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Supreme Court quick takes

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. 

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Thursday, March 22

Posted on March 22, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down four unanimous opinions on Thursday, March 22. The court considered the manner, scope, and extent of voir dire in People v. Encalado, concluding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defendant’s proposed voir dire question. Relying on statutory construction principles and legislative intent, the court upheld a first degree murder conviction in People v. Manning. In People ex rel. Berlin v. Bakalis, the court directed the circuit court to vacate the defendant's one-year term of mandatory supervised release and impose the mandatory four-year term required under the Unified Code of Corrections. Lastly, the court affirmed the lower courts' ruling that State Farm's insured could recover underinsured motorist coverage in Thounsavath v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Co.


People v. Manning

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

Arthur Manning was charged with first degree murder arising out of the stabbing death of a “highly intoxicated and ultimately an unwelcome visitor at a residence occupied by defendant” and others. At trial, there was evidence of a fight between the decedent and several of the residents including Manning, who had been armed with a knife. The jury was instructed on self defense and second degree murder at Manning’s request.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Friday, Feb. 16

Posted on February 16, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down two opinions today, Friday, Feb. 16. The court considered whether the Cook County Circuit Court erroneously entered a finding of a good-faith settlement agreement under the Joint Tortfeasor Act in a personal injury action arising out of a car accident in Antonicelli v. Rodriguez. In People ex rel. Hartrich v. 2010 Harley-Davidson, the court addresses the application of the excessive fines clause of the Eighth Amendment to the civil forfeiture of personal property. Leading appellate attorneys Karen DeGrand and Joanne Driscoll summarize the cases below.

Quick Take on Illinois Supreme Court Opinion Issued Thursday, Feb. 1

Posted on February 1, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down an opinion today in People v. Chairez. At issue in this case was the constitutionality of a section of the unlawful use of a weapon statute that prohibits an individual from carrying or possessing a firearm within 1000 feet of a public park. Kerry Bryson of the Office of the State Appellate Defender reviews the court's ruling.

People v. Chairez

Over the past several years, constitutional challenges to various provisions of the unlawful use of weapons (UUW) statute have made their way through the courts. Chairez involves another such challenge, specifically with regard to the provision prohibiting an individual from carrying or possessing a firearm within 1000 feet of a public park [720 ILCS 5/24-1 (a)(4), (c)(1.5)].

In 2013, Julio Chairez pled guilty to possessing a firearm within 1000 feet of a park in Aurora. Subsequently, Chairez filed a post-conviction petition arguing that the statute violated the second amendment and seeking to vacate his conviction. The circuit court agreed, and the case proceeded directly to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Jan. 19

Posted on January 22, 2018 by Sara Anderson

The Illinois Supreme Court handed down four opinions on Friday, Jan. 19, including the highly-anticipated Bogenberger v. Pi Kappa Alpha Corp., in which the court considered who can be held liable for a fraternity pledge's alcohol-related death during an initiation ritual. The court also addressed the deadline to timely file a motion to quash service in a residential mortgage foreclosure action in Bank of New York Mellon v. Laskowski, reversed and remanded the appellate court's decision to overturn a defendant's first degree murder conviction in People v. Carey, and determined whether the one-act, one-crime rule prohibits multiple convictions arising out of the defendant's single act of gun possession in People v. Coats. Leading appellate attorneys review these cases below.

Bogenberger v. Pi Kappa Alpha Corporation, Inc.

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC
 
Here the Illinois Supreme Court addressed the civil liability ramifications of excessive alcohol consumption at a fraternity pledging event. The court addressed whether the national organizations of a fraternity, a local chapter of the fraternity, its officers, pledge board members and active members, along with non-member sorority women, owed a legal duty to a prospective pledge who died from alcohol poisoning during a pledge event. The court ruled that all but the national entities owed a duty on the allegations of the complaint.  

Quick Takes on Illinois Supreme Court Opinions Issued Friday, Dec. 29

Posted on January 2, 2018 by Sara Anderson

Leading appellate attorneys review Illinois Supreme Court opinions handed down on Friday, Dec. 29. The cases are Cohen v. Chicago Park District and Yarbrough v. Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Cohen v. Chicago Park District

By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde Law Offices LLP

For a second time within a month, the Illinois Supreme Court was called upon to interpret the meaning of section 3-107 of the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (the Act) (745 ILCS 10/3-107 (West 2012)), in the context of bicycling accidents along shared-use paths or trails. In Corbett v. The County of Lake, 2012 IL 121536, decided in November, the court construed subsection (b), whereas here the court construed subsection (a). In both cases, the court found section 3-107 inapplicable, although this case drew a dissent, but for a different reason.

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