In a published decision, Durukan America, LLC vs. Rain Trading, Inc., 787 F.3d 1161 (7th Cir. 2015), 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9240, attorney Stephen Le Brocq set new precedent in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and saved his client from potential jail time in Chicago.
In the above case, a client was sued by a Texas Corporation for breach of contract, fraud, and other causes of action. After the company failed to appear in Court, the Northern District of Illinois (the federal court sitting in Chicago) entered a judgment against the company and its president for close to $90,000.00. This amount included attorneys fees, treble damages, court costs, and interest. The company thereafter was allegedly served with wage garnishment summons, which they also failed to appear. The Texas company then registered the judgment in Cook County (Chicago). After failing to appear in Court, the president of the company was arrested and brought before the Court.
Thereafter, a Motion to Set Aside the default judgment was filed in the federal court, challenging the judgment because the company was never properly served with process. After multiple attempts, the judge denied our requests and the company’s president was looking at jail time for violating court orders. The denial of the motion to set aside was appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Chicago. Attorney Stephen Le Brocq argued that the Court abused its discretion in failing to properly conduct an evidentiary hearing to determine the issue of service.
The Plaintiff rejected all of our settlement requests after hours of mediation. The 7th Circuit held that the federal court abused its discretion and that a hearing was necessary to resolve the factual disputes. The district court’s denial of the motion was VACATED and the case was REMANDED to the district court. All proceedings pending in Cook County Circuit Court, which included proceedings seeking to hold the company’s president in jail, were terminated. This was a great win for the clients and set new precedent that is now binding in all courts in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.