- A rehearing,
- A retrial,
- A modification of the judgment,
- A vacating of the judgment,
- Or other relief. 735 ILCS 5/2-1203(a).
Generally, when you file on time, the judge will "stay enforcement" of the judgment which means the judgment cannot be enforced for a period of time. "Stay enforcement" usually lasts until the hearing on the motion. 735 ILCS 5/2-1203(b).
An exception to the "stay enforcement" is a judgment that grants injunctive or declaratory relief. Those judgments require extra paperwork that state the cause for staying the enforcement.
Relief desired after trial in a jury case must be included in a single post-trial motion. The post-trial motion must contain the points relied upon and specify the grounds in support of the post-trial motion. It must also state the relief desired. Examples of relief desired include the entry of a judgment or the granting of a new trial. 735 ILCS 5/2-1202(b).
The motion must be filed within 30 days of entry of the judgment or the discharge of the jury, if no verdict is reached, or within any further time the court may allow within the 30 days or any extensions. 735 ILCS 5/2-1202(c). Filing on time, "stays enforcement of the judgment" which means the judgment cannot be enforced for a period of time. This usually lasts until the hearing on the motion. 735 ILCS 5/2-1202(d).
Any party who does not request a new trial in his or her post-trial motion waives the right to ask for a new trial, except in cases in which the jury did not reach a verdict. 735 ILCS 5/2-1202(e). A court must rule on all relief requested in post-trial motions. 735 ILCS 5/2-1202(f).
Other Post-Trial Motions
Motion to Vacate Default Judgment
If a defendant is served with process and fails to enter an appearance, file pleadings, or make any other response to the plaintiff's complaint, then the plaintiff may request entry of a default judgment. CitiMortgage, Inc. v. Moran, 2014 IL App. (1st) 132430, 29 N.E.3d 50 (2014). To vacate a default judgment, a motion must be filed within 30 days of entry of the default judgment. The court's decision to set aside any default judgment is discretionary. 735 ILCS 5/2-1301(e).
In reviewing the decisions of trial court that have denied motions to vacate, the Supreme Court of Illinois has articulated a liberal standard, and held that the "overriding consideration" for vacating a default judgment under § 2-1301 "is whether or not substantial justice is being done between the litigants and whether it is reasonable, under the circumstances, to compel the other party to go to trial on the merits." People ex rel. Reid v. Adkins, 48 Ill. 2d 402, 406, 270 N.E.2d 841, 843 (1971); Patrick v. Burgess-Norton Mfg. Co., 63 Ill. 2d 524, 531-32, 349 N.E.2d 52, 56 (1976). A trial court's refusal to vacate a default judgment may be reversed because of a denial of substantial justice or because of an abuse of discretion. Venzor v. Carmen's Pizza Corp., 235 Ill.App.3d 1053, 1057, 602 N.E.2d 81 (1992) (emphasis in original). But cf. Foutch v. O'Bryant, 99 Ill.2d 389, 459 N.E.2d 958 (1984) (holding that where an appellant fails to present any record of the proceedings, the court must presume that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a motion to vacate a default judgment). Showing of meritorious defense or good excuse is not required to vacate a judgment, but it is still a factor to be considered in determining whether the judgment should be vacated. Morning v. Morning, 9 Ill.App.3d 555, 291 N.E.2d 875 (1973).
Petition for Relief from Judgment
Relief from judgment more than 30 days after entry of the judgment may be sought by filing a petition pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-1401 ("Section 2-1401 petition").
The petition for relief from judgment must be filed within two years of entry of the judgment or order. 735 ILCS 5/2-1401(c). Also, the petition must be filed in the same case in which the order or judgment was entered. It should be noted that the petition is not a continuation of that case. 735 ILCS 5/2-1401(b).
A Section 2-1401 petition must allege a meritorious defense or claim, due diligence in presenting the defense or claim, and due diligence in filing the petition. Smith v. Airoom, Inc., 114 Ill.2d 209, 220-21, 102 Ill.Dec. 368, 499 N.E.2d 1381 (1986). See S. Ct. Rule 106 for procedures governing service of a Section 2-1401 petition.
Final orders, judgments, and decrees may be vacated after 30 days of entry by bringing to the court's attention matters of fact, unknown when the judgment was entered, but which, if known, would have affected the judgment. Clay v. Huntley, 338 Ill.App.3d 68, 787 N.E.2d 317 (2003).
Release of Judgment
A judgment debtor who has paid the judgment creditor all sums of money due may request from the judgment creditor written documentation that the judgment has been released and that the judgment amount is no longer due. 736 ILCS 5/12-183(a).
Satisfaction of judgment merely serves as proof of payment of the judgment, which is normally filed with the court as evidence and stops the accrual of post judgment interest. In re Fultz, 232 B.R. 709 (Bankr. ND Ill. 1999).
Updated: September 2017