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People v. Mcdonnell

OPINION FILED JANUARY 22, 1982.

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

v.

JOHN J. MCDONNELL, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. WILLIAM F. HOMER, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE HOPF DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied April 20, 1982.

Defendant John J. McDonnell was charged with one misdemeanor and four traffic offenses on March 12, 1980. He subsequently filed a motion to bar the testimony of the arresting officers, alleging their testimony was rendered incompetent because they were compensated on a basis other than that of time in contravention of statute (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 111, par. 2701). The circuit court of Lake County granted defendant's motion to bar testimony, and the State appeals from that order.

Defendant was charged with obstructing a police officer, disobeying a police officer, improper lane usage, driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor and violation of a minimum speed regulation. Soon after he was arrested he filed a motion to suppress the testimony of the two arresting officers. This motion stated that during preparation for trial the defendant learned that District Fifteen of the Illinois State Police has a written policy which states in pertinent part: "that for every 10 DWI arrests made by an officer, he/she will receive one 510 day from the D-15 commander." A "510 day" is a day off with full pay. Defendant's motion argues that this policy was violative of a relatively obscure statute that rendered the policeman's testimony inadmissible. The circuit court granted defendant's motion to suppress and bar testimony on the basis of this statute and due process considerations.

The statute in issue states in its entirety:

"An Act in relation to the employment of detectives or investigators by public officials. * * *

§ 1. No State, county or municipal officer, whose duty it is to investigate the commission of any crime or to prosecute persons accused of crime, shall employ any detective or investigator on a compensation basis other than that of time, and in no event shall compensation to such persons be contingent on the success of the investigation or prosecution. Evidence obtained in violation of this Act shall be inadmissible in any court in this State for any purpose and any person employed in violation of this Act shall be incompetent to testify in any such court as to any information or evidence acquired by him in such employment." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 111, par. 2701.

The trial court specifically found that section 1 of "An Act in relation to the employment of detectives or investigators by public officials" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 111, par. 2701) (hereinafter section 1) applies to Illinois State troopers, and that a trooper receiving one day off for every 10 arrests for driving under the influence is being "compensated" within the meaning of the statute. The policy of District Fifteen of allowing one day off with full pay for every 10 DWI arrests was found by the court to be violative of section 1, and the court granted defendant's motion to suppress the testimony of the State troopers and disallowed any evidence obtained as a result of that arrest.

Section 1 has a history of being closely linked with "An Act to provide for Licensing and Regulating Detectives * * *" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 111, par. 2601 et seq.). For example, section 1, along with the provisions of "An Act to provide for Licensing and Regulating Detectives * * *" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1965, ch. 38, par. 201-1 et seq.), used to be a part of the supplementary provisions of chapter 38 of the Illinois Revised Statutes (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1965, ch. 38, par. 201-51).

At present, section 2 of "An Act to provide for Licensing and Regulating Detectives * * *" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 111, par. 2602) specifically states that "[t]he provisions of this Act shall not apply to any detective or officer belonging to the police force of the state * * *." We think that exemption for police officers is applicable to section 1 as well.

• 1 The State urges that section 1 of "An Act to provide for Licensing and Regulating Detectives * * *" (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 111, par. 2601), also in the Professions and Occupations chapter, is indicative of the scope of section 1. This section begins with the phrase "The private detective business * * *," and the State urges that this is an indication that it was not intended to include State police officers. We agree. We are of the opinion that the legislature intended that this section not apply to police officers. The language of the statute prohibits public officials from employing "detectives or investigators" on a compensation basis other than that of time, and we do not think police officers were contemplated as being included.

In one of the few cases interpreting section 1, it was held that an informer was not intended to be classified as a "detective or investigator" under this statute. (People v. Jones (1966), 75 Ill. App.2d 332, 221 N.E.2d 29.) In Jones a paid informer provided information to the police. Defendant made the argument that any testimony concerning the information provided by the informer was rendered inadmissible by the statute. The appellate court saw no merit in that contention. The same conclusion is made here.

• 2 The defendant makes the argument that the "510 policy," given in addition to the regular compensation received by the officers, could interfere with the decisions that an officer makes in the course of his/her duties and is therefore unconstitutional. He urges that because an officer is rewarded for making such an arrest the arrest could be made to obtain the reward rather than because the officer had probable cause. Therefore, defendant contends, his right of due process was violated. We disagree.

The defendant contends that his situation is similar to that which arose in Connally v. Georgia (1977), 429 U.S. 245, 50 L.Ed.2d 444, 97 S.Ct. 546. In Connally a judge was given a fee for each warrant that he issued. This was seen as violative of due process. We are of ...


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