Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

People v. Clark

MARCH 3, 1972.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

JAMES CLARK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRANCIS T. DELANEY, Judge presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DRUCKER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant appeals from an order holding him in direct contempt of court and sentencing him to one year in the Cook County Jail to be served immediately following his discharge from the Illinois State Penitentiary where he is currently incarcerated.

On appeal defendant contends (1) that the direct contempt order failed to set forth facts with certainty to show that defendant was guilty of direct contempt and (2) that he was not represented by counsel during the relevant proceedings.

The contempt order reads as follows:

1. "That the said defendant, James Clark, was lawfully summoned before the bar of this Court to give testimony in the cause known as People of the State of Illinois v. Charles A. Gray (Impleaded), Indictment No. 63-3669, on March 1, 1968.

2. That the said defendant, James Clark, was called to the witness stand during the trial of the above named cause, whereupon the Clerk of the Court sought to swear the said defendant for the purpose of giving testimony and the said defendant herein refused to take an oath, saying he would not participate in the trial.

3. That the said defendant, James Clark, was thereupon ordered by this Court to take an oath and proceed to give testimony, but persisted in his refusal to do so.

4. That the said defendant, James Clark, having theretofore been found guilty, upon his guilty plea, to the crime alleged in Indictment No. 63-3669, and judgment having been entered, and the said James Clark having subsequently given testimony as to his participation in the crime charged in Indictment No. 63-3669, at a previous trial, there appears no lawful reason or right either existing or claimed by the defendant why his testimony should not be heard.

5. That the Court, prior to a final refusal by the defendant, James Clark, to give testimony, appointed Attorney Cecil Partee to consult with the defendant, after advising Attorney Partee of all of the facts, and the said Attorney Partee having consulted with the said defendant, the defendant persisted in his refusal to testify.

6. The conduct of James Clark, which took place while this Court was in open session, tended to impede and interrupt the proceedings and lessen the dignity of this Court.

The Court further finds that James Clark, who is now and here present in open Court, is by reason of said refusal to testify in direct contempt of this Court."

Opinion

• 1-3 It is well recognized that a court has inherent power to punish contumacious acts committed in its presence. (Ex Parte Terry, 128 U.S. 289; People ex rel. Andrews v. Hassakis, 6 Ill.2d 463, 129 N.E.2d 9.) Such acts place the contemnor in direct contempt of court and punishment may follow in a summary manner, without prior notice, written charges, plea, issue or trial. (People v. Siegal, 400 Ill. 208, 211, 79 N.E.2d 616.) In determining whether the trial court had jurisdiction to issue a direct contempt order, a reviewing court may look at the order itself and the report of the proceedings. In re Dunagan, 80 Ill. App.2d 117, 123, 225 N.E.2d 119; People v. Tomashevsky, 48 Ill.2d 559, 564, 273 N.E.2d 398; People v. Baxter, 50 Ill.2d 286.

• 4 Under the foregoing standards we believe that the trial court was justified in holding defendant in direct contempt of court. Paragraph 3 of the order, supra, states that the witness refused to take an oath, saying he would not participate in the trial. The report of the proceedings is even more explicit. On nine occasions the trial judge asked or ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.