Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. HERBERT
R. STOFFELS, Judge, presiding. Reversed.
MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
Pearson was charged with the offense of perjury, *fn1 the complaint alleging that he had falsely stated his "legal address" on an application for certificate of title to a 1965 Pontiac automobile.
In ancillary proceedings, Aimen, attorney for Pearson, was cited for direct criminal contempt of court.
After a bench trial, Pearson was found guilty and sentenced to six months in jail and to pay court costs of $100. Aimen was fined $200.
Edward B. Jones and John C. Kilcus, for the State.
They were both corporals in the investigation department of the Secretary of State, and in that capacity were assigned by their Chief to investigate two addresses of defendant Pearson. The investigation culminated in the arrest of Pearson for violating section 4-103(d) of the Motor Vehicle Act. *fn2 The testimony of the two men was in substantial agreement.
Pearson had listed 1816 Darrow Avenue, Evanston as his "residence address" on a driver's license application and 51 Linden Avenue, Glencoe as his "legal address" on an application for a certificate of title to a 1965 Pontiac automobile. The investigation disclosed that Pearson resided at the Evanston address and was employed at the Glencoe address where, in the absence of the owner, he was manager of a Shell Oil Service Station.
In addition, Jones testified that he did not know what Pearson's state of mind was when he signed the application for the certificate of title, and that it would not have made any difference had he known that defendant had been using the Service Station as his mailing address. Jones reported the results of his investigation to the Secretary's attorneys and they determined that Pearson had listed the Glencoe address "with fraudulent intent to hide his true place of residence." The warrant for defendant's arrest was issued prior to any conversation between defendant and the investigators.
Labe C. Pearson, defendant.
He had used the Shell Service Station as his mailing address in many business dealings over a period of some fifteen years. However, he did receive some mail at his place of residence. He would list his residence address or place of employment, depending on what information was requested. He always had used his Evanston residence address on driver's license applications for a period of ten years. In purchasing and obtaining a certificate of title in 1962 for a 1961 Chevrolet, he had used his business location as his "legal address," and no question had been raised. The same was true as to license plate applications.
He testified that he could read some things but not everything. He took a written examination for a driver's license and it had been issued to him. Whenever he had been asked by the Secretary of State or any governmental body for ...