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In Re Pyles





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Rock Island County; the Hon. JOHN DONALD O'SHEA, Judge, presiding.


This is an appeal from an order of the circuit court of Rock Island County which denied the motion of Gerald Pyles, the respondent father, which prayed for a termination of the court's wardship over Pamela Pyles, his minor child.

On March 18, 1975, the circuit court of Rock Island County found Pamela Pyles, a minor child of approximately five years of age, to be a neglected child and declared her to be a ward of the court. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 37, par. 701-4.) At a dispositional hearing the trial court ordered the minor child returned to the custody of her parents but granted the county probation department visitation rights for two years. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 37, par. 705-5(d), (e), (f).

On April 22, 1977, the respondent parent Gerald Pyles filed a motion to terminate the order granting the probation department supervision of the minor child. A hearing on the motion was held on May 24, 1977. The probation department expressed no objection to the respondent's motion and in fact filed a termination report in which it was stated that the minor child had good interaction with her family, that she was functioning at a normal level and that the family of the child had been cooperative with the department during the preceding 25-month period. During the course of the hearing the respondent further made an oral motion for termination of wardship as well as supervision of the child. The trial judge granted the motion to terminate the jurisdiction of the probation department for purposes of supervision, but denied the oral motion to terminate the status of the child as a ward of the court. The trial court in a document entitled "opinion and order" acknowledged that there was nothing in the probation department's report to indicate any need to continue the wardship, but that he would deny the termination of the same since there was more than one incident of child abuse in the minor's family.

The sole issue presented for review is whether the trial court properly continued the wardship of the minor child previously adjudicated to be neglected, while terminating the right of the probation department to visit the child.

• 1 The respondent contends that there is nothing in the record to support any reference to child abuse. We agree with the respondent since so far as this appeal is concerned the respondent failed to designate as a part of the record any of the proceedings which transpired regarding the minor child prior to his motion to terminate supervision and wardship. A party who appeals must present a record which fairly and fully presents all matters necessary for a decision on the question raised. (In re Shannon (1977), 45 Ill. App.3d 876, 360 N.E.2d 433.) Where an appellant does not bring before the reviewing court complete report of proceedings, reviewing court will presume that omitted report of proceedings justifies order from which appeal is taken. See In re Shannon (1977), 45 Ill. App.3d 876, 360 N.E.2d 433, and Reace v. Reace (1976), 39 Ill. App.3d 496, 350 N.E.2d 143.

In the instant case the trial judge stated that there was a prior instance of child abuse in the family and that he had heard evidence concerning it. The respondent has failed to meet his burden of providing this court with a complete record so that we can determine whether there is in fact any evidence to substantiate the trial judge's statement that there has been more than one incident of child abuse in the respondent's family. Where a record is incomplete, a reviewing court will indulge in every reasonable presumption favorable to judgment, order or ruling from which an appeal is taken and moreover, when record on appeal is incomplete, the trial court is presumed to have heard sufficient evidence and argument to support its decision. Aetna Life Insurance Co. (1975), 33 Ill. App.3d 52, 337 N.E.2d 285.

We have taken judicial notice of an opinion and decision of this court where a previous appeal was taken by the respondent from an order denying a petition to vacate an adjudication which found the minor Pamela Pyles to be a neglected child. (In re Pyles (1976), 40 Ill. App.3d 221, 351 N.E.2d 221.) In this 1976 appeal it was called to this court's attention that the minor was adjudicated a neglected child because of abuse inflicted upon her; however, in the instant case the respondent has failed to provide us with a complete record from which the trial judge's remarks concerning another incident of abuse can be sustained or refuted.

• 2 It may be argued that the trial court's ruling which terminated supervision of the child yet continued the wardship is incongruous, yet we do not believe such to be the case. The trial judge during the hearing on the respondent's petition and oral motion on several occasions expressed that he was worried only about the minor child and not the respondent or his family. It should be noted that as far as we are able to ascertain the trial judge, John Donald O'Shea, has been the only judge to hear matters concerning the child, the first matter apparently being commenced on February 19, 1975, when a juvenile petition was filed. On the record before us we can only conclude that the trial court's ruling was within the spirit of and in keeping with the purpose and policy of the Juvenile Court Act Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 37, par. 701-2(1), (2), (3)(b), (c), and (4).

For the reasons set forth the order of the circuit court of Rock Island County is affirmed.


ALLOY, P.J., concurs.

Mr. JUSTICE STOUDER, dissenting:

My colleagues have failed to reach the merits of the controversy raised on this appeal holding that the record and in particular the transcript of proceedings is insufficient to permit consideration of the appellant's assignments of error. I disagree ...

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