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People v. Clayborn

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 26, 1980.

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

v.

DARRELL CLAYBORN, A MINOR, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. WILLIAM S. WHITE, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE SIMON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The State took a juvenile into custody and charged him with being a delinquent, but failed to hold a hearing within 36 hours to justify his detention. Instead, it obtained a continuance to a more convenient date. The juvenile was entitled to release once the State failed to give him a prompt hearing within the 36 hours specified by statute. The statutory mandate is clear and should have been followed.

Darrell Clayborn was taken into custody on Friday, May 30, 1980, at about 2 p.m. A petition for adjudication of wardship was filed immediately. The next day he was taken before a judge who scheduled a detention hearing for Monday, June 2, 1980. On that day the State told the court that its witness, a police officer, was unavailable but could appear the next day. Over Clayborn's objection, the court continued the detention hearing until Tuesday, June 3, 1980.

Clayborn received a detention hearing on June 3, 1980, at about 11:20 a.m. Probable cause was found. The next day he filed a writ of habeas corpus which was denied after a hearing by the circuit court. Clayborn remained in custody. On June 17, 1980, an adjudicatory hearing was held at which Clayborn was found to be a delinquent. On July 16, 1980, he was released from custody and placed on one year's probation.

The pertinent provisions of the Juvenile Court Act provide:

"A law enforcement officer may, without a warrant, take into temporary custody a minor (a) whom the officer with reasonable cause believes to be [delinquent]." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 37, par. 703-4.

"[A] probation officer * * * shall immediately investigate the circumstances of the minor and the facts surrounding his being taken into custody. The minor shall be immediately released to the custody of his parent * * * unless the probation officer * * * finds that further detention is a matter of immediate and urgent necessity for the protection of the minor or of the person or property of another * * *.

The written authorization of [the probation officer] constitutes authority for the superintendent of a detention home or * * * a county or municipal jail to detain and keep a minor for up to 36 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and court-designated holidays." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 37, par. 703-4.

"(1) Unless sooner released, a minor * * * taken into temporary custody must be brought before a judicial officer within 36 hours, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and court-designated holidays, for a detention hearing * * * to determine whether he shall be further held in custody. * * *

(3) * * * When a parent * * * is present and so requests, the detention * * * hearing shall be held immediately if the court is in session, otherwise at the earliest feasible time. * * *

(4) The minor must be released from custody at the expiration of the 36 * * * hour period * * * if not brought before a judicial officer within that period." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 37, par. 703-5(1), (3), (4).)

The provisions must be interpreted in light of the purpose of the Act, which is to serve the welfare of the minor and the best interests of the community, to preserve family ties by giving preferential treatment to parental custody and to secure to the minor at least the procedural rights afforded adults. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 37, par. 701-2.

The provisions for a prompt detention hearing fulfill the requirement imposed by article I, section 7 of the Illinois Constitution of 1970. They offer the juvenile more protection than adults, for the Act mandates immediate release from custody when the right to a prompt probable cause review is denied. Where adults are concerned, however, there is no remedy for a violation of article I, section 7. People v. Howell (1975), 60 Ill.2d 117, 123, 324 N.E.2d 403, 406.

• 1 The Juvenile Court Act defines with precision what constitutes a prompt detention hearing. A minor must be taken before a judge for a detention hearing within 36 hours of being taken into custody. The Act makes allowance for delays when the courts> are not in session, and so in fact a juvenile might have to wait more than 36 hours for a detention hearing. In this case, for example, Clayborn might have properly been in custody for many more than 36 hours before his detention hearing, since he was in custody over a weekend. But the essential point of the statute is clear: a ...


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