Illinois Supreme and Appellate Court Case Summaries
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No. 2014 IL App (1st) 123419 Allstate
Property & Casualty Insurance Company v. Trujillo Filed
Defendant Dolores Trujillo (Trujillo) appeals an order of the circuit court of Cook County granting judgment on the pleadings to plaintiff Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Company (Allstate) in a declaratory judgment action. On appeal, Trujillo contends the circuit court erred in ruling Allstate was entitled to set off her claim for underinsured motorist (UDIM) benefits with amounts Allstate paid under the bodily injury coverage of the same insurance policy, relating to an automobile collision involving multiple tortfeasors. For the following reasons, we reverse the judgment of the circuit court and remand the case for further proceedings.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 123185 Wheeling
Park District v. Arnold Filed 02-26-14 (LJD)
In this case we address whether an executive director of a park district has the authority to enter into a binding severance agreement terminating an employee without prior written approval of the board pursuant to section 4-6 of the Illinois Park District Code (70 ILCS 1205/4-6 (West 2008)). We hold the resignation agreement entered into by the executive director of the district was not subject to section 4-6 because, as a settlement agreement, it did not create any debt, obligation, claim or liability but, rather, settled and compromised an existing dispute. Thus, approval of the board was not required. The agreement was also a binding and valid contract and there was no effective revocation, as the terminated employee signed and delivered the contract to the board and the board fully performed.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 120378 Williams
v. Rosner Filed 02-26-14 (LJD)
Plaintiffs Cynthia Williams and Kenneth Williams, individually, and as parents and next friends of Kennadi Williams, a minor, filed a complaint advancing claims of negligence and wrongful pregnancy against defendants Byron Rosner, M.D., and Reproductive Health Associates (Reproductive Health). Among the damages that plaintiffs sought to recover were the extraordinary expenses that they would incur in raising their daughter, who was born with sickle cell disease following an unsuccessful sterilization procedure.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 120514 People
v. Sanchez Filed 02-26-14 (LJD)
A jury convicted defendant Luis Sanchez, who was charged with aggravated battery of a peace officer (720 ILCS 5/12-4(b)(18) (West 2010)), of the lesser-included offense of resisting a peace officer. The court sentenced Sanchez to 364 days in Cook County jail. Sanchez raises two grounds for reversing his conviction: (1) resisting arrest does not qualify as a lesser-included offense of aggravated battery; and (2) denial of effective assistance of trial counsel. We affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (4th) 130041 Robbins
v. The Department of State Police Merit Board Filed
In June 2008, the Director of the Department of State Police, commonly referred to as the Illinois State Police (ISP), filed a complaint with the ISP Merit Board (Merit Board or Board) seeking the termination of plaintiff, Cynthia A. Robbins, based on allegations she committed 11 violations of the Illinois State Police Rules of Conduct (Rules). Following a hearing, the hearing officer found Robbins committed 8 of the 11 alleged violations.We vacate the December 13, 2012, order of the circuit court, reverse the March 12, 2010, May 2, 2011, and May 14, 2012, orders of the circuit court, and reinstate and affirm the Merit Board's April 2009 order discharging Robbins for cause.
the Merit Board's April 2009 order discharging Robbins for cause.
No. 2014 IL App (2nd) 130304 Davis
v. Kewanee Hospital Filed 02-25-14 (LJD)
Plaintiff, Dr. Albert R. Davis, filed suit against defendant, Kewanee Hospital (the Hospital), seeking declaratory and injunctive relief based on alleged violations of section 8-2101 of the Code of Civil Procedure, commonly known as the Medical Studies Act (735 ILCS 5/8-2101 (West 2008)), and the Health Care Professional Credentials Data Collection Act (Credentials Act) (410 ILCS 517/15(h) (West 2008)). The Hospital moved to dismiss the complaint on the basis that neither of the confidentiality exceptions applied. The trial court agreed and granted the Hospital’s motion to dismiss. Dr. Davis appeals, and we affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 122677 Johnson
v. Johnson and Bell, LTD. Filed 02-24-14 (LJD)
Plaintiff Merdelin Johnson (plaintiff) filed suit against defendants Johnson & Bell, Ltd. (Johnson & Bell), Target Corporation (Target), Robert Burke, and Jennifer Rose (collectively, defendants) alleging invasion of privacy, negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and breach of contract. Defendants filed a motion pursuant to section 2-619 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-619 (West 2010)) to dismiss, contending that plaintiff's claims were barred by the absolute litigation privilege, res judicata, and collateral estoppel. The trial court granted defendants' motion to dismiss, and plaintiff now appeals.
No. 2014 IL 113600 People
v. Cregan Filed 2-21-14 (RJC)
In this McLean County
case, a drug conviction was challenged as based on the discovery
of cocaine in the defendant’s luggage pursuant to a search which
the defendant claimed was unreasonable, in violation of the
fourth amendment to the United States Constitution. The
defendant’s conviction and sentence of 5½ years were upheld by
the appellate court, which found the search valid under the
search-incident-to-arrest exception to the search warrant
requirement. On November 3, 2009, this defendant got off the
train at the station in Normal and was met by police officers
who had an active civil arrest warrant for him for failure to
pay child support. They had also learned that he was a
documented gang member. The defendant was carrying a laundry bag
over his shoulder and pulling a wheeled luggage bag. After the
officers identified him, he was told to drop his bags and was
arrested and handcuffed. Although Cregan asked if the person who
had come to pick him up could take his bags, the officers
refused and began searching the luggage bag, which was not
locked. Inside a container of hair gel, a plastic bag containing
powder cocaine was found. He was charged with unlawful
possession of less than 15 grams of a controlled substance. At
the stipulated bench trial which followed, the defendant sought
unsuccessfully to suppress the cocaine, claiming that the search
of his luggage was unconstitutional. The State claimed that
there had been a valid search incident to an arrest. The
evidence was admitted. Precedent allows for a search
incident to an arrest so that officers can protect themselves
and prevent the destruction of evidence. In this case, the
Illinois Supreme Court held that, if a person is, at the time of
his arrest, in actual physical possession of an item, it is
immediately associated with him and is searchable. The nature of
the item or how long he has had it is not relevant. Here, the
trial court’s finding that the wheeled luggage bag was within
the defendant’s immediate control at the time of his arrest was
not against the manifest weight of the evidence. Accordingly,
the officers were allowed to search the bag pursuant to a search
of the person incident to arrest. As part of the search, the
officers were entitled to inspect the hair gel container found
inside the luggage. The appellate court’s judgment affirming the
denial of the motion to suppress was upheld.
No. 2014 IL 114271 Evanston
Insurance Company v. Riseborough Filed
This Cook County
appeal deals with the applicability of a statute of repose.
Section 13-214.3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, entitled
“Attorneys,” states that an “action for damages based on tort,
contract, or otherwise *** against any attorney arising out of
an act or omission in the performance of professional services
*** must be commenced within 2 years from the time the person
bringing the action knew or reasonably should have known of the
injury *** but *** not *** in any event more than 6 years after
the date on which the act or omission occurred.” A statute of
repose extinguishes an action after a defined period of time and
is not tolled by the discovery rule. The plaintiff in the
action, Evanston Insurance Co., was the excess insurer of
subcontractor International Crown, one of whose employees was
injured in 1996 in the construction of a Green Oaks warehouse
for which Kiferbaum Construction was the general contractor.
There were several other subcontractors and insurers. In the
employee’s personal injury action against general contractor
Kiferbaum, that company was represented by the attorneys who are
the defendants here. The personal injury action was settled for
$4,887,500 in 2000. Plaintiff Evanston Insurance Co. and
other involved insurers denied coverage and sought declaratory
relief in a separate action, known as the “coverage action,” in
which their claims of noncoverage were eventually consolidated.
In 2000, after the settlement, various insurers entered into a
“Fund and Fight Agreement” in which they agreed to contribute
their respective policy limits to fund the settlement and
reserved the right to litigate policy and coverage defenses
among themselves. Kiferbaum was a party to that agreement,
stating the terms on which it would reimburse the contributors.
On Kiferbaum’s behalf, the agreement was signed by defendant
George E. Riseborough of the firm of Jacobsen & Riseborough.
Plaintiff Evanston, as excess insurer, contributed $1 million to
the personal injury settlement, but would later claim that
primary coverage from Statewide Insurance Company should have
been exhausted first, and it sought reimbursement from
Kiferbaum. In 2003, the president of Kiferbaum executed an
affidavit stating that he had no knowledge of the agreement and
that attorney George Riseborough had signed the agreement
without authority. Based on this, plaintiff Evanston filed suit
against the defendant attorneys in 2005, alleging breach of
implied warranty of authority, fraudulent misrepresentation, and
negligent misrepresentation. Legal malpractice was not alleged.
In 2009, Evanston filed its second amended complaint, which is
the pleading at issue here. The same claims were reasserted.
No.2014 IL 114483 In re James W. Filed 2-21-14 (RJC)
In this Randolph County
case, a 2010 circuit court order for the continuation of the
involuntary admission of a patient at the Chester Mental Health
Center was upheld, despite the fact that the appellate court had
overturned it. Because of the short length of such involuntary
commitment orders (180 days), the order in question here has
long since expired, raising the problem of mootness. However,
the Illinois Supreme Court addressed the matter under the public
interest exception to the mootness doctrine. The respondent in
this case, James W., is a 60-year-old male with a lengthy
criminal record and a history of psychiatric hospitalizations.
Just before the evidentiary hearing on the State’s petition to
continue his involuntary admission was to commence, James W.
made a request for a jury. This was his right, and no statute
provided that, despite having been made at this stage, his
request was untimely. The judge told the respondent that no
special mental health juries (consisting of six persons) would
be available for three months, and respondent accepted the
setting of a new jury date which would be 96 days away. That
jury trial subsequently took place and resulted in the granting
of the State’s petition. James W. sought relief in the appellate
court. The Mental Health Code provides that continuances in such
proceedings “shall not extend beyond 15 days” unless requested
by the respondent. The appellate court viewed this language as
mandatory, rather than directory. It said that that prejudice to
a respondent from a three-month delay “is self-evident.” The
appellate court said that the respondent had been forced to make
a choice which he should not have been required to make and that
it could not “agree that the respondent knowingly and
voluntarily agreed to” such a lengthy delay. The circuit court
was reversed, and the State appealed to the Illinois Supreme
Court. Rather than arguing that the jury demand was tantamount
to a request for a continuance, the State chose to argue that
noncompliance with the 15-day limit does not automatically
invalidate a court’s subsequent judgment continuing involuntary
admission to a mental health facility, and that redress would be
appropriate only where the delay affected the ultimate outcome
in a way prejudicial to respondent. The appellate court’s
judgment is therefore reversed. The judgment of the circuit
court is affirmed. Appellate court judgment reversed.
Classification Act, which became effective in 2008, addresses
the practice of misclassifying employees as independent
contractors in the construction industry. In this case from
Franklin County, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the circuit
court’s rejection of a business’s facial challenge, on vagueness
grounds, to the constitutionality of the Act. A procedural due
process challenge was found to have been mooted by recent
legislation. Plaintiffs Rhonda and Jack Bartlow are
general partners in a construction-related business called
Jack’s Roofing, which installs siding, windows, seamless gutters
and roofs. There are other individual plaintiffs who are
involved in doing these installations. In the complaint filed in
circuit court, the plaintiffs sought injunctive relief against
enforcement of the Act and a declaration of the facial
unconstitutionality of certain of its provisions. This the
circuit court refused to do. The Director of the Department of
Labor, who had been made defendant, was awarded a summary
judgment, and the appellate court affirmed. The Act
broadly provides that any individual “performing services” for a
construction contractor is “ deemed to be an employee of the
employer.” The statutory term “performing services” is
extensively defined. There are exemptions for independent
contractors, sole proprietors, and partnerships if they can
satisfy specific criteria, set out in the statute, showing that
they effectively operate independently from the construction
While this case
was pending on appeal, the statute in question was amended
effective January 1, 2014, concerning formal administrative
hearings and also concerning application of the Administrative
Review Law. The plaintiffs had raised procedural due process
challenges to the pre-amendment version of the Act, and this
issue was the subject of supplemental briefing in the supreme
court. It was held here that, because the Act’s enforcement
procedures have been substantially replaced, the plaintiffs’
procedural due process claim is now moot. Plaintiffs had also
challenged the Act as denying equal protection and amounting to
impermissible special legislation, but these issues were found
forfeited by not having been fully briefed and argued.
No. 2014 IL 115329 People
v. Tousignant Filed 2-21-14 (RJC)
In Livingston County, this
defendant was sentenced in April 2012 to 12 years in prison
after entering an open plea of guilty to drug offenses. The
trial court had entered a conviction for unlawful possession of
a controlled substance with intent to deliver. On May 3, 2012, a
motion to reconsider the sentence as excessive was filed. At the
hearing which was held, it was brought out that the defendant
sought a reduction of sentence to seven years so that he would
be immediately eligible for a drug treatment program. He was not
successful, his motion was denied, and he appealed. An appeal
from a judgment entered on a plea of guilty is governed by
Supreme Court Rules. In connection with such an appeal, counsel
must certify that he or she consulted with the defendant to
ascertain the contentions of error in the sentence or the entry
of the plea of guilty and make any necessary amendments so as to
adequately present any defects in the proceedings. The appellate
court found counsel’s certificate in this instance to be
inadequate for addressing the sentencing issue only and not
referring to any consultations concerning error outside of the
motion to reconsider sentence. The appellate court reversed and
remanded for strict compliance with the procedural rules. The
State appealed. The rule language requiring counsel to ascertain
“defendant’s contentions of error in the sentence or the entry
of the plea of guilty” was construed by the State to be
disjunctive, based on the use of the word “or.” According to
this reasoning, where a defendant filed only a motion to
reconsider sentence, only consultation about contentions of
error in the sentence would be required and subject to
certification that counsel had consulted with the accused. With
this proposition, the Illinois Supreme Court did not agree,
holding that the word “or” is not disjunctive in all
circumstances and is not here. The appellate court’s remand was
No. 2014 IL 114491 People
v. Trzeciak - Dissent upon denial of
rehearing Filed 2-21-14 (RJC)
A Cook County jury
convicted this defendant of the murder of a man who was found
shot to death in his trailer in the Hegwisch area of Chicago in
2004. The defendant, then a resident of Hammond, Indiana, was
arrested at his home there, where he lived with his wife. Her
testimony is the subject of this appeal because the appellate
court reversed on the theory that use of certain items of her
testimony violated the marital privilege and were prejudicial.
The trial evidence indicated that these three individuals all
knew each other, that they were all drug users at the time, and
that the defendant was a drug supplier whose home was set up in
a fortified manner. There was also evidence of the defendant's
physical abuse of his wife and his jealousy as to her concerning
both the victim and others. The evidence which the appellate
court ruled should not have been admitted, and which was the
basis for its reversal, was the wife's statement in which she
said that the defendant had threatened to kill both her and the
victim. This threat had been made at the same time that he was
beating her. In Illinois, the marital privilege is codified in
section 115-16 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. No
court in Illinois has yet defined what "confidential"
encompasses. However, other jurisdictions
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 122677 Johnson
v. Johnson and Bell, LTD. Filed 2-14-14 (TJJ)
Plaintiff Merdelin Johnson (plaintiff) filed suit against defendants Johnson & Bell, Ltd., Target Corporation, Robert Burke, and Jennifer Rose alleging invasion of privacy, negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and breach of contract. Defendants filed a motion pursuant to section 2-619 of the Code of Civil Procedure to dismiss, contending that plaintiff's claims were barred by the absolute litigation privilege, res judicata, and collateral estoppel. The trial court granted defendants' motion to dismiss, and plaintiff now appeals. We affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 123795 Nissan
North America, Inc. v. The Motor Vehicle Review Board
Filed 2-21-14 (TJJ)
Defendants-appellees M.E. Fields, Inc., d/b/a Fields Infiniti, and Yampa Valley Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Fields Infiniti of Lake County, filed protests with defendant-appellee the Motor Vehicle Review Board against plaintiff-appellant Nissan North America, Inc., along with its Infiniti Division, with respect to a "Warranty Supplemental Cost Recovery" charge Nissan was imposing on all of its new Infiniti vehicles purchased by Infiniti dealers in Illinois. Fields and Yampa asserted that this charge violated section 6 of the Motor Vehicle Franchise Act. Following a hearing, the Board agreed with Fields and Yampa. Nissan sought administrative review of the decision, and the trial court upheld the Board's order. Nissan appeals, contending that the Board's order is inconsistent with the plain language of the Act, that the trial court's interpretation of section 6 was erroneous, that a portion of section 6 has been impermissibly applied retroactively, and that the Board's interpretation of section 6 is unconstitutional. Nissan asks that we reverse the Board's order with instructions that judgment be entered in its favor. For the following reasons, we affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 120912 People
v. Ocon Filed 2-21-14 (TJJ)
Defendant Juan Ocon appeals the trial court's sua sponte dismissal of his pro se petition for relief from judgment pursuant to section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Defendant argues that the case must be remanded because the trial court's dismissal was premature since the State was not properly served with defendant's petition. Following a February 2002 jury trial, defendant was found guilty of one count of first degree murder and one count of attempt first degree murder. We will discuss the facts as necessary for the issues raised on appeal. For a more detailed discussion of these facts, see People v. Ocon, No. 1-02-1567 (Dec. 15, 2003) (unpublished order under to Supreme Court Rule 23). We affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (4th) 120704 People
v. Stull Filed 2-21-14 (TJJ)
In April 2012, a jury convicted defendant, Aaron P. Stull, of (1) three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and (2) one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The trial court later imposed separate 15-year sentences on counts I, II, and III and a 4-year sentence on count IV, all to be served consecutively. Defendant appeals, arguing that (1) his conviction for aggravated criminal sexual abuse violated the one-act, one-crime rule and (2) the trial court abused its discretion by admitting certain hearsay evidence. We disagree and affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (2d) 120884 People
v. Rivera Filed 2-19-14 (RJC)
No. 2014 IL App (2d) 121251 Chamberlain
v. The Civil Service Commission of the Village of Gurnee,
Illinois Filed 2-19-14 (RJC)
No. 2014 IL App (2d) 130029 The
Illinois Department of Transportation v. Raphael
Filed 2-19-14 (RJC)
No. 2014 IL App (5th 120486 People
v. Burnley Filed 2-19-14 (RJC)
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 131452 Chicago
Title Insurance Company v. The Teachers' Retirement System of
the State of Illinois Filed 2-18-14 (RJC)
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 123643 Powell
v. American Service Insurance Company
Filed 2-18-14 (RJC)
No. 2014 IL App (4th) 130056 Hughes
v. Godinez Filed 2-14-14 (TJJ)
In May 2012, plaintiff, Maurice Hughes, an inmate at Jacksonville Correctional Center, pro se filed a petition for writ of mandamus under article 14 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Civil Code) (735 ILCS 5/14-101 to 14-109 (West 2012)), alleging that defendants, S.A. Godinez (Director, Illinois Department of Corrections (DOC)), Glen Austin (former warden, Jacksonville Correctional Center), and Rita Rossi (records officer), acted unlawfully by incorrectly calculating his projected release date from prison. In July 2012, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment pursuant to section 2-1005 of the Civil Code, arguing that no genuine issue of material fact existed because DOC had properly calculated plaintiff's projected release date based on the appropriate concurrent sentence imposed by the trial court. Following a September 2012 hearing, the trial court granted defendants' summary-judgment motion. Plaintiff pro se appeals, arguing that the court erred by granting summary judgment in defendants' favor. We disagree and affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (4th) 130189 In
re Javaun I. Filed 2-14-14 (TJJ)
On January 28, 2013, respondent, Javaun I., was found guilty of home invasion, attempt (aggravated robbery), and criminal trespass to a residence. On March 4, 2013, the trial court sentenced respondent to an indeterminate sentence in the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (DOJJ). Respondent appeals, arguing the following: (1) the State presented insufficient evidence to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) the court erred as a matter of law in sentencing him to DOJJ without first following the statutory requirements found in section 5-750(1) of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987; and (3) respondent's adjudication for both home invasion and criminal trespass to a residence violate the one-act, one-crime rule because both charges were based on the same physical act. We affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand with directions.
No. 2014 IL App (4th) 130465 Leetaru
v. Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Filed 2-14-14 (TJJ)
On May 6, 2013, the trial court dismissed plaintiff Kalev Leetaru's complaint for a preliminary and permanent injunction against defendants, the Board of Trustees (Board) of the University of Illinois (University) and Howard R. Guenther in his official capacity as the associate vice chancellor for research at the University. Plaintiff appeals, arguing the court erred in dismissing his complaint. We affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 130656 Carrillo
v. Park Ridge Firefighters' Pension Fund Filed
Plaintiff, former firefighter/paramedic Karen Carrillo, age 40, sought disability benefits from the Board of Trustees of the Park Ridge Firefighters’ Pension Fund (Board), based on degenerative arthritis of the left knee that rendered her unable to work. After holding a hearing on Carrillo’s disability application, the Board concluded that Carrillo’s injuries were due to a preexisting knee condition rather than any acts of duty. Accordingly, instead of awarding her duty-related disability, which would entitle her to a pension of 65% of her salary, the Board awarded her nonduty disability, which entitled her to a pension of only 50%. On administrative review, the circuit court upheld the Board’s decision. Carrillo now appeals, contending that she is entitled to line-of-duty disability benefits. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 112467 People
v. Wlecke Filed 2-5-14 (TJJ)
Following a jury trial, defendant Daniel Wlecke (Wlecke) was convicted of failing to register as a sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. The Act requires a person convicted of a criminal sexual offense to register with the police or other law enforcement authority in whatever jurisdiction the offender resides. Section 3 of the Act provides that a sex offender “shall register* * * with the chief of police in the municipality in which he or she resides or is temporarily domiciled for a period of time of 3 or more days***.” The obvious purpose of the Act is to assist law enforcement agencies in tracking the whereabouts of sex offenders and to provide the public information about where they are residing. Wlecke was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault in 1992 and was thus required to register under the Act. In 2010, when Wlecke was released from prison on an unrelated offense, he was required to re-register with the Chicago Police Department. For the reasons that follow, we find that the State failed to prove Wlecke guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We therefore reverse Wlecke's conviction.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 103835 In
re Jovan A. Filed 2-13-14 (TJJ)
Following a bench trial, Jovan A. was adjudicated delinquent and sentenced to 18 months' probation. Respondent contends on appeal that the trial court improperly relied on hearsay, specifically, the content of a craigslist.org advertisement, to find that he committed theft. For the reasons that follow, we reverse respondent's conviction and remand this cause for further proceedings.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 140255 Ferrand
v. City of Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
Filed 2-13-14 (TJJ)
Appellant, Melanie "Mel" Ferrand (Ferrand), is a candidate for the office of Representative in the Illinois General Assembly for the 40th Representative District. Ferrand seeks review of a decision of defendant-appellee, the City of Chicago Board of Election Commissioners (Board), which sustained objections to her nominating papers based on her failure to file with the Secretary of State a statement of economic interests required of candidates for state office. The Board's decision was affirmed by the circuit court. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
No. 2013 IL App (1st) 112693 People
v. Williams Filed 12-26-13 (TJJ)
Following a bench trial, defendant Clarence Williams was found guilty of one count of first-degree murder based on an accountability theory. Defendant received a sentence of 23 years in prison and an additional 20-year firearm enhancement. On appeal, defendant asserts that (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction; (2) the trial court erred by admitting gang evidence through an unqualified witness and a witness's prior consistent statement; (3) the murder was not sexually motivated and defendant should not be required to register as a sex offender; and (4) defendant's mittimus should be corrected to reflect that he was convicted of first-degree murder with a mandatory firearm enhancement, not two first-degree murder convictions. We reverse defendant's conviction for first-degree murder and remand for sentencing on the lesser offense of aggravated discharge of a firearm.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 123681 Gibbs v. Blitt and
Gaines, P.C. Filed 02-11-14 (LJD)
Plaintiff Elizabeth (Libby) Gibbs appeals from the order of the circuit court dismissing her amended complaint for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (15 U.S.C. §1692 et seq. (2006)) against defendant Blitt & Gaines, P.C. (Blitt & Gaines). On appeal, Gibbs contends that the trial court erred in dismissing her claim because law firms may be held liable for violations under the FDCPA even if the Illinois Collection Agency Act (Illinois Act) (225 ILCS 425/1 et seq., (West 2012)) expressly excludes attorneys from its requirements. For the following reasons, we affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 113576 Locasto v. The City of
Chicago Filed 02-11-14 (LJD)
For years lawyers have complained about how rarely trial judges mete out sanctions for dilatory discovery practices. This reluctance, they say, has contributed to an environment in which some lawyers (and parties, too) flout court rules and court orders because the chances of unpleasant consequences tends to be so low. But that is not what happened here. Plaintiff Joseph Locasto asks us to award him an additional $1 million in damages for emotional suffering on top of the nearly $2 million judgment by default entered as a discovery sanction against the City of Chicago and four city employees. The sanction was sought after defendants failed to meet several discovery deadlines. Defendants cross-appeal, arguing the trial court abused its discretion by entering the default without considering the possibility of a less severe sanction. We vacate the judgment of default and remand for further proceedings in the trial court.
This case involves cross-appeals from the decision of the circuit court of Will County resolving multiple claims and cross-claims of breach of contract and fraud, and seeking accounting and rescission of legal agreements in conjunction with three real estate development projects in Peotone, Frankfort, and Mokena–all of which are in Will County, Illinois. We affirm and remand for further proceedings, if necessary, consistent with this opinion.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 113082 People v. Koen
Filed 02-07-14 (LJD)
Following a jury trial, defendant Charles Koen (Koen) appeals his convictions of theft (720 ILCS 5/16-1(a)(1) (West 2004)) and forgery (720 ILCS 5/17-3(a)(1) (West 2004)). On appeal, Koen argues (1) his actions were lawful under the General Not For Profit Corporation Act of 1986 (805 ILCS 105/101.01 et seq. (West 2004)); (2) the trial court abused its discretion in disqualifying Charles Koen Jr., as his counsel; (3) the testimony of Barry Goldberg violated his right to a fair trial; (4) the trial court's jury instructions violated his right to a fair trial; (5) statements made during the State's closing argument violated his right to a fair trial; and (6) the mittimus must be corrected to reflect the proper offense and time spent in custody. For the following reasons, we affirm Koen's convictions and correct the mittimus.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 121966 Dumas v. Pappas Filed 02-07-14 (LJD)
The pro se plaintiffs, Betty J. Dumas and Jerome J. Casimir, appeal from an order of the circuit court of Cook County dismissing their petition for a writ of mandamus and for a declaratory judgment against the defendants, Maria Pappas, Cook County treasurer, David Orr, Cook County clerk, and Joseph Berrios, Cook County assessor. On appeal, the plaintiffs contend that the circuit court erred in dismissing the petition and that they should have been allowed to amend the petition. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court.
No. 2014 IL App (4th) 130079 Illinois Association
of Realtors v. Stermer Filed 02-07-14
In June 2006, plaintiff, Illinois Association of Realtors, filed a complaint asserting the FY2007 Budget Implementation (Finance) Act (2007 Budget Act) (Pub. Act 94-839 (eff. June 6, 2006)) was unconstitutional because it transferred monies from the Real Estate License Administration Fund (Administration Fund) into the state's General Revenue Fund. In June 2012, defendants filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to section 2-619.1 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The trial court dismissed plaintiff's second amended complaint. We conclude plaintiff lacks standing and affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 131522 Rico Industries, Inc.
v. TLC Group, Inc. Filed 02-07-14
Plaintiff Rico Industries, Inc. (Rico), entered into an
agreement with defendant TLC Group, Inc. (TLC), making TLC the
exclusive sales representative of its products to Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc. (Wal-Mart), and its affiliates and subsidiaries.
The agreement contained a termination provision which stated
that the contract may only be terminated by the written
agreement of both parties. Rico filed a declaratory judgment
action, seeking a judgment that the agreement is terminable at
will because the termination provision created a perpetual
contract and is thus contrary to Illinois public policy. In its
answer, TLC pled counterclaims for breach of contract, quantum
meruit, an accounting, and causes of action under the Arkansas
sales representative statutes and the Illinois Sales
Representative Act. Certified Question answered "No."
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 123348 Matthews v. Chicago
Transit Authority Filed 02-07-14
The instant appeal arises from the dismissal of plaintiffs’ class action suit pursuant to sections 2-615 and 2-619 of the Code of Civil Procedure (the Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-615, 2-619 (West 2010)). Plaintiffs’ complaint alleges that defendants substantially diminished and impaired the vested retirement health care benefits of plaintiffs, current and retired employees of defendant Chicago Transit Authority (the CTA). The trial court dismissed the case, finding: (1) that the plaintiffs who were current CTA employees lacked standing; (2) that none of the plaintiffs could state a claim against the CTA because it had no responsibility for retiree health care benefits; and (3) that none of the plaintiffs could state a claim against any of the defendants because plaintiffs did not have a vested right to retiree health care benefits. Plaintiffs appeal, and we affirm in part and reverse in part.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 121893 Faison v. RTFX, Inc.
Filed 02-07-14 (LJD)
Plaintiff Toccara Faison appeals the circuit court's decision to grant defendant RTFX, Inc.'s motion to dismiss pursuant to sections 2-615 and 2-619 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-615, 2-619 (West 2008)) plaintiff's class action complaint in which she alleged violations of several provisions of the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) (Chicago Municipal Code § 5-12-010 et seq.), and breach of the implied warranty of habitability.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 131281 In re Charles W. Filed
Respondent, Charles W., Sr., is the adoptive father of minors Charles W. (Charles) and Darious W. Respondent appeals the trial court's March 19, 2013, adjudication orders finding Charles and Darious dependent pursuant to section 2-4(1)(b) of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (the Act) (705 ILCS 405/1-1 et seq. (West 2010)). Respondent also appeals the trial court's March 19, 2013, and May 23, 2013, dispositional orders making Charles and Darious, respectively, wards of the court.
In this appeal, we are presented with an opportunity to clarify the parameters of the revestment doctrine that permits a court to be revested with jurisdiction despite the absence of a timely postjudgment filing. At the core of this dispute is whether a party may satisfy the doctrine’s requirement that the subsequent proceeding be inconsistent with the prior judgment simply by failing to object on the basis of its untimeliness or the finality of the prior judgment. We conclude that the revestment doctrine requires more and that expressing opposition to alteration of the prior judgment bars application of the doctrine. Here, the State opposed the alteration of the prior judgment, precluding the circuit court from reacquiring jurisdiction over defendant’s case under the doctrine of revestment. The circuit court should therefore have dismissed defendant's postjudgment motion to vacate his plea and sentence for lack of jurisdiction.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 122502 People
v. Bethke Filed 02-06-14 (LJD)
In this rather unusual appeal, we confront the trial court's denial of a petition filed on behalf of defendant Michael Bethke recommending that he be allowed escorted leave of the mental health center's premises, or "supervised off-grounds pass privileges" pursuant to sections 5-2-4(b) and (e) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Code) (730 ILCS 5/5-2-4(b), (e) (West 2010)). Following an evidentiary hearing on the matter, the trial court denied the petition. On appeal, defendant asserts that the trial court's decision was against the manifest weight of the evidence, that the trial court based its decision on an impermissible standard, and that the trial court failed to make findings of fact as required by section 3-816(a) of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (Mental Health Code) (405 ILCS 5/3-816(a) (West 2010)). We remand.
No. 2014 IL App (2nd) 130129 Ferris,
Thompson, and Zweig, LTD. v. Esposito Filed 02-05-14
Plaintiff, Ferris, Thompson, & Zweig, Ltd., referred to defendant, Anthony Esposito, two workers’ compensation cases. According to the parties’ agreement, plaintiff was to receive 45% of all attorney fees recovered in the cases, with defendant receiving the remaining 55%. When the cases were resolved, defendant never paid plaintiff. Accordingly, plaintiff sued defendant in the circuit court for breach of contract. Defendant moved to dismiss, arguing that the claim should have been filed with the Workers’ Compensation Commission (Commission) and not in the circuit court. See 735 ILCS 5/2-619(a)(1) (West 2012). The circuit court denied that motion and, following a trial, ordered defendant to pay plaintiff the fees it was owed plus interest. On appeal, defendant argues that the circuit court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the case. We disagree, and, thus, we affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (2nd) 130044 In
re Donald L. Filed 02-05-14 (LJD)
Respondent, Donald L., appeals the trial court’s order authorizing the involuntary administration of psychotropic medication and testing for up to 90 days under section 2-107.1(a-5)(4) of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (Code) (405 ILCS 5/2-107.1(a-5)(4) (West 2012)). Respondent contends that the trial court failed to comply with the Code when it allowed his doctors to administer unspecified tests. He also contends that the court erred in finding that he lacked capacity to make a reasoned decision about medication. We agree with respondent’s first contention and reverse on that point.
No. 2014 IL App (3rd) 130129 U.S.
Bank National Association v. Rose Filed 02-05-14
This appeal arises out of a foreclosure and fraud action filed by plaintiff, U.S. Bank National Association (US Bank), against defendants, Michael H. Rose (Rose) and MHR Estate Plan LLC (MHR Estate Plan). After filing its complaint in the foreclosure case, plaintiff filed a motion for prejudgment attachment against defendants' assets. The trial court denied the motion. Plaintiff appeals. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.
No. 2014 IL App (3rd) 130137 Lorenz
v. Dayton Filed 02-05-14 (LJD)
Plaintiffs Brian Dayton, individually and as special administrator of the estate of Jill Dayton, deceased, Amanda Dayton Nehring, and others not involved in this appeal, filed personal injury and wrongful death actions against defendants Thomas Pledge and the McDonough County sheriff’s department, for damages they sustained following a car accident between the Daytons’ minivan and a sheriff’s squad car. Following a trial, the jury entered a verdict in favor of Pledge. The Daytons appealed. We reverse and remand for a new trial.
No. 2014 IL App (5th) 130029 Green
v. Papa Filed 02-05-14 (LJD
The plaintiff, Darlene Green, formerly known as Darlene Riskovsky, appeals from the December 20, 2012, order of the circuit court of St. Clair County, which entered a judgment in favor of the defendants, John T. Papa and Callis, Papa, Hale, Szewczyk, & Danzinger, P.C. (Papa), on Darlene's complaint for legal malpractice. On appeal, Darlene argues that the circuit court erred in finding that Papa did not breach his duty to Darlene, and assuming there had been a breach of duty, it was not the proximate cause of Darlene's damages. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (1st) 102939 People
v. McFadden Filed 02-04-14 (LJD)
Following a bench trial in the circuit court of Cook County,
the trial judge found defendant Onaffia McFadden guilty of three
armed robberies while armed with a firearm and two counts of
unlawful possession or use of a weapon (UUW) by a felon. The
trial judge sentenced defendant to 29 years in prison on each of
the armed robbery convictions, including a 15-year enhancement
for carrying a firearm pursuant to section 18-2(b) The trial
judge also sentenced defendant to 10 years in prison on each of
the convictions for UUW by a felon. All of the sentences were
ordered to be served concurrently. We affirm
defendant's convictions and sentences for armed robbery, vacate
defendant's convictions for UUW by a felon, and correct the
No. 2014 IL App (3rd) 110467-B In
re Antoine B.Filed 02-04-14 (LJD)
Respondent, Antoine B., was adjudicated delinquent for two counts of felony theft (720 ILCS 5/16-1(a)(1)(A), (b)(2) (West 2010)) and committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DOJJ) for an indeterminate term not to exceed three years. Respondent appealed, arguing that the commitment to the DOJJ was excessive. We affirmed the trial court's judgment. In re Antoine B., 2013 IL App (3d) 110467-U, ¶¶ 14, 17. Pursuant to a supervisory order from the supreme court, we subsequently withdrew our decision and directed the parties to file supplemental briefing on the issue of whether respondent's felony adjudications were void under the supreme court's decision in People v. Taylor, 221 Ill. 2d 157, 182 (2006), which held that a prior felony juvenile adjudication was not a prior felony conviction for purposes of the escape statute. We vacate the trial court's commitment order and remand this case with directions for further proceedings.
No. 2014 IL App (5th) 120097 People
v. Inman Filed 02-04-14 (LJD)
The defendant, Thomas G. Inman, appeals an order dismissing his petition for postconviction relief at the second stage. The defendant was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder and sentenced to concurrent prison terms of natural life for murder and 30 years for attempted first-degree murder. After his natural-life sentence was vacated years later, the defendant was resentenced to 35 years on the murder charge, to be served consecutive to the 30-year attempted murder sentence. The defendant filed a postconviction petition, alleging that the resentencing court violated principles of double jeopardy by ordering his sentences to run consecutively. On appeal from the second-stage dismissal of that petition, the defendant argues that (1) the consecutive sentences violate his right to due process and (2) consecutive sentences constitute double jeopardy. We affirm.
No. 2014 IL App (1ST) 112219 In
re Estate of Feinberg Filed 02-03-14
Following a bench trial in the circuit court of Cook County, the trial court entered a May 16, 2011 judgment, pursuant to a citation to recover assets filed by petitioner Fifth Third Bank as trustee of the Erla Feinberg Trust, against respondent Michael Feinberg in the amount of $788,957 and against respondents Leila and Marshall Taylor in the amount of $1,911,107. For the following reasons, we affirm in part and reverse inpart the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County.