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People v. Witzkowski

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 2, 1976.

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

v.

VALERIE A. WITZKOWSKI, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Champaign County; the Hon. SARAH M. LUMPP, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE TRAPP DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant appeals a conviction by jury verdict of a violation of section 21.2-2(c) of the Criminal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 38, par. 21.2-2(c)). A fine of $25 was imposed.

The offense charged is stated in a statute having six sections or parts, sections 21.2-1 through 21.2-6. Part 1 includes a declaration of the legislative purpose, part 2 defines the conduct constituting the offense, part 3 provides that the statute shall not prevent lawful assembly or orderly petition for redress of aggrievances, part 4 provides penalties and part 5 states certain definitions.

The conduct proscribed by statute is stated:

"A person commits interference with a public institution of higher education when, on the campus of a public institution of higher education, or at or in any building or other facility owned, operated or controlled by the institution, without authority from the institution he, through force or violence, actual or threatened:

(a) willfully denies to a trustee, employee, student or invitee of the institution:

(1) Freedom of movement at such place; or

(2) Use of the property or facilities of the institution; or

(3) The right of ingress or egress to the property or facilities of the institution; or

(b) willfully impedes, obstructs, interferes with or disrupts:

(1) the performance of institutional duties by a trustee or employee of the institution; or

(2) the pursuit of educational activities, as determined or prescribed by the institution, by a trustee, employee, student or invitee of the institution; or

(c) knowingly occupies or remains in or at any building, property or other facility owned, operated or controlled by the institution after due notice to depart."

The trial court initially dismissed the information upon a finding that the statute, in its several parts, was facially unconstitutional as violating the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. In People v. Witzkowski (1972), 53 Ill.2d 216, 290 N.E.2d 236, the Supreme Court reversed the finding of the trial court. The United States Supreme Court dismissed defendant's appeal for want of a final judgment. Defendant's complaint in the United States District Court to enjoin the enforcement of the Act was dismissed.

The opinion in Witzkowski determined that the statute was not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad as to the language upon which issues of constitutionality were raised, i.e., "without authority from the institution" (par. 21.2-2); "force or violence * * * otherwise to interfere with the conduct of the authorized activities" (par. 21.2-5); "due notice" (pars. 21.2-2(c), 21.2-5), and "authorized ...


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