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06/12/87 the People of the State of v. Maurice Brown

June 12, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

MAURICE BROWN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

510 N.E.2d 71, 157 Ill. App. 3d 61, 109 Ill. Dec. 450 1987.IL.806

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Adam N. Stillo, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE SULLIVAN delivered the opinion of the court. LORENZ and PINCHAM, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SULLIVAN

Following a bench trial, defendant was convicted of violating section 24 of the Medical Practice Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 111, par. 4459) and sentenced to one year's court supervision. On appeal, he concurrently contends that the complaint failed to allege and the evidence failed to establish that he committed an offense under the section charged.

Defendant was arrested and charged with four separate violations of section 24 of the Medical Practice Act (the Act), which prescribes the punishment for doing certain acts without a valid license. At the outset of trial, it was stipulated that he was not a physician but, rather, a registered nurse licensed to practice in Illinois. The sole witness for the State was Glenn Crick, Director of Enforcement for the Illinois Department of Registration and Education. He testified that on March 22, 1985, he went to the Hillside Clinic -- a facility which provided medical screening for immigrants wishing to become United States citizens -- for an appointment he had made under the name "Glenn Casey." Posing as a Canadian citizen, he gave the receptionist a medical examination form from the United States Department of Immigration and Naturalization and paid her a $50 fee. After taking an X ray, she led him to an examination room where defendant took his medical history and then performed a series of routine tests to check his eyes, ears, nose, throat, blood pressure, heart, lungs and reflexes, all of which registered nurses are licensed to do. During the examination, Crick informed defendant that he was experiencing pain in his right knee, surmising that it might be associated with jogging. Defendant opined that the source of the pain was a pulled ligament and suggested he refrain from jogging. Upon completion of the examination, defendant checkmarked the spaces on two clinic forms denoting "no defect, disease or disability," signed on the bottom, "Gerald S. Shobot, M.D.," put the forms into an envelope, returned the envelope to him (Crick) and exited the room. Crick further testified that he knew at the time of the examination that defendant's name was not "Shobot"; that a Doctor Shobot had been associated with the clinic in the past; and that defendant never identified himself as either "Doctor Shobot," or "Doctor Brown."

Following his arrest, immediately after the examination described above, defendant was charged, inter alia, with four separate violations of section 24, which provides in full:

"If any person holds himself out to the public as being engaged in the diagnosis or treatment of ailments of human beings; or suggests, recommends or prescribes any form of treatment for the palliation, relief or cure of any physical or mental ailment of any person with the intention of receiving therefor, either directly or indirectly, any fee, gift, or compensation whatsoever; or diagnosticates or attempts to diagnosticate, operate upon, profess to heal, prescribe for, or otherwise treat any ailment, or supposed ailment, of another; or maintains an office for examination or treatment of persons afflicted, or alleged or supposed to be afflicted, by any ailment; or attaches the title Doctor, Physician, Surgeon, M.D., or any other words or abbreviation to his name, indicating that he is engaged in the treatment of human ailments as a business; and does not possess a valid license issued by the authority of this State to practice the treatment of human ailments in any manner, he shall be sentenced as provided in section 35.1." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 111, par. 4459.

At the close of the State's case, defendant's motion for a directed verdict was granted as to the charges that he (1) held himself out to the public as being engaged in the diagnosis or treatment of human ailments and (2) maintained an office for examination and treatment thereof, without a valid license; and after closing argument by counsel the trial court found him not guilty of the charge of diagnosticating human ailments. He was, however, found guilty of the fourth charge, which alleged that he:

"committed the offense of doing certain acts without a license in that he attached the title physician, surgeon, indicating that he is engaged in the treatment of human ailments as a business and does not possess a valid license issued by the authority of this State to practice the treatment of human ailments in any manner in violation of Chapter 11, section #4459.", Defendant's post-trial motion was denied, and this appeal followed.

Opinion

Defendant contends that his conviction must be reversed as having been obtained in violation of his due process rights because the complaint failed to state and the evidence failed to establish that he committed an offense under section 24 of the Act. Specifically, defendant argues, first, that the complaint was fatally defective in that it failed to allege that he attached the title "Doctor" or "M.D." " to his name " (emphasis added), and is required by the statute, and second, that, in any event, there was no evidence that he did so. He maintains that while the State's evidence that he signed the name "Dr. Gerald S. Shobot, M.D." on the clinic forms might, arguably, have constituted grounds to charge him with a violation of section 31 of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 111, par. 4466), which provides in pertinent part:

"[Any] person who holds himself out to treat human ailments under any name other than his own, or by personation of any physician, shall be ...


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