Supreme Court Rule 183 Illinois Interpretation

In Bright v. Dicke (3rd Dist. 1994), 260 Ill. App. 3d 768, 199 Ill. Dec. 292, 633 N.E.2d 1283, the defendant moved for leave to file a late response to a request to admit. The defendant acknowledged that, aside from her claim that the plaintiff was not prejudiced, she could not establish good cause for the late filing of her response. The defendant's motion was denied by the trial judge. On appeal the Third District Appellate Court ruled that under Supreme Court Rule 183 (134 Ill. 2d R. 183), which provides for the granting of motions for extensions of time for good cause, a trial court has discretion to allow a late response to a request to admit for good cause. After determining that a trial court may allow a late response for good cause, the Appellate Court ruled, based on Greene v. City of Chicago (1978), 73 Ill. 2d 100, 22 Ill. Dec. 507, 382 N.E.2d 1205, that good cause under Supreme Court rule 183 required more than inadvertence, mistake or lack of prejudice to the opposing party. In Greene, the Supreme Court, citing both Supreme Court Rule 183 and section 59 of the then Civil Practice Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 110, par. 59 (current version at 735 ILCS 5/2-1007)) - held that mere inadvertence was not sufficient to constitute good cause for an extension of time to file a late jury demand. The Supreme Court also rejected the plaintiff's contention that good cause could be established by showing lack of inconvenience or prejudice to the opposing party.