Joiner v. SVM Management, LLCAnnotate this Case
Plaintiffs rented an apartment in a large residential complex from the defendant with a lease term beginning on October 1, 2014, with a security deposit of $1290. The plaintiffs moved out on September 30, 2016. In October 2016, the defendant returned the full security deposit but did not pay security interest on that deposit at any time, as required by the Security Deposit Interest Act, 765 ILCS 715/0.01. Plaintiffs brought two class-action claims and an individual claim but did not file a class-certification motion. Defendant responded by tendering plaintiffs’ requested damages and attorney fees on one count and later moving to dismiss the other two. Plaintiffs refused that tender, and the defendant later argued that its tender made that cause of action moot.
The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of the case. Reaffirming its own precedent, the court held that an effective tender made before a named plaintiff purporting to represent a class files a class certification motion satisfies the named plaintiff’s individual claim and moots her interest in the litigation. The court distinguished U.S. Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit decisions that dealt with an offer of judgment under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which are an offer of settlement, as opposed to a tender that completely satisfies a plaintiff’s demand. On remand, the defendant is to deposit the tender with the circuit court, which is to determine the plaintiffs’ costs and reasonable attorney fees before dismissing contingent upon payment of those costs and fees.