APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Kankakee County; the Hon.
LOUIS K. FONTENOT, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE SCOTT DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Rehearing denied February 22, 1977.
This appeal stems from a case filed in the small claims court of Kankakee County. James Witvoet and Beverley Witvoet, hereinafter referred to as the plaintiffs, sought to recover damages or one dog from Mike Berry, hereinafter referred to as the defendant. The plaintiffs' action was predicated upon a breach of contract in that the plaintiffs would provide certain female Irish Wolfhound dogs to the defendant, who would see to it that stud services were performed. Several arrangements were entered into between the plaintiffs and defendant as to the distribution of the pups resulting from the breeding and these arrangements were contingent upon the number of pups in each litter. A more detailed recitation of the agreements entered into between the plaintiffs and the defendant will be set out when they become pertinent to the issues presented in this appeal.
Procedurally, the plaintiffs filed their complaint on October 18, 1974, and the cause was set for trial on January 28, 1975. A motion to dismiss the complaint was filed by the defendant on January 9, 1975, which was set for hearing on January 23, 1975. On this latter date the defendant requested a continuance on the hearing of the motion to dismiss and for a new trial date setting. No objections were interposed by the plaintiffs and March 6, 1975, was set for a hearing on the motion to dismiss and for trial of the case. The plaintiffs asked leave to file amended complaint. No objections were made and amended complaint was filed January 23, 1975. On March 6, 1975, defendant requested leave to file counterclaim. No objections were interposed and leave was granted to file counterclaim within 10 days. It was also on this date that pursuant to stipulation the court ordered the issues to be heard without limitations due to the terms of the small claims act and that all matters arising in law or equity regardless of jurisdictional amount should be heard by the court. It was further agreed by the parties that no answer need be filed to the amended complaint or counterclaim and that all matters alleged in these pleadings were deemed to be denied. The case was set for trial on March 20, 1975.
The counterclaim of the defendant in substance set forth a breeding arrangement for certain dogs and an agreed disposition of the pups contingent on the size of the litters. The counterclaim further alleges that the pups contracted numerous diseases, resulting in increased cost of boarding, veterinarian bills, loss of animals, all to the defendant-counterplaintiff's damage in a total sum of $3,162.50. An answer to this counterclaim was filed by the plaintiff-counterdefendants.
After more continuances, evidence in the case was heard on July 10, 1975, and on July 24, 1975, and the case was taken under advisement by the trial court.
On October 24, 1975, the trial court entered an order finding the issues in favor of the defendant on the complaint and in favor of the counterplaintiff on the counterclaim and ordering an award to the counterplaintiff against counterdefendants in the sum of $1500 plus costs of suit.
After several post-trial motions, including a motion by the plaintiffs requesting that the trial court give reasons for its decision, and which was denied, this appeal ensued.
The plaintiffs, representing themselves per se both at the trial court level and in this appeal, raise seven issues for review. Those issues are as follows:
"1. Whether or not the trial court correctly ruled in favor of the appellee on October 14, 1975.
2. Whether or not the appellants owe appellee any money for costs of board and care and vet bills.
3. Whether or not the appellants owe the appellee any money for five pups that they allege that they are entitled to.
4. Whether or not appellee owe the appellants $500.00 for one pup.
5. Whether or not the appellee filed a timely ...