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Supreme Court quick takes

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, December 13

Posted on December 13, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down two opinions on Thursday, Dec. 13. The court weighed in on whether section 13-217 of the Code of Civil Procedure applies to voluntarily withdrawn postconviction petitions in People v. Simms, and in Palm v. Holocker, demonstrated the principle that a party seeking review of a statutory construction ruling must bring to the court a case with facts that implicate the statute being construed.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, November 29

Posted on November 29, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down nine opinions on Thursday, Nov. 29. The court determined that amendments to Supreme Court Rule 604(d) do not apply retroactively in People v. Easton, confronted whether a defendant who is able to retain counsel to prepare and file his post-conviction petition is entitled to any guaranteed level of assistance from that counsel in People v. Johnson, and articulated the contours of “waiver by conduct” in regard to appointed counsel for post-conviction petitions in People v. Lesley. The supreme court also determined that two corporate defendants were both liable in tort and their relative culpability was equal in Sperl v. Henry, opined that “transactional test” for res judicata should also be applied to the separate doctrine of the single refiling rule to determine whether two or more lawsuits assert the same cause of action in First Midwest Bank v. Cobo, and held that an injured worker was barred from intervening in her employer’s subrogation action brought against third-party tortfeasors in A&R Janitorial v. Pepper Construction Co. The supreme court also weighed in on statutory changes to the Illinois Pension Code and their impacts upon affected employees in Carmichael v. Laborers & Retirement Board Employees’ Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago, discussed the court’s jurisdiction, supervisory authority, and the framework for a circuit court to address the constitutionality of an Illinois statute in Gonzalez v. Union Health Service, Inc., and addressed judicial review of executive power in Gregg v. Rauner.

Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Thursday, November 1

Posted on November 1, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Thursday, Nov. 1. The supreme court upheld the dismissal of a man’s post-conviction petition in an armed robbery case.

People v. Dupree

By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

Torrence DuPree was charged with, and convicted of, two counts of armed robbery for an incident in 2010. Evidence at trial was that two men drove to an apartment complex to sell marijuana to a third. During the transaction, a hooded man approached the seller’s vehicle, displayed a weapon, and took money and a backpack. No physical evidence linked DuPree to the offense, but the prosepective marijuana purchaser identified him as the offender. Also, one of the vehicle’s occupants identified DuPree in a photo array, stating that he was 70 percent certain of the identification. That witness also described the offender as being at least 6 feet tall, but DuPree was only 5 feet, 8 inches tall. The vehicle’s driver did not testify at trial.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, October 18

Posted on October 18, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down seven opinions on Thursday, October 18. The court affirmed that the warrantless use of a drug-detection dog at a man’s apartment door violated his Fourth Amendment rights in People v. Bonilla, reversed the appellate court’s judgment vacating a man’s sentences and remanding for resentencing for a murder conviction in People v. Harris, upheld a circuit court’s decision to seal two motions filed by a defendant facing murder charges in People v. Zimmerman, and affirmed a defendant’s conviction for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church in People v. Newton. The supreme court also reversed a circuit court’s decision to dismiss eminent domain complaints against landowners in Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois v. Hutchings, considered the meaning of the phrase “unable to satisfy any judgment” in Cassidy v. China Vitamins, LLC, and affirmed a circuit court’s order dismissing claims against an insurance company in American Family Mutual Insurance Company v. Krop.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, September 20

Posted on September 20, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down seven opinions on Thursday, September 20. The court unanimously upheld a state law that established rules for not-for-profit hospitals to avoid paying property taxes and ruled that law firms bringing qui tam actions against a corporation are entitled to attorney fees for outside counsel, but not fees for work done by the firm’s own attorneys. It also upheld the statutory summary suspension of a man’s driver’s license following his arrest for DUI drugs, dismissed a defendant’s appeal on procedural grounds, affirmed a modified appellate court judgment considering fee assessments, upheld an appellate court’s decision to not award a man additional days of credit against his prison sentence, and upheld a defendant’s conviction of drug-related homicide.

Oswald v. Hamer 

By Michael T. Reagan, The Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan

Oswald v. Hamer, 2018 IL 122203, holds that Section 15-86(c) of the Property Tax Code, which provides for property tax exemptions for not-for-profit hospitals and their affiliates for specific property, is not unconstitutional on its face. More specifically described, Section 15-86(c) provides that such a hospital “satisfies the conditions for an exemption under this Section with respect to the subject property, and shall be issued a charitable exemption for that property, if the value of services or activities listed in subsection (e) for the hospital year equals or exceeds the relevant hospital entity’s estimated property tax liability....” Whether the word “shall” in the statute is to be regarded as mandatory or permissive was a key issue in the case.  

Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Thursday, August 9

Posted on August 10, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Thursday, August 9. The supreme court addressed the issue of whether the lower court erred when it terminated a father’s parental rights on the grounds that he was an unfit person under the Adoption Act.

In re N.G., a minor, 2018 IL 121939

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC 

In a 4-3 decision of the Illinois Supreme Court, the majority’s expansive view of the judiciary’s obligation to right a constitutional wrong clashes with the dissent’s adherence to judicial restraint. The supreme court ruled that a circuit court cannot terminate parental rights on the basis of a parent’s felony criminal conviction, where the conviction was based on a statute later deemed unconstitutional on its face.

Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Thursday, August 2

Posted on August 2, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Thursday, August 2. The court reversed a summary judgment in favor of the City of Danville in a case in which a plaintiff sued the municipality after tripping and falling on an uneven seam in a sidewalk.

Monson v. City of Danville

By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde Law Offices LLP

On a subject frequently visited by the Illinois Supreme Court, tort immunity, the Court was called upon to refine the contours of sections 2-109 ad 2-201 of the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (Act) (745 ILCS 10/2-109, 2-201 (West 2012)) and to determine whether section 3-102(a) of the Act (id. § 3-102(a)) supersedes those provisions. The majority opinion and the concurrence provide an interesting read on statutory interpretation.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Friday, June 1

Posted on June 5, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion on Friday, June 1. The court determined that the appellate court lacked jurisdiction to review a circuit court clerk’s imposition of fines that were not ordered by the circuit court.

People v. Vara

By Kerry J. Bryson, Office of the State Appellate Defender

Following his conviction of child pornography, defendant Ricardo Vara was sentenced to a three-year prison term and ordered to pay various fines by the court. Subsequently, the circuit clerk recorded those fines in an electronic accounts receivable record. The clerk also recorded other mandatory fines that had not been imposed by the judge. On appeal, Vara challenged the clerk’s imposition of those additional fines, arguing that while they were mandatory, they were void because the clerk lacked the authority to impose fines. The appellate court agreed and vacated the fines in question.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, May 24

Posted on May 24, 2018 by Rhys Saunders

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down three opinions on Thursday, May 24. The court upheld the constitutionality of the Vehicle Code’s definition of "low-speed gas bicycle" in People v. Plank, considered the application of the officer suit exception to sovereign immunity in Parmar v. Madigan, and determined whether statutory changes apply retroactively to two Freedom of Information Act requests in Perry v. Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Thursday, April 5

Posted on April 5, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down one opinion today in People v. Pepitone. At issue in this case was whether Section 11-9.4-1(b) of the Criminal Code of 2012, which prohibits sexual predators or child sex offenders to knowingly be present in any public park building or on real property comprising any public park, is facially violative of substantive due process. Jay Wiegman of the Office of the State Appellate Defender reviews the court's ruling.

People v. Pepitone

Section 11-9.4-1(b) of the Criminal Code of 2012 prohibits “sexual predators” and “child sex offenders” from being knowingly present in any public park building or on real property comprising any public park. 720 ILCS 5/11 9.4 1(b) (West 2016). In People v. Pepitone, 2018 IL 122034, the Illinois Supreme Court considered whether this statute was facially violative of substantive due process and determined that it was not. 

The defendant in Pepitone, who had been convicted in 1999 of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and sentenced to a six-year prison term, was arrested in 2013 while walking his dog in a public park in Bolingbrook. A jury found him guilty of being a child sex offender in a public park, and he was sentenced to 24 months’ conditional discharge, 100 hours of public service, and $400 in fines and costs. 

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