries while working for an insulation contractor at a plant owned by defendant, A. E. Staley Manufacturing Company. On December 7, defendant filed its interrogatories and a request to produce documents, asking that plaintiff respond within 28 days. On January 26, 1978, plaintiff filed an amended complaint, and defendant, on March 1, filed identical requests [83 Ill.2d 561] to produce and interrogatories, requesting that plaintiff respond within 30 days. On March 16, plaintiff filed his interrogatories and request that defendant produce certain documents. Plaintiff filed answers to defendant's interrogatories in April, but produced none of the requested material. On August 31, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to produce the requested documents. Notice of the filing of this motion was mailed to plaintiff on August 30, according to the proof of service accompanying the motion, but no hearing date or time was specified therein. It is represented to be the practice in Madison County for the clerk to send to all counsel notice of the dates upon which identified motions will be heard. No such notice appears in this record. On September 12 the circuit court allowed the motion and directed that the clerk send to all counsel copies of the dismissal order. The clerk indicated in a minute note that this was done, although plaintiff maintains he did not receive one. On November 27 the plaintiff filed his "Compliance," submitting certain documents in response to the request to produce made nearly a year earlier. Three days later plaintiff filed a "Motion to Reinstate" the complaint, alleging the failure to supply the documents had been inadvertent and that they had been in the office of counsel for plaintiff on the day the dismissal order was entered. Defendant filed objections thereto, but both counsel and the court treated the motion as a petition filed pursuant to section 72 of the Civil Practice Act (Ill.Rev.Stat.1977, ch. 110, par. 72) despite the fact the motion did not refer to section 72 and was neither verified nor supported by affidavit. When the circuit court, after a December 27 hearing, granted the motion, defendant appealed, citing Rule 304(b)(3), which deals with a "judgment or order granting or denying any of the relief prayed in a petition under section 72 of the Civil Practice Act" (58 Ill.2d R. 304(b)(3)). The appellate court reversed (80 Ill.App.3d[83 Ill.2d 562]

Page 254

[48 Ill.Dec. 223] 981, 36 Ill.Dec. 304, 400 N.E.2d 724), and we granted leave to appeal.

We observe at the outset that these appeals, involving a not insignificant waste of time, effort and money, are the direct result of a failure on the part of both parties to comply with the rules of this court. Plaintiff was dilatory in supplying the requested documents, and the defendant ignored the requirements of our Rule 201(k) (58 Ill.2d R. 201(k)), as did plaintiff in a later motion to strike defendant's answer because defendant had allegedly failed to produce requested material. Our Rule 201(k) states:

"(k) Reasonable Attempt to Resolve Differences Required. Every motion with respect to discovery shall incorporate a statement that after personal consultation and reasonable attempts to resolve differences the parties have been unable to reach an accord. The court may order that reasonable costs, including attorney's fees, be assessed against a party or his attorney who unreasonably fails to facilitate discovery under this provision." (58 Ill.2d R. 201(k).)

The committee comments to this rule state of paragraph (k):

"Patterned after the practice in the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Northern Districts of Illinois, it is designed to curtail undue delay in the administration of justice and to discourage motions of a routine nature." (58 Ill.2d R. 201(k), Committee Comments.)

The present Rule 12(d) of the Rules of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois provides:

"(d) To curtail undue delay in...

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41 cases
  • Adoption of Schumacher, In re, s. 83-340
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • December 12, 1983
    ...(See Williams v. A.E. Staley Manufacturing Co. (1980), 80 Ill.App.3d 981, 36 Ill.Dec. 304, 400 N.E.2d 724, rev'd on other grounds (1981), 83 Ill.2d 559, 48 Ill.Dec. 221, 416 N.E.2d 252; Lady v. Montgomery Ward & Co. (1980), 80 Ill.App.3d 69, 35 Ill.Dec. 512, 399 N.E.2d 346.) Further, a cour......
  • Kaull v. Kaull, 2–13–0175.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • December 22, 2014
    ...in order for the trial court to order an examination pursuant to Rule 215. Mark James cites Williams v. A.E. Staley Manufacturing Co., 83 Ill.2d 559, 48 Ill.Dec. 221, 416 N.E.2d 252 (1981), in support of this argument. In Williams, our supreme court stated:“In proper circumstances Rule 201(......
  • Mittelman v. Witous, 86-1409
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • May 18, 1988
    ...286; Williams v. A.E. Staley Manufacturing Co. (1980), 80 Ill.App.3d 981, 36 Ill.Dec. 304, 400 N.E.2d 724, rev'd on other grounds (1981), 83 Ill.2d 559, 48 Ill.Dec. 221, 416 N.E.2d 252; Robertson v. Robertson (1984), 123 Ill.App.3d 323, 78 Ill.Dec. 593, 462 N.E.2d 712.) Notwithstanding that......
  • Consolidation Coal Co. v. Bucyrus-Erie Co., BUCYRUS-ERIE
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • February 2, 1982
    ...which contemplate that discovery generally proceed without judicial intervention. (Williams v. A. E. Staley Manufacturing Co. (1981), 83 Ill.2d 559, 564, 48 Ill.Dec. 221, 416 N.E.2d 252.) It would only serve to "increase the burden of already crowded court calendars, and thwart the efficien......
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1 books & journal articles
  • Interrogatories
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Illinois Pretrial Practice - Volume 1
    • May 1, 2020
    ...unable to resolve a discovery dispute after at least two letters and one personal conference. [ Williams v. A.E. Staley Manufacturing , 83 Ill 2d 559, 416 NE2d 252, 48 Ill Dec 221 (1981).] Use the 201(k) conference to try to reach a compromise with your opponent. For example, the proponent ......

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