Anderson & Boback Logo

What do I need to bring to trial

Categorized as Divorce Litigation, Military Divorce

Prior to trial, parties will often issue an Illinois Supreme Court Rule 237(b) Request to Appear and Produce. This Rule 237(b) Request to Appear and Produce does just that: it requests the party to be present to testify at trial and, oftentimes, will request a party to bring certain documents with them to the trial. This concept often confuses clients because they feel they have already produced these documents during the initial discovery process. In response to a 237 Request to Produce, I am often asked by my clients “didn’t I already do this?” The answer is yes.

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 214 provides that any party may request any other party to produce documents, objects, or other tangible items that are relevant to the parties’ case. The party must give the producing party at least twenty-eight days to comply with the request and tender the documents, objects, or other tangible items. Illinois Supreme Court Rule 214 is used prior to trial in order to obtain the other party’s documents and other objects, which may be used as evidence later.  Although Illinois Supreme Court Rule 237(b) may request the party to produce certain documents on the day of trial, this document request is different from the document request as stated in Supreme Court Rule 214 in that, Supreme Court Rule 237(b) only allows the party to request the originals of documents previously produced.

Supreme Court Rule 237(b) was revised to provide that “the notice also may require the production at the trial or other evidentiary hearing of the originals of those documents or tangible things previously produced during discovery.” Prior to this revision, many attorneys would use Rule 237(b) to obtain new or additional documents on the date of the trial because they failed to request these documents under Supreme Court Rule 214 prior to trial. This practice often led to unfair results because a party would be able to obtain new documents to use as evidence on the date of trial without providing the other party with adequate time to review those exhibits. To rectify this problem, Rule 237(b) was revised to limit the documents that may be requested to those documents that have already been previously produced in the discovery process. As a result, Rule 237(b) may not be used to request new or additional documents that should have been requested pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 214 prior to trial. Although Rule 237(b) was revised to clarify what documents may be produced, many parties still attempt to obtain new documents on the date of trial. Therefore, in responding to a Rule 237(b) request, it is important to review the documents and other tangible items that have already been produced in your case, and limit your response to the originals of the documents or items already produced.

Was this information helpful?

You May Also Like

A cohabitation agreement is an agreement or contract entered into between two people living together in the same household who are in a romantic relationship but not married. With more millennial couples choosing to live together, whether planning to marry…

When going through a divorce it's not uncommon to think "I never want to get married again!" But later, you may fall in love again and be ready to venture into marriage again. If you are planning to remarry, you…

While doing an initial consultation with an individual looking to get divorced, I have found it is common to get questions about whether it is possible for a divorcing couple to work together with an attorney to do a collaborative…

No one likes to pay spousal maintenance (formally called "alimony" or referred to as spousal support). When you are employed and your ex refuses to work, there is a greater reluctance to want to pay maintenance. In Chicago divorces, there…

Finding the best child custody lawyer in Chicago may seem like a daunting and intimidating process if you have never been involved in a legal dispute. This is especially true when it comes to a custody case involving your children…

Parenting disputes, and accusations of being a bad or unfit parent, are extremely common in the world of divorce, juvenile, and family law. Many parents enter the courtroom with a laundry list of accusations of poor parenting against the other…

Anderson & Boback small logo

Download our Divorce Planning Guide today!

Get the information you need to prepare for divorce with our free resource Guide to Planning for Your Divorce.

What our clients are saying

Why Choose

Schedule a Discreet Consultation Today!

    Firm Overview

    Anderson & Boback is a highly-respected, experienced Chicago family law firm, skilled in negotiation and litigation. When divorce and other family law issues make your life chaotic and uncertain, you want your case resolved as quickly and fairly as possible. Call Now 312-715-0870