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.

In Re Interest of Whittenburg

NOVEMBER 19, 1973.

IN RE INTEREST OF CHARLES WHITTENBURG, A MINOR — (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,

v.

CHARLES WHITTENBURG, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.)



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JOSEPH C. MOONEY, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE GOLDBERG DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

A petition for adjudication of wardship alleging delinquency was filed regarding Charles Whittenburg, a minor some 13 years of age (defendant). An adjudicatory hearing was held by the court without a jury. (See In re Presley, 47 Ill.2d 50, 55, 264 N.E.2d 177 and cases therein cited.) The court found the defendant delinquent and committed him to the Department of Corrections with provision that this be stayed pending this appeal.

In his appeal, the defendant raises three issues:

1. The evidence was insufficient to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt;

2. The petition was void for failure to allege the nature and elements of the offense of aggravated battery; and

3. There was no infliction of great or permanent bodily harm sufficient to sustain a conviction for aggravated battery. The second point will be considered first.

The petition alleged that the defendant was delinquent in that he committed the offense of aggravated battery and "* * * he knowingly and intentionally without justification committed a battery on William Vickers which caused bodily harm by tying the said William Vickers with a rope and burning the said William Vickers under the eyes with matches, in violation of Ch. 38, Sec. 12-4a, Illinois Revised Statutes."

• 1 The gist of defendant's second point is the lack of an allegation in the petition of infliction of "great bodily harm" or "permanent disability or disfigurement" which is the language used in the statutory definition of aggravated battery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 38, par. 12-4(a).) Based upon this omission, the point is raised that the petition is void. Authorities are cited bearing upon the sufficiency of indictments brought under the Criminal Code. The Juvenile Court Act provides its own requirements for the sufficiency of the petition. (See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 37, par. 704-1.) We find that the petition before us meets all of the requirements of the statute.

• 2 The basic test is whether the petition sets forth facts sufficient to bring the defendant within the statutory definition of delinquency. In this regard, the statutory definition is quite broad and includes any minor who has violated or even attempted to violate "* * * any federal or state law or municipal ordinance * * *." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 37, par. 702-2.) On that basis, the simple language of the petition that the minor "* * * committed a battery on William Vickers * * *" was sufficient to charge delinquency for violation of the included offense of battery which is a sufficient basis for the finding of delinquency. People v. Cato, 4 Ill. App.3d 1093, 1095, 283 N.E.2d 259.

Even proceeding on the assumption that the petition would be considered in the light of the legal requirements for an indictment, we find it sufficient for these reasons:

1. Since the point was not raised in the trial court, the issue of sufficiency of the petition may be raised for the first time in this court only if it failed completely to charge commission of a crime so that it would be void. People v. Bradley, 12 Ill. App.3d 783, 786, 299 N.E.2d 99.

2. The requirement would be that the petition should inform the defendant "* * * of the nature of the charge, thus allowing him to prepare a defense and to serve as a bar to a future prosecution for the same offense." (People v. Harvey, 53 Ill.2d 585, 588, 294 N.E.2d 269.) We find that the petition is amply sufficient to comply with these requirements.

3. Even if the petition were deficient in this regard, it could be amended by adding the allegations which the defendant now claims it lacks. For a complete exposition of this "trend away from the formalism which characterized criminal pleading in the past" see People v. Jones, 53 Ill.2d 460, 292 N.E.2d 361 and People v. Coleman, 49 Ill.2d 565, 569, 570, 276 N.E.2d 721.

4. In addition, the words "which caused bodily harm" could be deemed deleted from the petition as surplusage which would leave the petition stand as alleging commission of battery. ...


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.