Illinois Compiled Statutes
Information maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Updating the database of the Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS) is an ongoing process. Recent laws may not yet be included in the ILCS database, but they are found on this site as Public Acts
soon after they become law. For information concerning the relationship between statutes and Public Acts, refer to the Guide
Because the statute database is maintained primarily for legislative drafting purposes, statutory changes are sometimes included in the statute database before they take effect. If the source note at the end of a Section of the statutes includes a Public Act that has not yet taken effect, the version of the law that is currently in effect may have already been removed from the database and you should refer to that Public Act to see the changes made to the current law.
CIVIL PROCEDURE735 ILCS 5/Art. II Pt. 7
(735 ILCS 5/) Code of Civil Procedure.
(735 ILCS 5/Art. II Pt. 7 heading)
Action for Declaratory Judgment
735 ILCS 5/2-701
(735 ILCS 5/2-701)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-701)
(a) No action or proceeding is
open to objection on the ground that a merely declaratory judgment or
order is sought thereby. The court may, in cases of actual controversy,
make binding declarations of rights, having the force of final
judgments, whether or not any consequential relief is or could be
claimed, including the determination, at the instance of anyone
interested in the controversy, of the construction of any statute,
municipal ordinance, or other governmental regulation, or of any deed,
will, contract or other written instrument, and a declaration of the
rights of the parties interested. The foregoing enumeration does not
exclude other cases of actual controversy. The court shall refuse to
enter a declaratory judgment or order, if it appears that the judgment
or order, would not terminate the controversy or some part thereof,
giving rise to the proceeding. In no event shall the court entertain
any action or proceeding for a declaratory judgment or order involving
any political question where the defendant is a State officer whose
election is provided for by the Constitution; however, nothing herein
shall prevent the court from entertaining any such action or proceeding
for a declaratory judgment or order if such question also involves a
constitutional convention or the construction of a statute involving a
(b) Declarations of rights, as herein provided
for, may be obtained by means of a pleading seeking that relief alone,
or as incident to or part of a complaint, counterclaim or other pleading
seeking other relief as well, and if a declaration of rights is the only
relief asked, the case may be set for early hearing as in the case of a
(c) If further relief based upon a declaration of right becomes
necessary or proper after the declaration has been made, application may
be made by petition to any court having jurisdiction for an order
directed to any party or parties whose rights have been determined by
the declaration to show cause why the further relief should not be
granted forthwith, upon reasonable notice prescribed by the court in its
(d) If a proceeding under this Section involves the determination of
issues of fact triable by a jury, they shall be tried and determined in
the same manner as issues of fact are tried and determined in other
civil actions in the court in which the proceeding is pending.
(e) Unless the parties agree by stipulation as to the allowance
thereof, costs in proceedings authorized by this Section shall be
allowed in accordance with rules. In the absence of rules the practice
in other civil actions shall be followed if applicable, and if not
applicable, the costs may be taxed as to the court seems just.
(Source: P.A. 82-280.)
735 ILCS 5/2-702
(735 ILCS 5/2-702)
Petition for a certificate of innocence that the petitioner was innocent of all offenses for which he or she was incarcerated.
(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that innocent persons who have been wrongly convicted of crimes in Illinois and subsequently imprisoned have been frustrated in seeking legal redress due to a variety of substantive and technical obstacles in the law and that such persons should have an available avenue to obtain a finding of innocence so that they may obtain relief through a petition in the Court of Claims. The General Assembly further finds misleading the current legal nomenclature which compels an innocent person to seek a pardon for being wrongfully incarcerated. It is the intent of the General Assembly that the court, in exercising its discretion as permitted by law regarding the weight and admissibility of evidence submitted pursuant to this Section, shall, in the interest of justice, give due consideration to difficulties of proof caused by the passage of time, the death or unavailability of witnesses, the destruction of evidence or other factors not caused by such persons or those acting on their behalf.
(b) Any person convicted and subsequently imprisoned for one or more felonies by the State of Illinois which he or she did not commit may, under the conditions hereinafter provided, file a petition for certificate of innocence in the circuit court of the county in which the person was convicted. The petition shall request a certificate of innocence finding that the petitioner was innocent of all offenses for which he or she was incarcerated.
(c) In order to present the claim for certificate of innocence of an unjust conviction and imprisonment, the petitioner must attach to his or her petition documentation demonstrating that:
(1) he or she has been convicted of one or more
felonies by the State of Illinois and subsequently sentenced to a term of imprisonment, and has served all or any part of the sentence; and
(2) his or her judgment of conviction was reversed or
vacated, and the indictment or information dismissed or, if a new trial was ordered, either he or she was found not guilty at the new trial or he or she was not retried and the indictment or information dismissed; or the statute, or application thereof, on which the indictment or information was based violated the Constitution of the United States or the State of Illinois; and
(3) his or her claim is not time barred by the
provisions of subsection (i) of this Section.
(d) The petition shall state facts in sufficient detail to permit the court to find that the petitioner is likely to succeed at trial in proving that the petitioner is innocent of the offenses charged in the indictment or information or his or her acts or omissions charged in the indictment or information did not constitute a felony or misdemeanor against the State of Illinois, and the petitioner did not by his or her own conduct voluntarily cause or bring about his or her conviction. The petition shall be verified by the petitioner.
(e) A copy of the petition shall be served on the Attorney General and the State's Attorney of the county where the conviction was had. The Attorney General and the State's Attorney of the county where the conviction was had shall have the right to intervene as parties.
(f) In any hearing seeking a certificate of innocence, the court may take judicial notice of prior sworn testimony or evidence admitted in the criminal proceedings related to the convictions which resulted in the alleged wrongful incarceration, if the petitioner was either represented by counsel at such prior proceedings or the right to counsel was knowingly waived.
(g) In order to obtain a certificate of innocence the petitioner must prove by a preponderance of evidence that:
(1) the petitioner was convicted of one or more
felonies by the State of Illinois and subsequently sentenced to a term of imprisonment, and has served all or any part of the sentence;
(2)(A) the judgment of conviction was reversed or
vacated, and the indictment or information dismissed or, if a new trial was ordered, either the petitioner was found not guilty at the new trial or the petitioner was not retried and the indictment or information dismissed; or (B) the statute, or application thereof, on which the indictment or information was based violated the Constitution of the United States or the State of Illinois;
(3) the petitioner is innocent of the offenses
charged in the indictment or information or his or her acts or omissions charged in the indictment or information did not constitute a felony or misdemeanor against the State; and
(4) the petitioner did not by his or her own conduct
voluntarily cause or bring about his or her conviction.
(h) If the court finds that the petitioner is entitled to a
judgment, it shall enter a certificate of innocence finding that
the petitioner was innocent of all offenses for which he or she was incarcerated. Upon entry of the certificate of innocence or pardon from the Governor stating that such pardon was issued on the ground of innocence of the crime for which he or she was imprisoned, (1) the clerk of the court shall transmit a copy of the certificate of innocence to the clerk of the Court of Claims, together with the claimant's current address; and (2) the court shall enter an order expunging the record of arrest from the
official records of the
arresting authority and order that the records of the clerk of the circuit
court and Department of
State Police be sealed until further order of the court upon good cause shown
or as otherwise provided
herein, and the name of the defendant obliterated from the official index
requested to be kept by the
circuit court clerk under Section 16 of the Clerks of Courts Act in connection
with the arrest and
conviction for the offense but the order shall not affect any index issued by
the circuit court clerk before the entry of the order. The court shall enter the expungement order regardless of whether the petitioner has prior criminal convictions.
All records sealed by the Department of State Police may be
disseminated by the Department only as required by law or to the arresting
authority, the State's Attorney, the court upon a later arrest for the same or
similar offense, or for the purpose of sentencing for any subsequent felony.
Upon conviction for any subsequent offense, the Department of Corrections shall
have access to all sealed records of the Department
pertaining to that individual.
Upon entry of the order of expungement, the clerk of the circuit court shall
promptly mail a copy of the order to the person whose records were expunged and
(i) Any person seeking a certificate of innocence under this
Section based on the dismissal of an indictment or information
or acquittal that occurred before the effective date of this
amendatory Act of the 95th General Assembly shall file his or
her petition within 2 years after the effective date of this
amendatory Act of the 95th General Assembly. Any person seeking
a certificate of innocence under this Section based on the
dismissal of an indictment or information or acquittal that
occurred on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act
of the 95th General Assembly shall file his or her petition
within 2 years after the dismissal.
(j) The decision to grant or deny a certificate of innocence shall be binding only with respect to claims filed in the Court of Claims and shall not have a res judicata effect on any other proceedings.
(Source: P.A. 98-133, eff. 1-1-14.)