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In Re J.p.j.

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 18, 1985.

IN RE J.P.J., A MINOR, APPELLANT (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE). — IN RE K.B., A MINOR, APPELLANT (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE). — IN RE J.K., A MINOR, APPELLANT (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE).


No. 60018. — Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Second District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County, the Hon. Charles E. Ruth, Judge, presiding.

No. 60055. — Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Second District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County, the Hon. Charles F. Scott, Judge, presiding. JUSTICE MILLER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied December 2, 1985.

G. Joseph Weller, Deputy Defender, and Robert S. Hirschhorn, Assistant Defender, of the Office of the State Appellate Defender, of Elgin, for appellant.

Neil F. Hartigan, Attorney General, of Springfield, and Fred Foreman, State's Attorney, of Waukegan (Phyllis J. Perko and Marshall Stevens, of the State's Attorneys Appellate Service Commission, of Elgin, of counsel), for the People.

Daniel D. Yuhas, of Springfield, and G. Joseph Weller, of Elgin, Deputy Defenders, and John J. Hanlon, Assistant Defender, of Springfield, of the Office of the State Appellate Defender, for appellant.

Neil F. Hartigan, Attorney General, of Springfield, and Thomas J. Difanis, State's Attorney, of Urbana (Phyllis J. Perko and Marshall Stevens, of the State's Attorneys Appellate Service Commission, of Elgin, of counsel), for the People.

The common question in these three appeals concerns the failure to provide actual notice of juvenile delinquency proceedings to the minors' non-custodial parents. In two of the cases, no notice was given; in the third, notice by publication was attempted, but it was flawed.

In cause No. 60018, a petition for an adjudication of wardship of the respondent minor, J.P.J., was filed in the circuit court of Du Page County on February 14, 1983. Named as respondents in the petition were the minor, his mother, and his father. The minor's parents were divorced, and the minor lived with his mother in Elmhurst, where they were served personally; the father's address was described in the petition as unavailable, and summons directed to him was returned unserved. The minor was found to have committed residential burglary and theft, and he was adjudicated a delinquent, made a ward of the court, and committed to the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Division. The minor was represented by counsel. The minor's father did not attend any of the hearings. The appellate court affirmed the judgment. (122 Ill. App.3d 573.) On the question of notice to the minor's father, the court held that the father was not an indispensable party and therefore notice was not required to have been given to him. We allowed the minor's petition for leave to appeal (94 Ill.2d R. 315(a)).

In cause No. 60055, a supplemental petition for an adjudication of wardship of the respondent minor, K.B., was filed in the circuit court of Lake County on March 11, 1983. Named as respondents in the petition were the minor, his mother, and his father. The minor's parents were divorced, and the minor lived with his mother in Round Lake Beach; the father's address was described in the petition as unknown. The record does not show service of summons and the supplemental petition on any of the three respondents; the minor and his mother appeared at all the ensuing hearings, however. The minor admitted to several charges involving theft and criminal trespass to a motor vehicle, and he was adjudicated a delinquent and made a ward of the court. A period of probation, which previously had been imposed and later extended, was extended once more, and the minor was remanded to a residential placement and ordered to pay restitution as conditions of probation. The minor was represented by counsel. The minor's father did not attend any of the hearings. The appellate court affirmed the judgment. (120 Ill. App.3d 1166 (order under Supreme Court Rule 23 (87 Ill.2d R. 23)).) On the question of notice to the minor's father, the court held that notice to the custodial parent alone was sufficient if the non-custodial parent did not have a significant relationship with the minor. We allowed the minor's petition for leave to appeal (94 Ill.2d R. 315(a)).

In cause No. 60443, a petition to revoke the probation of the respondent minor, J.K., was filed in the circuit court of Champaign County on September 1, 1983; the minor previously had been adjudicated a delinquent, made a ward of the court, and placed on probation. Named as respondents in the petition were the minor, his mother, and his father. The minor's parents had separated, and he lived with his mother in Rantoul, where they were served personally. In the petition to revoke probation the minor's father was listed as living in Chicago, but no street address was given. Notice to the minor's father was published in a newspaper in Champaign County. The father's first name was stated incorrectly in the petition, and the mistake was repeated in the published notice. In the revocation proceeding that followed, a charge of resisting a peace officer was established, and the court revoked the minor's probation and ordered him committed to the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Division. The minor was represented by counsel. The minor's father did not attend any of the hearings. The appellate court affirmed the judgment. (125 Ill. App.3d 1173 (order under Supreme Court Rule 23 (87 Ill.2d R. 23)).) On the question of notice to the minor's father, the court believed that whatever error occurred was waived. We allowed the minor's petition for leave to appeal (94 Ill.2d R. 315(a)).

We consolidated the three appeals for oral argument and disposition. The minor in each case argues that adequate notice, as required by due process and statute, was not provided to his father, depriving the circuit court of subject matter jurisdiction and rendering its judgment void.

In a juvenile proceeding adequate notice to the minor and his parents is a requirement of due process. (In re Application of Gault (1967), 387 U.S. 1, 18 L.Ed.2d 527, 87 S.Ct. 1428.) The notice provisions of the Juvenile Court Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 37, pars. 701-1 through 708-4) provide several methods for fulfilling that requirement. Summons and a copy of the petition are to be directed to each of the respondents named in the petition. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 37, par. 704-3(1); see In re R.D.S. (1983), 94 Ill.2d 77 (in certain situations a person other than the minor and his parents must also be named as a respondent).) Service is to be made personally or by leaving a copy at the person's abode and mailing a copy of the summons to that address. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 37, par. 704-3(5).) If personal or abode service is not made within a reasonable time or if the respondent lives outside the State, service may be made by certified mail. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 37, par. 704-4(1).) Finally, service may be made by publication if personal or abode service is not made within a reasonable time, if the person has been made a respondent under the general designation "All whom it may concern," or if the respondent's whereabouts are not known. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 37, par. 704-4(2).) Section 4-4(2) also provides, in pertinent part:

"Notice by publication is not required in any case when the person alleged to have legal custody of the minor has been served with summons personally or by certified mail, but the court may not issue any order or judgment against any person who cannot be served with process other than by publication unless notice by publication ...


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