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Sarelas v. Gekas

MAY 29, 1963.

PETER S. SARELAS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

JOHN C. GEKAS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JOHN J. LUPE, Judge, presiding. Motion denied.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE DEMPSEY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

The original action in this case was for conspiracy, defamation and assault and battery — the outgrowth of a meeting held by the Hellenic Professional Society of Illinois on October 31, 1958 — in which the plaintiff Peter S. Sarelas, a lawyer, asked damages of $100,000 from the nineteen defendants, eight of whom are lawyers. The trial court dismissed the complaint as to conspiracy and defamation, sustained it as to the allegation of assault and battery, and entered summary judgment for the defendants on the latter issue. The plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court where the appeal was dismissed. He then sought a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States which was denied.

Thereafter, the defendants filed a motion which has resulted in the present appeal. They moved to tax certain costs against the plaintiff, principally those incurred because of extended depositions allegedly occasioned by the harassing tactics of the plaintiff. After the submission of briefs, hearings and arguments the trial court assessed the costs at $1,300.70. The plaintiff again appealed to the Supreme Court but the cause was transferred here.

The bitterness engendered by the meeting of October 31st has not been allayed by this lawsuit; it is evident throughout the record and it is especially obvious in the many motions, and the suggestions in support of the motions, which have been made in this court. In some of these documents the plaintiff attempts to readjudicate the issues found adverse to him in the original action; in some he injects excerpts from extraneous litigation participated in by him as a party or by the defendants as attorneys, and all of them are interlaced with abuse of the lawyer-defendants who are repetitiously charged with deception, fraud and perjury. There is no excuse for such documents and there is no reason for this court to wade through a mire of irrelevant matters and scurrilous attacks in order to extricate the substance of the plaintiff's contentions. If further motions of the same type are filed in this case they will be stricken.

This opinion is concerned with one of the plaintiff's motions, a motion for leave to file a petition for a writ of mandamus against the trial judge for his refusal to sign a report of proceedings. It is not necessary for us to grant leave to file the petition in order to learn the judge's answer to the plaintiff's charges. The answer is already before us in the form of a signed statement which is part of the record and which explains his refusal to certify the particular report of proceedings presented to him by the plaintiff. The statement is as follows:

"Forasmuch as certain matters do not otherwise appear of record, the undersigned, Judge of the Circuit Court, wishes to set forth what comprises a true and complete transcript of proceedings in this matter.

"This case was referred to me in June of 1962 for a hearing on a motion to tax costs, which was filed by the defendants. The motion for taxing costs was first filed before the Honorable John J. Lupe, and subsequently transferred because of a petition to change venue filed by PETER S. SARELAS.

"The undersigned, as Judge herein, ordered that briefs be filed during the months of July and August of 1962, and the first hearings and argument on the motion to tax costs and related motions thereto was heard on September 7, 1962 before a court reporter. At all subsequent hearings on the motion for the taxing of costs there was a court reporter present. I adjourned and continued the hearing, after lengthy argument, until September 14, 1962, at which time further argument was had; the hearing was then adjourned and continuel until September 17, 1962; the hearing was further adjourned and continued until September 18, 1962; further argument and hearing was had on that date and the hearing was continued until September 19, 1962; further argument and hearing was had on September 19, 1962 and was adjourned and continued until October 5, 1962; further argument and hearing was continued until December 10, 1962, at which time final hearing and argument was had in this matter.

"The alleged Report of Proceedings submitted by plaintiff-appellant, PETER S. SARELAS, is not a true and complete transcript of all the evidence taken and offered at the hearings and argument on the motion for taxing of costs in this matter, nor is it a true and complete transcript of all the rulings of the court with respect to such evidence, although it appears to be a correct stenographic report of the proceedings held only on the dates of September 14, 1962, September 17, 1962 and September 18, 1962.

"February 21st, 1963

JOHN E. PAVLIK (SEAL) /s/ Honorable John E. Pavlik, Judge of the Circuit Court

"To the signing of the foregoing certificate Peter S. Sarelas objects."

The plaintiff's motion prays that the judge be commanded to delete from the statement the words, "it is not a true and complete transcript of all the evidence taken and offered" and "nor is it a true and complete transcript of all the rulings of the court with respect to such evidence" or, in the alternative, that the judge be ordered to specify what evidence, rulings and proceedings were omitted, and to settle a report of proceedings.

From our examination of the full record we cannot conclude that the report of proceedings submitted by the plaintiff contained all the evidence and all the rulings of the court in respect thereto. The plaintiff says the report did; the judge says it did not. There is no basis for us to order the judge to expunge the quoted parts of his statement. To do this would be the ...


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