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04/23/87 Sandra Chadwick, Mother of v. the Industrial Commission

April 23, 1987

SANDRA CHADWICK, MOTHER OF LISA MARIE LAWS ET AL., APPELLANT

v.

THE INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION ET AL. (BALDWIN ASSOCIATES, APPELLEE)



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT, INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION DIVISION

507 N.E.2d 878, 154 Ill. App. 3d 859, 107 Ill. Dec. 725 1987.IL.537

Appeal from the Circuit Court of De Witt County; the Hon. William C. Calvin, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE BARRY delivered the opinion of the court. McNAMARA, WOODWARD, McCULLOUGH and KASSERMAN, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BARRY

The petitioner, Sandra Chadwick, filed an application for adjustment of claim on behalf of her three minor children, Lisa Marie Laws, Benny Lee Laws II, and Krista Fawn Laws, to recover damages for the death of their father, Benny Lee Laws, pursuant to the Workers' Compensation Act (the Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 138.1 et seq.). The arbitrator denied the petitioner's claim. The Industrial Commission (the Commission) affirmed the arbitrator's decision. The petitioner filed for a circuit court review of the Commission's decision. The respondent, Baldwin Associates, subsequently filed a motion to quash. The circuit court granted the respondent's motion, finding that it did not have jurisdiction to hear the cause because the petitioner failed to strictly comply with section 19(f)(1) of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 48, par. 138.19(f)(1)). The petitioner brings this appeal.

The facts which gave rise to this claim, as ascertained from the decision of the arbitrator, are briefly that the decedent, an employee of the respondent, fell 70 feet to his death while working on a scaffold at a nuclear power plant in Clinton, Illinois. The arbitrator denied the application for adjustment of claim, and was affirmed by the Commission, on the grounds that the petitioner failed to prove accidental injuries rising out of and in the course of the decedent's employment with the respondent.

The instant record shows that the petitioner timely filed for circuit court review of the Commission's decision. The written request for review included a praecipe for a writ of certiorari and a writ of scire facias, a certificate of mailing, a writ of certiorari and a writ of scire facias. In the praecipe, the respondent was named as a party in interest, but its address was not given. However, the praecipe gave the name and address of the respondent's attorney of record. Also, the respondent's name and address were listed on the certificate of mailing.

The respondent appeared and filed a motion to quash the writs based on improper venue. The motion was granted and the cause was transferred from Sangamon County to De Witt County. Three months later, the respondent filed an amended motion to quash, contending that the circuit court lacked jurisdiction because the praecipe did not include: (1) the respondent's address; (2) the names and addresses of the decedent's children as parties in interest; and (3) the Commission as a party in interest.

The circuit court allowed the respondent's motion to quash the writs. Although it was not persuaded by the respondent's contention as to the children, the court found that by not including the respondent's address in the praecipe, the petitioner failed to strictly comply with the requirements of section 19(f)(1), thereby depriving the circuit court of subject matter jurisdiction. The petitioner's subsequent motion to reconsider was denied. This appeal followed.

The sole issue on appeal is whether the motion to quash the writs was improperly granted where the petitioner's written request for summons substantially complied with the requirements of section 19(f)(1) of the Act.

The petitioner contends that by naming the respondent as a party in interest, giving the address of the respondent's attorney of record on the praecipe and listing the respondent's last known address on the certificate of mailing, she conformed to the material provisions of section 19(f)(1). The petitioner argues that the intent of section 19(f)(1) was fulfilled in that the party in interest, the respondent, was summoned, apprised of the appeal and appeared. Thus, the petitioner argues, the respondent was not prejudiced. The petitioner notes that the respondent did not deny that it was duly served.

The respondent argues that the certificate of mailing listing its last known address was insufficient to satisfy the jurisdictional requirement under section 19(f)(1) that the written request shall contain the last known address of all parties in interest. The respondent asserts that as a result the circuit court lacked the requisite subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate this cause.

Initially, we note that the petitioner filed a praecipe for a writ of certiorari and a writ of scire facias, using the statutory language of section 19(f)(1) prior to its amendment in 1983 instead of filing a written request for summons as ...


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