APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. IRVING
KIPNIS, Judge, presiding.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE DRUCKER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Plaintiff, the Department of Mental Health of the State of Illinois, filed suit to collect the cost of treatment charges from defendant as a responsible relative, for the treatment of defendant's wife in a state hospital during the period prior to their divorce. The trial court denied defendant's motion to dismiss pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 103(b) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 110A, par. 103(b)) and the five-year statute of limitations of the Mental Health Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 91 1/2, par. 12-12). The court entered judgment on the pleadings in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant in the amount of $632.32.
Defendant in this appeal raises three issues for review: (1) whether the requirement of reasonable diligence to obtain service of process (Supreme Court Rule 103(b)) applies to the Department of Mental Health of the State of Illinois and whether reasonable diligence was entitled to judgment on the pleadings in the sum of $632.32 without the introduction of any evidence; and (3) whether the statutory scheme set forth in Sections 12-23 and 12-24 of ch. 91 1/2 of Ill. Rev. Stat. 1963 and 1965 (now Section 12-12 of ch. 91 1/2 of Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969) afforded defendant the notice and opportunity to be heard at every stage of the administrative proceedings required by due process.
Mary E. Kendall, defendant's wife until their divorce on June 17, 1966, was hospitalized in the Anna State Hospital from November 30, 1963, through August 12, 1966. On November 24, 1967, plaintiff filed its complaint for the amount of $632.32 against defendant as a responsible relative pursuant to Sections 12-21 through 12-27 of the Mental Health Code. *fn1 Essentially, the complaint alleged:
1. That plaintiff has requested this action under the authority of of Ill. Rev. Stat., ch. 14, par. 4;
2. That Mary E. Kendall was in the Anna State Hospital from November 30, 1963, through August 12, 1966;
3. That the patient or her estate are unable to pay for the cost of treatment;
4. That under Section 12-21 the responsible relative is liable for these charges;
5. That the defendant was the responsible relative during the period covered by this complaint;
6. That the plaintiff has calculated and fixed the per capita costs of treatment according to statute, and so listed these costs;
7. That the maximum treatment costs chargeable are $50 per month;
8. That plaintiff, pursuant to statute, has assessed the defendant monthly rates and has submitted statements to the defendant for treatment of the patient at such rates; that $632.32 is due and owing, and that defendant has failed to pay anything to the plaintiff;
9. That the attached Exhibit A is plaintiff's claim for charges of cost of treatment; and
10. That plaintiff informed the defendant of the basis for the assessment of charges and the pertinent statutory sections through a Notice of Final Determination, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit B. (There were three such notices dated December 15, ...