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People v. Jones

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 30, 1984.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT,

v.

CONSTANCE R. JONES ET AL., APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Third District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Peoria County, the Hon. Peter J. Paolucci, Judge, presiding.

CHIEF JUSTICE RYAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Peoria County, defendants Constance Jones, Diane (Cerami) Lanken, Jonathon Cray and James Knobloch were convicted of conspiracy to commit gambling. Defendants Jones and Lanken were also convicted of syndicated gambling. Also convicted, but not parties to this appeal, were co-defendants Donald and Lois Sanders. Several issues were presented to the appellate court for review; however, that court reversed the convictions, ruling only that the trial court erred by denying the defendants' pre-trial motion for discharge for violation of their right to a speedy trial. (119 Ill. App.3d 883.) We allowed the State's petition for leave to appeal. The sole issue before us is whether the defendants were denied their right to a speedy trial.

In deciding this issue we must determine which, if any, of the several periods of delay were occasioned by the defendants or by an interlocutory appeal and thus cannot be counted in determining whether the defendants were tried within 160 days of their demand for trial (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 103-5(b)). Section 103-5(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, in pertinent part, provides:

"Every person on bail or recognizance shall be tried * * * within 160 days from the date defendant demands trial unless delay is occasioned by the defendant, * * * or by an interlocutory appeal." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 103-5(b).)

This section, sometimes referred to as the speedy-trial statute, implements the right to a speedy trial guaranteed by the Illinois Constitution. (Ill. Const. 1970, art. I, sec. 8.) The statute is to be liberally construed, with each case being decided on its own facts. (People v. Reimolds (1982), 92 Ill.2d 101, 106.) While it was the State's duty to bring the defendants to trial within the statutory period, it was the defendants' burden on a motion for discharge to affirmatively establish a violation of their right to a speedy trial. People v. Reimolds (1982), 92 Ill.2d 101, 106.

In the present case, the defendants were arrested on April 29, 1981, after Peoria police infiltrated an "investment meeting" which was believed to be, in reality, an alternative to a "pyramid game." The defendants were released on bond. They were indicted on May 12, 1981, and filed their motion for trial on May 21, 1981.

A total of 465 days elapsed between the filing of the defendants' speedy-trial motion on May 21, 1981, and defendants' trial on August 30, 1982. We need only examine three periods of delay to reach our conclusion that the defendants were not denied their right to a speedy trial.

On May 21, 1981, the day that the defendants demanded trial, they also filed motions to dismiss and to quash the indictment. Also, on June 4, 1981, the defendants again filed a motion to quash the indictment, a motion to suppress evidence, and other motions. On June 17, 1981, the defendants moved for a continuance, and, by agreement, hearings on the pending motions were set for July 9, 1981. On that date hearings on the May 21 and June 4 motions commenced and were continued to July 23, 1981. The hearings on the May 21 and June 4 motions concluded on July 24, at which time the judge orally stated that he would allow the motion to suppress the evidence. He also ruled on certain other motions at that time. From the discussion had by the court with counsel following the announcement of the court's ruling, it is clear that the court contemplated that a written order embodying his holding on the motion to suppress be prepared and entered.

Supreme Court Rule 271 provides:

"When the court rules upon a motion other than in the course of trial, the attorney for the prevailing party shall prepare and present to the court the order or judgment to be entered, unless the court directs otherwise." (87 Ill.2d R. 271.)

The ruling by the court on the motion to suppress was not a final judgment, but was a ruling on a motion other than in the course of trial. Therefore, Rule 271 applies, and pursuant to that rule, it was incumbent upon the attorney for the prevailing party, in this case the defendants, to prepare and present to the court the order to be entered, unless the court directed otherwise. Although the oral ruling on the motion to suppress the evidence was made on July 24, 1981, no written order on this ruling was signed until November 6, 1981.

The first period of delay to be examined is the period between the filing of the May 21, 1981, motions and the June 4, 1981, motion to suppress the evidence, and the date the written order on these motions, including the order suppressing evidence, was signed, November 6, 1981. This period involved 169 days. There are several questions of law that must be decided in determining whether these 169 days, or any part thereof, constitute delay chargeable to the defendants. The November 6, 1981, signed order had written thereon, "nunc pro tunc 7-24-81."

Before deciding whether all or any part of the period between May 21, 1981, and November 6, 1981, is chargeable to the defendants, we must discuss some factual matters which have caused some confusion. Following the pronouncement of the oral ruling allowing the motion to suppress on July 24, 1981, the State, on August 13, 1981, filed a notice of appeal from that ruling which was docketed in the appellate court for the third district as case number 81-487. Following the entry of the written order on November 6, 1981, nunc pro tunc July 24, 1981, the State filed another notice of appeal from the written order. This notice of appeal was filed on November 9, 1981, and was docketed in the appellate court for the third district as case number 81-661. Several motions were filed by the defendants urging that both appeals be dismissed. It is unnecessary to detail the proceedings in the appellate court with regard to ...


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