Appeal from Circuit Court of Cook County, District 2 of the
Municipal Department; the Hon. PETER BAKAKOS, Justice of Peace;
DONALD H. HAIDER, and JOHN W. DAMISICH, Magistrates, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
On December 26, 1963 plaintiff filed this forcible detainer action before a Justice of the Peace of New Trier Township (Cook County). Summons, which was duly served on defendant, was returnable January 2, 1964. After hearings on various preliminary questions raised by defendant, the case was heard on its merits on May 8, 1964, and a judgment restoring plaintiff to possession was entered that day by a Magistrate of District 2 of the Municipal Department, Circuit Court of Cook County. Defendant has appealed from this judgment.
By a careful reading of defendant's brief, reply brief, and abstract of record, and by cutting through a mass of obfuscatory, dilatory arguments which border on the contumacious, we ascertain defendant's contentions to be:
The Justice of the Peace courts were abolished by amendment of the constitution, effective January 1, 1964.
Thereafter, throughout the pendency and trial of this case, and at the time of entry of the judgment, there was no duly constituted successor court with authority to determine the case.
No rules or orders had been published by any purported successor court relating to the docketing of cases, their assignment or trial.
The Presiding Judge of District 2 of the Municipal Department, Circuit Court of Cook County had no authority to transfer this case from one magistrate to another for trial.
The proceedings were, therefore, a nullity, and the judgment void.
Essentially the same points were raised by defendant in the trial court. They are baselessly pejorative of the work product of the countless hours devoted by the legislature and its committees, the several bar committees and advisory councils, and the courts themselves, in anticipatory implementation of the constitutional amendment for the purpose of activating and lubricating the transition to the reformed court system on January 1, 1964.
It is true, of course, that the Justice of the Peace courts were abolished at the effective date of the constitutional amendment, as set forth in Paragraph 5(a) of the Schedule to Article VI. The very same paragraph of the Schedule, however, provides that "all their jurisdiction, judicial functions, powers and duties are transferred to the respective circuit courts, . . . ." And further:
(c) Each court into which jurisdiction of other courts is transferred shall succeed to and assume jurisdiction of all causes, matters and proceedings then pending, with full power and authority to dispose of them and to carry into execution or otherwise to give effect to all orders, judgments and decrees theretofore entered by the predecessor courts.
(d) The files, books, papers, records, documents, moneys, securities, and other property in the possession, custody or under the control of the courts hereby abolished, or any officer thereof, are transferred to the Circuit Court; and thereafter all proceedings in all courts shall be matters of record.
Paragraph 2 of the Schedule also directs that:
Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of this Article, all provisions of law and rules of court in force on the Effective Date of this Article shall continue in effect until superseded in a manner authorized by the Constitution.
Consistent therewith, the Circuit Court of Cook County adopted certain new Rules and General Orders on January 2, 1964, effective that date, to be used in conjunction with the Uniform Rules for Circuit Courts in Illinois. We believe these Rules and Orders to have been adequately published at that time. While defendant disputes this proposition, he is forced to concede that they were given wide discretion through publication in the ...