Major amendments (not really) to the Forcible Entry and Detainer Act

Amendments to Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer eviction actGet ready for a change in terms.

Bye bye Forcible Entry and Detainer Act and hello Eviction Act.  Public Act 100-0173 was passed into law and signed by the Governor on August 18, 2017 and will be effective on January 1, 2018.  Is this law a sweeping change?  Did we finally get some eviction law reform?  Not at all.

The law does just a few mundane things.  First, it eliminates an old phrase: “forcible entry and detainer”.  Replacing the phrase is the word “eviction”.  For instance, the law will not be called the Eviction Act.  Rather than saying we are engaging in an Illinois forcible entry and detainer action, we will now say we are handling an Illinois eviction action.  The law makes changes to other places in the code of civil procedure (among them the Controlled Substance and Cannabis Nuisance Act; the Condominium Property Act; the Landlord and Tenant Act; the Mobile Home Landlord and Tenant Rights Act; and the Safe Homes Act, etc.) updating them and inserting the word eviction in those places that used to say forcible entry and detainer.

The law also renames orders of possession and judgments of possession which will now be called eviction orders.  Additionally, the law creates a new section 735 ILCS 5/9-109.6 that calls for a standardized eviction order to be used throughout the state.  The form is to be developed by the Illinois Supreme Court.  Finally, the law makes small changes to some of the diction related to five day notices.

As laws go, this one makes minor changes and while it eliminates an obscure word that is a vestige of earlier days, the changes are really not substantive and there is no reason to think that the eviction process will benefit from them.  Is this the real reform needed in the system?  No.

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