In Illinois, diligence has been defined as “Vigilant activity; attentiveness or care, of which there are infinite shades…” Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed., p. 411. National Steel & Shipbuilding Co. v. U. S., 190 Ct. Cl. 247, 419 F.2d 863, 875., Illinois Supreme Court Article II. Rules On Civil Proceedings In The Trial Court, Part A. Process And Notice;
Such “Vigilant activity” supporting diligence of service of the Amended Complaint and Summons in the instant case is not evident in the Court record;
Where lack of jurisdiction is invoked, it must be done on a de novo basis.. In re Detention of Hardin, 238 Ill.2d 33, 332 Ill.Dec. 555, 932 N.E.2d 1016 (2010).
Committee Comments (June 5, 2007) “Because public policy favors the determination of controversies according to the substantive rights of the parties, Rule 103(b) should not be used by the trial courts to simply clear a crowded docket, nor should they delay ruling on a defendant’s dismissal motion until after the statute of limitations has run. See Kole v. Brubaker, 325 Ill. App. 3d 944, 954 (2001)”.
To enter a valid judgment, a Court must have both: jurisdiction over the subject matter and personal jurisdiction over the parties. (In re Marriage of Verdung, 126 Ill.2d 542, 547, 129 Ill.Dec. 53, 535 N.E.2d 818 (1989)).
A judgment entered by a Court without personal jurisdiction over the parties is void and may be challenged at any time, either directly or collaterally. Verdung, 126 Ill.2d at 547, 129 Ill.Dec. 53, 535 N.E.2d 818.
Personal jurisdiction [only] may be established either by service of process in accordance with statutory requirements or by a party’s voluntary submission to the Court’s jurisdiction. Verdung, 126 Ill.2d at 547, 129 Ill.Dec. 53, 535 N.E.2d 818 ;
A judgment is not valid unless the trial Court has both jurisdiction of the subject matter of the litigation and jurisdiction over the parties. State Bank of Lake Zurich v. Thill, 113 Ill. 2d 294, 308 (1986).
“Absent a general appearance, personal jurisdiction can be acquired only by service of process in the manner directed by statute,” and the Code authorizes service of process either by summons (735 ILCS 5/2-203, 2-204, 2-205 (West 2012)) or by publication and mailing (735 ILCS 5/2-206 (West 2012)). Thill, 113 Ill. 2d at 308.
“A judgment rendered without service of process, either by summons or by publication and mailing, where there has been neither a waiver of process nor a general appearance by the defendant, is void regardless of whether the defendant had actual knowledge of the proceedings.” Thill, 113 Ill. 2d at 308. (Emphasis added)
Moreover, a party attacking a judgment for lack of personal jurisdiction due to defective service of process is not restricted by either the time limitations or the “due diligence” requirements of section 2-1401 of the Code. Thill, 113 Ill. 2d at 308; see 735 ILCS 5/2-1401(f) (West 2012).
Accordingly, a judgment rendered by a Court that fails to acquire jurisdiction of either the parties or the subject matter of the litigation may be attacked at any time or in any Court, either directly or collaterally. Thill, 113 Ill. 2d at 309 (Emphasis added);
In determining whether a lack of jurisdiction is apparent from the record, we must look to the whole record, which includes the pleadings, the return on the process, the verdict of the jury, and the judgment of the Court. Thill, 113 Ill. 2d at 313.
- the trial Court, in ruling on defendant’s motion to reconsider, should consider the proceeding as if it were a new case, Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Brewer, 2012 IL App (1st) 111213, 362 Ill. Dec. 703, 974 N.E. 2d 224,, which held that an affidavit was insufficient to justify service by publication because it failed to identify the individuals who attempted service on the defendant. Brewer, 2012 IL App (1st) 111213, ¶ 21, 362 Ill. Dec. 703, 974 N.E. 2d 224,