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A 2015 petition for adjudication of wardship charged the minor, JB, with criminal trespass to a motor vehicle, a Class A misdemeanor (720 ILCS 5/21-2). JB pled guilty. The circuit court sentenced him to 12 months’ court supervision, 30 days’ stayed detention, and community service, informing him that under section 5-710(1)(b), if he violated the terms of his supervision, it could place him on probation or hold him in custody for up to 30 days or send him to the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). At the time, the maximum sentence for a Class A misdemeanor was less than one year of incarceration. During the months that followed, JB repeatedly left his placement, had warrants issued for his arrest, served time in the juvenile temporary detention center, and was repeatedly warned that he could be sentenced to the DJJ. In February 2016, the court found it to be in JB’s best interest to commit him to the DJJ. JB argued that an amendment to section 5-710(1)(b) of the Juvenile Court Act, effective on January 1, 2016, precluded the court from committing him to the DJJ for his misdemeanor offense. The appellate court and Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the commitment order. Section 5-720(4) focuses on the sentences available under section 5-710 at the time of a minor’s initial sentence. JB’s conduct of leaving his residential placement merely provided the grounds for revoking his probation; the court did not sentence him to the DJJ for a new offense. The commitment sentence constituted a resentencing for the original, underlying offense. View "In re Jarquan B." on Justia Law

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Rozsavolgyi filed a charge of discrimination on the basis of disability with the Illinois Department of Human Rights against the city of Aurora. Rozsavolgyi had been employed by the city from 1992 until she was involuntarily discharged in 2012. Months later, Rozsavolgyi was notified that she had the right to commence a civil action. Rozsavolgyi filed suit, alleging civil rights violations under the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/1-101, including failure to accommodate her disability, disparate treatment, retaliation, and hostile work environment. The circuit court certified three questions for permissive interlocutory review to the appellate court under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 308. After the appellate court addressed each question Rozsavolgyi obtained a certificate of importance under Rule 316 as to one question: Does the Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, 745 ILCS 10/1, apply to a civil action under the Human Rights Act where the plaintiff seeks damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and costs? If yes, should the court modify, reject or overrule its prior holdings that the Tort Immunity Act applies only to tort actions and does not bar actions for constitutional violations? The Illinois Supreme Court vacated and remanded the appellate court’s response. The question is “improperly overbroad, should not have been answered, and does not warrant” review. The question ignores the breadth of the Human Rights Act, which provides for numerous types of civil actions for unlawful conduct in a variety of contexts. View "Rozsavolgyi v. The City of Aurora" on Justia Law

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The Cook County circuit court found sections of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (705 ILCS 405/5-101(3), 5-605(1) unconstitutional as applied to Destiny who was 14 years old when she was charged with four counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of aggravated battery with a firearm, three counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon. The court held that these sections, which do not provide jury trials for first-time juvenile offenders charged with first-degree murder, violated the equal protection clauses of the U.S. and Illinois Constitutions, but rejected the defense argument that these sections were unconstitutional on due process grounds. On direct appeal, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed with respect to the due process challenge but reversed with respect to equal protection. Destiny cannot show that she is similarly situated to the comparison groups: recidivist juvenile offenders charged with different crimes and tried under one of two recidivist statutes. These are the only classes of juvenile offenders who face mandatory incarceration if adjudicated delinquent and the legislature has denied a jury trial only to the former. The two classes are charged with different crimes, arrive in court with different criminal backgrounds, and are tried and sentenced under different statutes with distinct legislative purposes. Due process does not mandate jury trials for juveniles. View "In re Destiny P." on Justia Law

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Reese escaped from custody during a medical appointment, stabbed the guard, then jumped onto a hospital shuttle bus and told the driver, Rimmer: If you stop, I’m gonna stab you in the neck. After driving a short distance, Rimmer opened the door, causing the bus to stop suddenly. Rimmer grabbed Reese’s arm. Reese stabbed Rimmer in the face and chest, broke free, ran outside, and was tackled by police. Reese never drove the bus or gave directions on where to drive. He was charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking (720 ILCS 5/18-4(a)(3), vehicular invasion (720 ILCS 5/12-11.1), attempted armed robbery (720 ILCS 5/8-4, 18-2), and escape (720 ILCS 5/31-6). He represented himself and asked to have his leg shackles removed. The judge stated both counsel tables would be covered with drapes. The court asked potential jurors if anything about defendant’s appearance “with this drapery in front of him” would affect their ability to be fair. One potential juror expressed confusion; two did not respond. The court granted the prosecution’s motion to introduce defendant’s prior murder conviction for impeachment and ordered removal of Reese’s shackles during trial. Reese testified, asserting that he did not commit the murder, that he tried to escape because his health was failing and he had been beaten by guards before his murder trial, and that he never threatened Remmer. Convicted, Reese was sentenced to concurrent sentences of 50 years for hijacking, 30 years for vehicular invasion, 30 years for attempted armed robbery, and 14 years for escape, consecutive to the sentence for murder. The Illinois Supreme Court upheld the convictions. Aggravated vehicular hijacking encompasses taking actual physical possession of a vehicle but may also be committed when a defendant exercises control of the vehicle by use or threat of force with the victim still present. View "People v. Reese" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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On May 9, the mental health facility director at Mount Sinai Hospital filed a petition alleging that Linda was a person subject to emergency involuntary admission to a treatment facility (405 ILCS 5/3-600) and had been admitted to the “Mental Health Facility/Psychiatric Unit” on April 22. On June 11, the court held a hearing; a psychiatrist testified that Linda’s hospitalization began on April 22, when she was admitted to a “medical floor,” where she was also “treated psychiatrically.” She was tachycardic and severely anemic. Linda had sitters throughout her stay on the medical floor. There had been multiple prior hospitalizations. Linda had been diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia and was noncompliant in taking medications. Linda’s counsel moved to dismiss the petition as untimely, having been filed more than 24 hours after admission. The court found Linda subject to involuntary admission. The appellate court and Illinois Supreme Court applied the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine and affirmed, finding Linda’s “physical” admission was not synonymous with “legal” admission under the Mental Health Code, and the medical floor of the hospital was not a “mental health facility” within the meaning of the statute, regardless of whether psychiatric treatment was rendered there. Legal status may change while one is in a mental health facility. Linda has not demonstrated that her physical entry into the facility, and her initial treatment, were involuntary. View "In re Linda B." on Justia Law

Posted in: Health Law

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Defendant was charged with residential burglary and disarming a peace officer. The circuit court allowed defendant’s public defender to withdraw. Defendant proceeded pro se and was convicted. On appeal, defendant’s sole claim was that his waiver of trial counsel had not been voluntary. The appellate court affirmed. The Illinois Supreme Court denied leave to appeal. Defendant sought post-conviction relief (725 ILCS 5/122-1(a)). The appellate court affirmed dismissal of the petition. Defendant filed a pro se motion for leave to file a second postconviction petition (725 ILCS 5/122-1(f)). Defendant did not address cause and prejudice but claimed actual innocence, newly discovered evidence, denial of due process, speedy trial violation, and ineffective assistance of counsel. He claimed that his expected favorable ruling in a suit against the trial judge would provide the evidence necessary to support his claims. The circuit court held a hearing and dismissed; defendant was not present, nor was he represented. Defendant argued that the circuit court erred in permitting the state to participate at the cause and prejudice stage. The appellate court and Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. The Post-Conviction Hearing Act permits a defendant to file a successive postconviction petition only if he can demonstrate cause and prejudice by alleging facts to explain why the claims being asserted in the successive petition could not have been raised in the initial postconviction petition. Whether this prima facie showing of cause and prejudice has been made is a question of law for the circuit court. Here, the circuit court erroneously permitted the state to argue against a finding of cause and prejudice, however, as a matter of law, defendant failed to demonstrate cause and prejudice. View "People v. Bailey" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Defendant, age 20, was charged with six counts of first-degree murder and six counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon (AUUW), and agreed to plead guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for 22 years’ imprisonment, and dismissal of the AUUW charges and a separate pending charge for possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Five years later, defendant filed a pro se postconviction petition alleging that his due process rights were substantially violated because he was not advised that he would be required to serve a 3-year term of mandatory supervised release (MSR) upon completion of the prison sentence. The trial court summarily dismissed the petition, finding that the record contradicted defendant’s allegations. The appellate court affirmed, finding that the admonishment satisfied due process and “conveyed the necessary warning regarding the three-year term of MSR in no uncertain terms, such that an ordinary person in defendant’s circumstances would understand it.” The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. The record reflects that before accepting defendant’s plea, the court advised defendant that, for the offense of first-degree murder, the sentence required a term in prison ranging between 20 and 60 years, that the maximum period of imprisonment could be life, and that “[u]pon your release from the penitentiary, there is a period of three years mandatory supervised release, sometimes referred to as parole.” View "People v. Boykins" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Illinois Commerce Commission granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity to Rock Island for construction of a high voltage electric transmission line between O’Brien County, Iowa, and a converter station adjacent to Commonwealth Edison Company’s Grundy County, Illinois substation. Rock Island is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wind Line, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Clean Line, which is owned in part by Grid America, a subsidiary of National Grid, which owns and operates more than 8600 miles of high-voltage transmission facilities. Rock Island has never constructed a high voltage transmission line and does not yet own, control, operate, or manage any plants, equipment, or property used or to be used in the transmission of electricity or for any other purpose related to utilities; it has an option to purchase real property in Grundy County. The appellate court reversed, holding that the Commission had no authority under the Public Utilities Act, 220 ILCS 5/1-101, to consider Rock Island’s application because the company did not qualify as a public utility under Illinois law. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed. Whatever Rock Island’s motives for seeking a certificate of public necessity and convenience, it does not qualify as a public utility; eligibility for a certificate of public convenience and necessity unambiguously requires present ownership, management, or control of defined utility property or equipment. View "Illinois Landowners Alliance, NFP v. Illinois Commerce Commission" on Justia Law

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Walter, age 39, died at home. Walter’s body was transported to the Moultrie County morgue, where the coroner was unable to determine the cause of death. Walter’s body was transferred to Springfield Memorial Medical Center for a full autopsy, where it was received by employees of Securitas, a private security firm that contracted with Memorial. Those employees placed the body in a closed steel case used to store severely decomposed remains, but did not place a visible identification tag on Walter’s body, nor affix an identification label to the case. They erroneously recorded in the morgue’s logbook that the body contained in the case was that of Carroll. Days later, Butler Funeral Home was given Walter’s body, rather than with Carroll’s body. Before the error was discovered, Butler cremated Walter’s body; no autopsy was performed on Walter’s body and no cause of death was ever determined. Walter’s mother sued. She settled with Memorial and Butler, and claimed tortious interference with her right to possess Walter’s body against Securitas. The circuit court dismissed, finding that plaintiff failed to plead sufficient facts to support the allegation of a duty owed by Securitas to the plaintiff. The appellate court reversed, rejecting defendant’s argument that, in order to state a claim for tortious interference with the right to possess a corpse, a plaintiff must plead specific facts demonstrating that the defendant’s misconduct was wilful and wanton. The Illinois Supreme Court agreed. Recovery in such cases is permissible upon a showing of ordinary negligence. View "Cochran v. Securitas Security Services USA, Inc." on Justia Law

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Aspen American Insurance sued, claiming that the roof of a Michigan warehouse owned by Interstate had collapsed, causing the destruction of goods owned by Aspen’s insured, Eastern Fish. The complaint alleged that Interstate “maintain[s] a facility in or near Chicago.” Interstate acknowledged that it owns a warehouse in Joliet, Illinois. Interstate, an Indiana corporation, unsuccessfully moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction. The appellate court affirmed. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed. Aspen did not show that Interstate’s contacts with Illinois render it at home in that state under subsection (c) of the long-arm statute, 735 ILCS 5/2-209. While a foreign corporation must register with the Secretary of State and appoint an agent to accept service of process in order to conduct business in Illinois, absent any language to the contrary, the fact that a foreign corporation has registered to do business does not mean that the corporation has waived due process limitations on the exercise of personal jurisdiction, including with respect to cases that are completely unrelated to the corporation’s activities in Illinois. View "Aspen American Insurance Co. v. Interstate Warehouseing, Inc." on Justia Law