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09/17/87 In Re R.R.S.

September 17, 1987

IN RE R.R.S., A MINOR (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

Petitioner-Appellee, v.

R.R.S., Respondent-Appellant)

514 N.E.2d 192, 160 Ill. App. 3d 548, 112 Ill. Dec. 726 1987.IL.1367

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Vermilion County; the Hon. James K. Robinson, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE GREEN delivered the opinion of the court. SPITZ, P.J., and McCULLOUGH, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE GREEN

The respondent minor, R.R.S., age 14, was adjudicated a delinquent based on a petition filed on April 25, 1985, alleging the offense of murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 9-1), and was committed to the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Division. The respondent minor appeals, arguing (1) the circuit court lacked jurisdiction over his person since he was not served with summons prior to the adjudicatory hearing, thereby rendering the orders appealed from void; (2) he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; and (3) the trial court abused its discretion in committing him to the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Division.

Here, we are again faced with the issue of whether the circuit court had personal jurisdiction over the person of a respondent minor given the failure to comply with the summons and notice requirements of section 4-3 of the Juvenile Court Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 37, par. 704-3).

The State argues this case is distinguishable from such prior decisions of this court as In re Crouch (1985), 131 Ill. App. 3d 694, 476 N.E.2d 69, In re Day (1985), 138 Ill. App. 3d 783, 486 N.E.2d 307, and In re Pronger (1986), 148 Ill. App. 3d 311, 499 N.E.2d 155, appeal allowed (1987), 113 Ill. 2d 575. Here, the respondent minor, at age 14, had actual notice and knowledge of the proceedings. This case differs from those since (1) the age of the respondent minors was less (in Crouch, a one-year-old and a two-year-old; and in Day, a 23-day-old newborn), or was not mentioned in the opinion (Pronger); and (2) the minors were not shown to have been physically in court. To that extent, the State and the circuit court are correct that this is a case of first impression.

The delinquency petition alleged R.R.S. shot Eric Sumila on April 24, 1986, with intent to do great bodily harm and, in the alternative, R.R.S. knew the act of shooting Sumila created a strong probability of death or great bodily harm. On April 25, 1986, the case was called for a detention hearing pursuant to section 3-6 of the Juvenile Court Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 37, par. 703-6). At this hearing, the respondent minor R.R.S. was present and was represented by counsel, and R.R.S.'s natural mother (his sole surviving parent) was present. The minor's counsel acknowledged receipt of a copy of the petition, and the court read the petition and its allegations and admonished the respondent minor.

Thereafter, the State moved unsuccessfully to prosecute R.R.S. as an adult (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 37, par. 702-7). The minor's motion to suppress evidence of statements made by him prior to, at the time of, or subsequent to his arrest was denied, as was the minor's motion for jury trial. The cause proceeded to an adjudicatory hearing and evidence was presented on May 19, 20, 21, and 22, 1986. At the Conclusion of the evidence, the trial Judge found the State had met its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt on the charge of murder, entered a finding of delinquency under section 2-2 of the Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 37, par. 702-2), adjudicated the minor a delinquent, and ordered a social investigation and Dispositional report. Neither R.R.S. nor his mother had yet been served with summons as required under section 4-3 of the Act.

After the adjudication, summonses were issued on June 3, 1986, to R.R.S. and his mother directing them to appear and answer the petition in the case on June 18, 1986, even though the adjudicatory hearing had been held and ended on May 22, 1986. The summonses were filed with the circuit clerk on June 9, 1986, showing service of the summons on R.R.S. and on his mother on June 5, 1986.

On June 9, 1986, the respondent minor's motion for judgment of nondelinquency or, alternatively, for a new adjudicatory hearing was filed, alleging various errors, including denial of a motion to suppress evidence and admission of the evidence, and the State's failure to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt ...


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