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People Ex Rel. Vogel v. Fairman

OPINION FILED FEBRUARY 8, 1983.

THE PEOPLE EX REL. C. DAVID VOGEL, LIVINGSTON COUNTY STATE'S ATTORNEY, PETITIONER

v.

JAMES FAIRMAN, PONTIAC CORRECTIONAL CENTER, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE. — (JOHN SZOSTEK, RELATOR-APPELLANT.)



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Livingston County; the Hon. William T. Caisley, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE MILLS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied March 9, 1983.

The Interstate Agreement on Detainers.

Defendant is serving time for armed robbery in an Illinois penitentiary. Arizona wants him sent there to stand trial for another armed robbery.

Question: Did the Arizona judge "approve" the request for temporary custody?

The Illinois trial court found that he had.

We also find that he did.

We affirm.

Szostek is presently a prisoner at the Pontiac Correctional Center where he is serving a six-year sentence for armed robbery. The State of Arizona, pursuant to the Agreement on Detainers (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 1003-8-9) (the Agreement), forwarded a request for the temporary custody of Szostek in order to prosecute him for a second armed robbery. The request was signed by the deputy county attorney of Maricopa County, Arizona, and certified by an Arizona judge. Governor James R. Thompson of Illinois approved the request.

Szostek filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Livingston County. He alleged in his petition that the Arizona judge had failed to duly approve the request for temporary custody. The trial court issued the writ and two hearings were held before the Honorable William T. Caisley. Judge Caisley found that the Arizona judge had duly approved the request and then ordered the writ of habeas corpus discharged. Szostek was remanded to the custody of Warden Fairman. Judge Caisley further ordered the warden to honor the State of Arizona's request for temporary custody of Szostek.

Szostek argues that the Arizona judge failed to comply with the requirements of the Agreement because he failed to duly "approve" the request for temporary custody. Article IV(a) of the Agreement requires the judge in the State requesting the prisoner to "have duly approved, recorded and transmitted the request." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 1003-8-9, art. IV(a).) The Arizona judge's signature on the custody request in the present case follows a clause which states in full:

"I hereby certify that the person whose signature appears above [the deputy county attorney of Maricopa County] is an appropriate officer within the meaning of Article IV(a) and that the facts recited in this request for temporary custody are correct and that having duly recorded said request I hereby transmit it for action in accordance with its terms and the provisions of the Agreement on Detainers."

Szostek bases his position — that the judge's signature following the above clause does not constitute approval of the request — on two separate arguments. First, he argues that the absence of the word "approved" in the clause above demonstrates a lack of approval by the judge and, second, he argues that the ...


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