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.

People v. Thompson

OPINION FILED APRIL 7, 1977.

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

v.

MICHAEL JAMES THOMPSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County; the Hon. A.R. PENNIMAN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE BOYLE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant was charged by complaint with the offense of criminal damage to property in the Circuit Court of Winnebago County. At a combined arraignment and guilty plea hearing, defendant entered a plea of guilty and admitted damaging a postal collection box. Defendant was sentenced to serve eight months imprisonment. Subsequently he timely moved, under Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 110A, par. 604(d)), to vacate his plea of guilty; his motion to vacate was denied by the trial court.

On appeal defendant raises two contentions. First, defendant argues that his guilty plea conviction should be reversed because he was not afforded his right to counsel at the arraignment and sentencing stages of the prosecution. Next, defendant argues that the order of the trial court denying defendant's motion to vacate his plea of guilty should be reversed because of a failure of compliance with Supreme Court rule 604(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 110A, par. 604(d)).

The first issue which defendant seeks to raise was not raised by defendant in his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. There would, thus, be no reason to consider this issue, unless we determined, after consideration of the second issue raised by defendant, that remand for a new hearing on defendant's motion to withdraw his plea of guilty was warranted. This is so because Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 110A, par. 604(d)) states that any issue not raised in defendant's motion to withdraw shall be deemed waived. For this reason we will first discuss the second contention raised by defendant.

Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 110A, par. 604(d)) sets forth the requirements of a motion to withdraw a plea of guilty and makes the timely filing of such a motion a prerequisite of appeal from a guilty plea conviction. Defendant argues that the order denying his motion to withdraw his plea should be reversed because of noncompliance with the following portions of Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 110A, par. 604(d)):

"The trial judge shall * * * determine whether the defendant is represented by counsel and if the defendant is indigent and desires counsel, the trial court shall appoint counsel. * * * The defendant's attorney shall file with the trial court a certificate stating that the attorney has consulted with the defendant either by mail or in person to ascertain his contentions of error in the entry of the plea of guilty, has examined the trial court file and report of proceedings of the plea of guilty, and has made any amendments to the motion necessary for adequate presentation of any defects in those proceedings."

In a motion to remand filed prior to submission of this appeal, the people agreed that defendant's attorney did not consult with him in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 110A, par. 604(d)) at the hearing on defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The people acknowledged that remand for a new hearing on defendant's motion to withdraw would be an appropriate disposition of this case.

Given the position of the people with respect to the issue raised by defendant, the people moved, in this court, for an order dismissing the case and remanding to the circuit court for appropriate proceedings. Defendant, however, objected on the basis that the people's concession of error with respect to the second issue raised did not permit determination of the first issue raised. As to this issue, resolution in defendant's favor would require a reversal of his guilty plea conviction; defendant argued that he was entitled to appellate determination of this issue. In agreement with the position of defendant, this court denied the motion of the people to remand and ordered submission of this case. Subsequently the people have renewed their contention by presenting a motion to dismiss which takes the position that compliance with the requirements of Rule 604(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 110A, par. 604(d)) is a prerequisite to this court's consideration of any issue raised by defendant upon appeal from a guilty plea conviction. Given the conceded fact that there was in this case a failure of compliance with Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 110A, par. 604(d)), it is argued that consideration of the first issue raised by defendant would be inappropriate. This motion is taken with the case.

• 1, 2 We acknowledge that the language of Rule 604(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 110A, par. 604(d)) lends some support to the construction set forth by the people. Under this language appellate consideration is limited to the matters raised in defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea. In this case, we determine, in agreement with the people that defendant is, minimally, entitled to a new hearing on his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. (People v. Samuels (1976), 42 Ill. App.3d 642.) The construction urged by the people would, in such circumstances, require defendant to go back to the trial court and raise in that court the precise issue now ripe for appellate consideration, thus necessitating at least one, and perhaps further, additional court proceedings with respect to the contention raised. We do not find this construction tenable. The only jurisdictional prerequisite of appellate consideration under the language of Rule 604(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 110A, par. 604(d)) is the timely filing in good faith of a motion to withdraw a guilty plea. Defendant here has complied with this jurisdictional requirement. Noncompliance with the technical (as opposed to jurisdictional) provisions of Rule 604(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 110A, par. 604(d)), may, as here, warrant remand for a new hearing on defendant's motion to withdraw. It does not, however, preclude appellate consideration, in the event remand may be indicated, of any issue raised pertaining to defendant's guilty plea. The people's motion to dismiss is denied.

The first argument raised by defendant is that his guilty plea conviction should be reversed because he was not afforded his right to counsel at the arraignment and sentencing stages of the prosecution. We proceed to consideration of this issue in order to determine whether its resolution may warrant reversal of defendant's plea and thus obviate the need for remand for further proceedings on defendant's motion to withdraw.

The following comments with respect to defendant's waiver of counsel at the arraignment-guilty plea hearing appear on the trial court record:

"THE COURT: Do you understand that since they are asking for jail time and if you do plead guilty, you give up your right to have an attorney represent you?

DEFENDANT THOMPSON: Yes, sir.

DEFENDANT MARSHALL: ...


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.