Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. WARREN
J. McCAFFREY, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.
MR. JUSTICE MCCORMICK DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
This is a personal injury action brought to recover damages occasioned by the alleged negligence of the defendant, Checker Taxi Company, in the operation of its taxicab. The case was originally set for trial at 10:00 a.m., on May 28, 1968. Plaintiff's counsel said he would get his file and present a petition for change of venue. He returned in ten minutes and presented two petitions which he had signed, and the court denied them on the ground that they were not in proper form, since the plaintiff had not signed them. The court then instructed counsel to return to court at 1:30 p.m., at which time counsel said the plaintiff would present a proper petition. The court stated he would entertain no other petitions for change of venue, and that they would go ahead at 1:30 and select a jury.
At the afternoon session, prior to beginning the selection of a jury, counsel for the plaintiff presented a signed petition for change of venue in proper form, and the following conversation followed:
"The Court: Mrs. Musolino, do you know me? Did you ever see me before?
"The Court: Motion denied."
Defendant's attorney then approached the court and said:
"Your Honor, if I might say something. This puts me in an embarrassing situation. . . . I am put in the position now where I am going to have to take my client through the trial and if I am successful in winning it, I think that right now there are good grounds for a post-reversal upon appeal for failure to grant change of venue. I would think this is a good time right now that we would re-evaluate the situation. I think if we win, we lose. I think that is the situation here and we wouldn't be helping the backlog any by going ahead.
"I am prepared to go. I will leave myself in your Honor's hands, but I just wanted for the record to state my position."
"The Court has already disposed of this petition because I told counsel when he prepared these two prior petitions we were going to trial at 1:30. There will be no more consideration to any further motions or petitions. Your recently submitted petition has been read, and I denied it."
Plaintiff's attorney said: