May Deputy Accept Late Petition After the Hours Set by the Clerk ?

In McReynolds v. Hartley, 251 Ill. App. 3d 1038, 623 N.E.2d 913, 191 Ill. Dec. 323 (1993), the petitioners filed objections to the nomination papers of several party affiliated candidates for various offices in Lockport Township, but the electoral board denied the objections. The petitioners then filed a petition for judicial review of this decision. The petition for judicial review was filed by the petitioners' attorney, who arrived at the office of the clerk of the circuit clerk after 4:30 p.m. on the last day for filing their petition. A deputy clerk refused to accept the petition telling counsel that state law prevented her from taking any document for filing after 4:30 p.m. the petition was filed the next day, and the trial court dismissed it as untimely. The appellate court affirmed, noting that it was undisputed that the clerk's official office hours "ended at 4:30 p.m. on each business day." McReynolds, 251 Ill. App. 3d at 1040. The Court further held in McReynolds that the deputy clerk had no independent authority to modify the rules properly implemented by the clerk and it was not improper for the deputy to refuse to accept the late petition when it was received after the hours set by the clerk. McReynolds, 251 Ill. App. 3d at 1041-42.