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Daugherty v. Industrial Com.

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 21, 1983.

RAVON DAUGHERTY, APPELLANT,

v.

THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION ET AL. (NATIONAL UNION ELECTRIC CORPORATION ET AL., APPELLEES).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of McLean County, the Hon. Luther Dearborn, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE WARD DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Ravon Daugherty, the claimant, was awarded compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 48, par. 138.1 et seq.) (the Act) by an arbitrator for injuries sustained in a fall on February 21, 1979, while employed by the National Union Electric Corporation (National Electric). The Industrial Commission reduced the amount of the award, and the Commission's decision was confirmed by the circuit court of McLean County. The claimant directly appealed to this court from the circuit court's judgment under Rule 302(a) (87 Ill.2d R. 302(a)).

The claimant's application for adjustment of claim named his employer, National Electric, as the respondent. National Electric subsequently filed its own application, naming as the respondent the Treasurer of the State of Illinois as the ex officio custodian of special funds, and moved to have the Treasurer added as an additional party respondent. National Electric did so for purposes of contribution. Prior to the accident here the claimant had suffered the total and permanent loss of use of his left arm due to poliomyelitis. Under subparagraphs (e)18 and (f) of section 8 of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 48, pars. 138.8(e)18, (f)), if an employee who has already lost the use of a member specified in the statute suffers the permanent and total loss of use of another member through an employment accident, which renders him totally and permanently disabled, the current employer must pay compensation only for the loss of use of the member injured in the accident. The balance of the compensation owed the claimant because of the condition of total and permanent disability is paid from the Second Injury Fund, which is provided for in section 7(f) of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 48, par. 138.7(f)). The State Treasurer is ex officio the custodian of the Second Injury Fund.

The arbitrator found that as a result of the accident the claimant suffered the permanent and complete loss of use of his right arm. Considering the previous loss of use of the left arm, the arbitrator found the claimant was totally and permanently disabled and entitled to compensation for life. National Electric was ordered to pay weekly compensation for a specified number of weeks for the loss of the right arm, and the order stated that the claimant was entitled to compensation for life from the Second Injury Fund.

The Commission, on review of the arbitrator's decision, found that the claimant had not lost the use of his right arm, but had lost 100% of the use of his right hand, and adjusted the compensation awarded accordingly. Too, the Commission decided the arbitrator had erroneously calculated the weekly compensation due and corrected the calculation. The Commission affirmed the other findings of the arbitrator. National Electric was ordered to pay weekly compensation for the period called for by the statute, and the Commission ordered payments to be made to the claimant from the Second Injury Fund upon National Electric's completion of its payments.

On the 20th day after receiving a notice of the Commission's decision, the claimant filed with the clerk of the circuit court a praecipe for a writ of certiorari and scire facias. The praecipe named the Industrial Commission and National Electric as respondents, and was filed to obtain review of the Commission's decision pursuant to section 19(f)(1) of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 48, par. 138.19(f)(1)). That section provides in relevant part:

"(1) Except in cases of claims against the State of Illinois, in which case the decision of the Commission shall not be subject to judicial review, the Circuit Court of the county where any of the parties defendant may be found, or if none of the parties defendant can be found in this State then the Circuit Court of the county where the accident occurred, shall by writ of certiorari to the Commission have power to review all questions of law and fact presented by such record.

Such suit by writ of certiorari shall be commenced within 20 days of the receipt of notice of the decision of the Commission. Such writ of certiorari and the writ of scire facias shall be issued by the clerk of such court upon praecipe returnable on the designated return day, not less than 10 or more than 60 days from the date of issuance thereof, and the praecipe shall contain the last known address of other parties in interest and their attorneys of record who are to be served by scire facias. Service upon any member of the Commission or the Secretary or the Assistant Secretary thereof shall be service upon the Commission, and service upon other parties in interest and their attorneys of record shall be by scire facias, and such service shall be made upon the Commission and other parties in interest by mailing notices of the commencement of the proceedings and the return day of the writ to the office of the Commission and to the last known place of residence of other parties in interest or their attorney or attorneys of record." (Emphasis added.)

The circuit court clerk issued the writs on the day after the praecipe was filed.

National Electric moved to quash the writ of certiorari on the ground that the praecipe and the writs named only the Commission and National Electric as respondents. The Treasurer and his counsel, a special assistant Attorney General, were not named in the praecipe and served with a writ of scire facias. National Electric contended that the failure to name the Treasurer and his counsel did not satisfy the statutory requirement that the names and addresses of all parties in interest must be included in the praecipe and that such parties must be served by writ of scire facias, and that because of this failure the court never acquired jurisdiction.

After the motion to quash had been filed, the claimant filed another praecipe, which requested issuance of a writ of scire facias directed to the Treasurer through his counsel. That writ was served, and the special assistant Attorney General entered an appearance in behalf of the Treasurer. The circuit court, relying on the fact that the Treasurer had been eventually served and had entered his appearance without objection, denied the motion to quash and confirmed the decision of the Commission.

We judge that the circuit court erred in not quashing the writ because the court lacked jurisdiction. Because of the disposition we make we do not reach any of the other issues presented.

The circuit court's jurisdiction to review a decision of the Industrial Commission on a writ of certiorari is a special statutory power, the extent of which is limited by the statute's provisions. (Boalbey v. Industrial Com. (1977), 66 Ill.2d 217, 218; Thompson v. Industrial Com. (1941), 377 Ill. 587, 589.) Strict compliance with the statutory requirements for the issuance of the writ is necessary to enable a court to acquire subject matter jurisdiction. Arrington v. Industrial Com. (1983), 96 Ill.2d 505, 508; Boalbey v. Industrial Com. (1977), 66 Ill.2d 217, 218.

Here the statutory requirements were not satisfied. The claimant does not question that the Treasurer was a party in interest. The Treasurer, through his counsel, participated in the hearing before the arbitrator and, in fact, petitioned the Commission for review of the arbitrator's decision. The Treasurer ...


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