Public Comment Requested for Standardized Eviction Answer Forms

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Public Comment Requested for Standardized Eviction Answer Forms

Judge gavel and key chain in shape of two splitted part of house on wooden background

The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice is requesting public comment on standardized eviction answer forms meant to help self-represented litigants respond to an Eviction Complaint.

The “Eviction Answer, Defenses, and Counterclaims” form suite includes the forms “Getting Started Responding to an Eviction Complaint,” “How to Respond to an Eviction Complaint,” “Eviction Answer,” “Eviction Answer Additional Bad Property Conditions,” and “Eviction Answer Additional Defenses/Counterclaims.”

The forms are available for comment on the Illinois Courts website until December 30, 2022.

After the public comment period ends, the Commission on Access to Justice will review the feedback and suggestions and make any necessary revisions.

Eviction remains a challenge in Illinois

Decades of housing and income disparity have been compounded by the serious health and economic impacts of COVID-19, leaving many Illinoisans struggling to pay their rent. Each year more than 22,000 people are evicted from their homes in Chicago, according to the Law Center for Better Housing.

Since 2020, nearly $1.02 billion in emergency rental assistance provided by Congress to the state of Illinois has been distributed to 137,372 households through the Illinois Rental Payment Program, according to Governor JB Pritzker’s office. Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority announced on November 14 the closure of Round 2 of this program.

However, rental assistance is still available. The Illinois Department of Human Services is accepting applications for up to $25,000 in rental assistance through Dec. 31, 2022, for those in need of rental assistance but who are not in a court proceeding. (Learn more.)

The Illinois Court-Based Rental Assistance Program provides funding to Illinois tenants and landlords across the state (outside of Cook County) who have pending cases in eviction court.

Free legal aid and mediation services are also available outside of Cook County through evictionhelpillinois.org or in Cook County through cookcountylegalaid.org.

For general information on evictions, visit Illinois Legal Aid Online.

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