My question involves small claims court in the state of: IL
So I have been trying to get my security deposit back on my apartment that was vacated on January 31st 2012. We did a walk through with the management company and they told us to give them a couple weeks to get the money from the owner of the building (as they are just a management company). They even sent me a text message saying all this which I still have and asking me for my new address so they could send a check which I gave again through text messages which I still have. Well of course the check never came and they kept giving us the runaround as to when we would be reciving it so being fed up I filed a case against them. The court date came and of course they did not show. For them not showing we got our EX-PARTE JUDGMENT. Wouldn't you know the same day as the trial I get a phone call from the office (which I put on speaker phone to have witnesses with family around). They said magically my check was there. When I tried to explain that we sued for double (as my understanding is the penalty in my state) he went crazy saying he doesn't owe us double and that I am just trying to capitalize. When I asked why he didnt show up for court 2 hours earlier to plea his case to the judge he said he had better things to do. So he told me we would not get anything and he would just have his lawyer appeal. Which he did. He filed for ALLOWED MOTION TO VACATE EX-PARTE JUDGMENT. He claims he was never holding a security deposit. Which I have a cancelled check of the security made out to the previous management company that was in charge of our building. We have a letter from back in 2011 when they took over the management of our building from a previous company and it is to my understanding that they also take over the security deposits. I am sure it is true because why else would they offer me back my security deposit? Anyways my question is do I have a strong case and also for the court date for the motion vacate the judgement will there be a trial or will they just grant him a trial? Can I speak up and show my proof that he indeed was holding a security deposit or will we get yet another court date. This is ridiculous the hoops I have had to go through to get my money back and I want them to be penelized. After all isnt that why that law is there? To prevent landlords like him from doing this to people. For all I know he tried to pocket the money in thinking I wouldn't sue. Well he messed with the wrong person. Thanks for listening!