(4) the case was dismissed with or without prejudice.
(c) The court file relating to an eviction action brought against a tenant under Section 9-207.5 of this Code or as set forth in subdivision (h)(6) of Section 15-1701 of this Code shall be placed under seal.
(d) A sealed court file shall be made available only to the litigants in the case, their counsel or prospective counsel, and public employees responsible for processing the residential eviction action.
(e) Upon motion and order of the court, a sealed court file may be made available for scholarly, educational, journalistic, or governmental purposes only, balancing the interests of the parties and the public in nondisclosure with the interests of the requesting party. Identifying information of the parties shall remain sealed, unless the court determines that release of the information is necessary to fulfill the purpose of the request and the interests of justice so dictate. Nothing in this subsection shall permit the release of a sealed court file or the information contained therein for a commercial purpose.
(f) Except as provided in subsections (d) and (e), any person who disseminates a court file sealed under this Section, or the information contained therein, for commercial purposes shall be liable for a civil penalty of $2,000, or twice the actual and consequential damages sustained, whichever is greater, as well as the costs of the action, including reasonable attorney's fees.
(g) The Attorney General may enforce a violation of this Section as an unlawful practice under the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. All remedies, penalties, and authority granted to the Attorney General by the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act shall be available to him or her for the enforcement of this Section.
(h) Nothing in this Section prohibits a landlord from receiving a reference from a previous landlord of a prospective tenant. Nothing in this Section prohibits a landlord from providing a reference for a previous or current tenant to a prospective landlord of that tenant.
(i) This Section is repealed on August 1, 2022.
(Source: P.A. 102-5, eff. 5-17-21.)