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People v. Barker

JANUARY 16, 1976.

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

v.

CHARLES S. BARKER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Will County; the Hon. CHARLES B. CONNOR, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE ALLOY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This is an appeal from an order of the Circuit Court of Will County finding defendant Charles S. Barker guilty of violating section 3-701 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 95 1/2, § 3-701). Defendant is alleged to have violated the Act by transporting a shipment in intrastate commerce without a valid Illinois registration. Following conviction in a bench trial, defendant was fined $15 and ordered to pay $10 in court costs. He had previously been required to pay $1400 for an Illinois license plate to continue to drive the perishable freight of citrus fruits. We are not concerned, however, with the license payment, but only with the issue as to whether the driver Charles S. Barker was guilty of violation of the section referred to.

Defendant Barker contends that he was driving as part of an interstate operation and thus did not need an Illinois base registration plate at the time. From the record it appears that on June 10, 1974, the Belford Trucking Company sent a shipment of citrus fruits from Winter Garden, Florida, to Plainfield, Illinois. The fruits were contained in a truck-trailer, which was transmitted by rail to Chicago, where it was hitched to a diesel rig driven by Barker for Belford Trucking and taken to Plainfield. At no time was the trailer opened. The truck bore a current and valid Illinois Reciprocity decal and was licensed in another State. It was stopped by the weigh station on the road to Plainfield. Barker was then prohibited from driving further until he obtained an Illinois registration plate at a cost of $1400, as we have indicated. He was also cited for violation of section 3-701 of the Illinois Vehicle Code, and it is the conviction under such section with which we are concerned.

The validity of the conviction depends upon the interpretation of section 3-402 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 95 1/2, § 3-402) and the rules and regulations of the Secretary of State adopted pursuant thereto, which relate to the registration of motor vehicles in Illinois. On the basis of the sections of the Act and the regulations as presented to us on appeal, it is difficult to determine specifically how the regulatory scheme applies to the specific facts in this case. We note that Rule 3-402C, adopted by the Secretary of State, provides:

"Any motor vehicle operated upon the highways of the State of Illinois `intrastate' shall be properly registered in and display the current and valid registration plates and card of the State of Illinois except as herein provided."

Thereafter, are definitions of "intrastate movements" and "interstate movements" together with descriptions of certain "intrastate movements" which can be made without requiring registration. From this, it appears that if Barker was making an intrastate movement which is not one of the described exceptions to the rule of registration in Illinois, then the movement was in violation of the regulation and section 3-701.

The record in the cause before us includes a letter from the superintendent of the Secretary of State's Investigation Division purporting to quote from the rules and regulations as of August 19, 1974. Under Rule 3-402C, the definition of "intrastate movements," as quoted in the letter, would include:

"A. Movements of a laden semitrailer and/or trailer from any terminal or dock at a rail, water or air facility within Illinois to any Illinois destination."

If this were the only regulation applicable, it would appear to clearly cover the issue before us where, although the shipment of fruits by trailer began in Florida and ended in Illinois, the portion of the trip made by truck (as opposed to rail) began at an Illinois rail terminal and went to another point of destination within Illinois.

• 1 In the record, however, we find a certified copy of Rule 3-402C, dated April 17, 1974, on which date the rule was amended. The provision which we quoted previously in the letter from the Superintendent of the Investigative Division of the Office of the Secretary of State was apparently deleted by the amendment of April 17, 1974, and in its place the following provisions defining "intrastate movements" were inserted:

"A. Transportation of property, cargo or freight from any Illinois point of origin to any Illinois destination.

C. Transportation wherein cargo or freight is loaded within Illinois for an Illinois destination." (Emphasis added.)

From these regulations it would be apparent that only if Chicago and not Winter Garden, Florida, were considered as the "point of origin" would this provision in Section A thereof apply. The provision of section C would apply only if the transfer of the truck/trailer, unbroken, from rail to truck would be considered "loading." On the basis of the record before us, it appears that neither provision clearly covers the case before us and we find it significant that the amendment to the regulations dropped the specific language which would have clearly covered a situation such as we have before us.

We also note, under the list of "intrastate movements" which can be made by a vehicle licensed in a foreign State, as one of the exceptions ...


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