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Supreme Court Quick Takes

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Civil opinions in In re M.M.Bueker v. Madison County Illinois,  Beggs v. The Board of Education of Murphysboro Community Unit School District No. 186, Blanchard v. Berrios, Murphy-Hylton v. Lieberman Management Services, Inc. and Zahn v. North American Power & Gas, LLC.

In re M.M.

By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde Law Offices LLP

This case raises the procedural question of whether, in the adjudication of an abuse and neglect petition, the court has the authority to appoint a guardian for the minor when there has been no finding that a parent is unfit, unable or unwilling to care for the child.  Answering the question “no,” the Illinois Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, repudiated and overruled several cases that were in conflict.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Criminal opinions in People v. Matthews and People ex rel. Alvarez v. Gaughan.

People v. Matthews

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

Following an unsuccessful direct appeal and post-conviction petition, Jerrell Matthews filed a petition for relief from judgment pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-1401, alleging that a State witness had committed perjury at his trial.  The circuit court dismissed the petition on the basis that it was untimely.

The proof of service that Matthews filed with the petition said that the petition was mailed to the State with “proper first-class postage”

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursdays's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the Civil case Carney v. Union Pacific R.R. Co. and the criminal cases People v. Jones and People v. Minnis.

CIVIL

Carney v. Union Pacific R.R. Co.

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

In affirming the circuit court’s grant of summary judgment to the defendant Union Pacific, and reversing the appellate court, which had decided this case with a Rule 23 Order, the supreme court significantly examined three sections of the Restatement (Second) of Torts which are frequently invoked in cases involving injuries during construction.  Justice Theis wrote for the court.  Justice Kilbride dissented.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Civil opinions in Kakos v. Butler, Bayer v. Panduit Corp., Moon v. Rhode, and J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC v. Wild, Inc.

Kakos v. Butler

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

In Kakos v. Butler, the court unanimously affirmed Judge Gomolinski’s judgment in the circuit court that the 6-person jury regime established by Public Act 98-1132 is facially unconstitutional.  Chief Justice Garman wrote for the court.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Criminal opinions in People v. Hood, People v. Cherry, People v. Reyes, and People v. Valdez.

People v. Hood

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

Terry Hood was charged with attempt murder, home invasion, and aggravated battery of a senior citizen against Robert Bishop, Jr.  Prior to trial, the State sought to take Bishop’s evidence deposition due to health concerns. Present at the deposition were Assistant State’s Attorneys and defendant’s attorneys; defendant did not attend.  Subsequently, the evidence deposition was admitted at defendant’s trial upon a finding that Bishop could not testify.

Blumenthal v. Brewer

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

In Blumenthal v. Brewer, 2016 IL 118781, the court reaffirmed Hewitt v. Hewitt, 77 Ill.2d 49 (1979) which concerned the rights of unmarried cohabitants, restated that the Supreme Court alone may overrule or modify one of its previous opinions, and concluded that it is exclusively for the legislature to determine whether a change in public policy governing the rights of parties in nonmarital relationships is necessary.  Justice Karmeier wrote for the majority; Justice Theis, with Justice Burke joining her, wrote separately, concurring in part and dissenting in part.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Friday's Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the Civil case Hampton v. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and the criminal case People v. Geiler.

CIVIL

Hampton v. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District

By Karen Kies DeGrand, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court opinions in the Civil case Moline School District No. 40 Board of Education v. Quinn and the criminal cases People v. McFadden and People v. Rizzo.

CIVIL

Moline School District v. Quinn

By Joanne R. Driscoll, Forde Law Offices LLP

Does legislation (Public Act 97-1161) creating a property tax exemption for one lessee of one metropolitan airport authority violate the special legislation clause of the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, § 13)?  Affirming the appellate court, the Illinois Supreme Court held that it does. 

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Civil opinions in Valfer v. Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, Fattah v. BimRichter v. Prairie Farms Dairy and Commonwealth Edison Company v. Illinois Commerce Commission.

Valfer v. Evanston Northwestern Healthcare

By Alyssa M. Reiter, Williams Montgomery & John Ltd.

This case explored the breadth of a hospital’s immunity under the Illinois Hospital Licensing Act. Following a peer review, the hospital revoked Dr. Valfer’s privileges to practice at the hospital. After Dr. Valfer sued, the hospital obtained summary judgment. The trial court agreed that the hospital was immune from damages under the Licensing Act and that it had complied with its bylaws and had not engaged in any willful and wanton conduct.

Our panel of leading appellate attorneys review Thursday's top Illinois Supreme Court Criminal opinions in People v. Hernandez, People v. Cotto and People v. Grant.

People v. Hernandez

By Jay Wiegman, Office of the State Appellate Defender

In People v. Hernandez, 2016 IL 118672, the Illinois Supreme Court built upon its recent decision in People v. Ligon, 2016 118023, and determined that the elements of armed robbery are not identical to the elements of armed violence.  Because armed robbery does not have the same elements as the lesser Class 2 offense of armed violence with a Category III weapon, which carried a lesser penalty, the Class X sentence for armed robbery imposed upon Hernandez did not violate the proportionate penalties clause of the Illinois Constitution.