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Neville v. Friedman

OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 20, 1977.

CLARENCE NEVILLE, PETITIONER,

v.

SIMON L. FRIEDMAN, JUDGE, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



Original petition for prohibition.

MR. JUSTICE UNDERWOOD DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

We granted petitioner, Clarence Neville, leave to file this original action for a writ of prohibition. His petition results from the Sangamon County circuit court's denial of his motion to dismiss several indictments there pending against him. He seeks permanent prohibition of a trial on these indictments and their dismissal with prejudice.

Neville was serving a 10-year sentence at the Federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, when he was transferred to the Sangamon County jail in June 1976 pursuant to section 3-8-9(a) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 1003-8-9(a)) for the purpose of trial on these indictments. This statute represents Illinois' adoption of the Uniform or Interstate Agreement on Detainers Act in force in the Federal system, the District of Columbia, and 44 States. Neville's trial was scheduled for October 25, 1976, when his privately retained counsel requested, on October 18, a continuance because of counsel's illness. The circuit court granted a continuance until January 1977, with a specific date to be set later. Shortly thereafter, the court, with no apparent objection by petitioner, entered an order directing his return to the Federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, the transfer apparently occurring on October 25. Subsequently, petitioner filed his motion to dismiss based on article IV(e) of section 3-8-9(a) of the Unified Code of Corrections, which provides:

"If trial is not had on any indictment, information or complaint contemplated hereby prior to the prisoner's being returned to the original place of imprisonment pursuant to Article V (e) hereof, such indictment, information or complaint shall not be of any further force or effect, and the court shall enter an order dismissing the same with prejudice." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 1003-8-9(a).)

This motion was denied, the court ruling that People v. Dye (1977), 45 Ill. App.3d 465, appeal allowed (May 1977), No. 49413, was controlling on the issue. This action followed.

A single issue is presented: Does article IV(e) of section 3-8-9(a) of the Unified Code of Corrections require the dismissal of indictments pending against a defendant who, as a result of a lengthy, indefinite trial continuance granted at his request, has been returned to the sending jurisdiction without objection on his behalf? We hold that it does not.

Article I of section 3-8-9(a) sets forth the purpose of the statute:

"The party states find that charges outstanding against a prisoner, detainers based on untried indictments, informations or complaints, and difficulties in securing speedy trial of persons already incarcerated in other jurisdictions, produce uncertainties which obstruct programs of prisoner treatment and rehabilitation. Accordingly, it is the policy of the party states and the purpose of this agreement to encourage the expeditious and orderly disposition of such charges and determination of the proper status of any and all detainers based on untried indictments, informations or complaints. The party states also find that proceedings with reference to such charges and detainers, when emanating from another jurisdiction, cannot properly be had in the absence of cooperative procedures. It is the further purpose of this agreement to provide such cooperative procedures." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 1003-8-9(a).)

Article IV(c) states:

"[I]n respect of any proceeding made possible by this Article [i.e., after a written request for temporary custody made by the prosecutor to a jurisdiction wherein the prisoner is incarcerated], trial shall be commenced within 120 days of the arrival of the prisoner in the receiving state, but for good cause shown in open court, the prisoner or his counsel being present, the court having jurisdiction of the matter may grant any necessary or reasonable continuance."

Article V(e) provides:

"At the earliest practicable time consonant with the purposes of this agreement, the prisoner shall be returned to the sending state."

Petitioner urges that article IV(e), which does not expressly acknowledge any exception to its requirement of dismissal where a defendant has been returned untried to the sending State, should be read literally. A cardinal rule of statutory construction is, however, that the intent and meaning of a statute are to be determined by looking to the entire statute. Each provision should be construed in connection with every other provision and in light of the statute's general purposes. (Huckaba v. Cox (1958), 14 Ill.2d 126, 131.) As set forth in article I, the Act is designed to encourage the expeditious and orderly disposition of untried charges against a prisoner in order to accomplish its basic purpose of reducing obstructions to programs of prisoner treatment and rehabilitation. The requirement of a trial within 120 days (art. IV(c)) is directly related to expeditious dispositions, and the requirement that the prisoner be returned to the sending State ...


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