APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT
514 N.E.2d 1042, 162 Ill. App. 3d 140, 113 Ill. Dec. 130 1987.IL.1583
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County; the Hon. John L. Petersen, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE HOPF delivered the opinion of the court. LINDBERG, P.J., and UNVERZAGT, J., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE HOPF
This is an appeal by contemnor, Jim Edgar, Secretary of State, from the December 5, 1986, order of the circuit court of Kane County finding him guilty of indirect criminal contempt. The court ordered Edgar to pay a $500 fine and to refrain from driving a motor vehicle within Illinois for a period of 120 days. Edgar's motion for a stay pending appeal was denied. On December 5, 1986, this court granted Edgar's emergency motion for a stay.
The facts leading up to the trial court's finding of contempt are as follows. On March 3, 1986, defendant, Terry Minor, was charged with failure to dim headlights (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 12-210), and driving under the influence of alcoholic liquor (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501(a)(2)). Pursuant to section 11-501.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501.1), Minor was notified that his Illinois driver's license was suspended effective April 27, 1986, for six months. On April 22, 1986, Minor filed a request for a judicial driving permit and a request for a hearing, on the issue of his statutory summary suspension, pursuant to section 2-118.1 of the Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 2-118.1). On April 24, 1986, Minor pleaded guilty to the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol. Minor was ordered to pay a $400 fine plus costs, to submit to remedial alcohol and drug treatment as an outpatient, and to obey the terms of the summary suspension.
On May 9, 1986, a hearing was held before Judge John Petersen on Minor's request for the issuance of a judicial driving permit . At the Conclusion of the hearing, the court issued the JDP, effective May 26, 1986. Under the conditions of the JDP, Minor could drive for employment purposes and for attending alcohol treatment programs. Additionally, the JDP authorized Minor to take his son to school in Wyoming on June 26 to 29, 1986. On June 5, 1986, the office of the Secretary of State returned to Judge Petersen the notice of issuance of a JDP. In a form letter, the director of the driver services department informed the Judge that Minor did not meet the statutory criteria set forth in section 6 -- 206.1 of the Code dealing with the issuance of judicial driving permits, as the JDP was issued "for reasons other than employment or medical reasons."
On June 26, 1986, Minor filed a motion for rule to show cause for Secretary of State Edgar's failure to enter Minor's JDP on his central file. Minor maintained that the Secretary of State had not appealed the issuance of the JDP within 30 days of that issuance and that neither the Secretary nor his employees possessed the authority to review the orders of the circuit court. On July 3, 1986, the circuit court issued a rule to show cause (the rule) and directed it to Jim Edgar. That rule stated in pertinent part:
"IT IS SO ORDERED that the party herein named shall appear at the time and place stated herein to show cause if any he may have, why he should not be held in civil contempt of court . . . for his failure to obey the order of court entered May 9, 1986."
In August 1986, the office of the Secretary of State issued Minor a JDP effective as of July 1, 1986. On September 5, 1986, the date set for hearing on the rule to show cause, no one appeared in open court for Edgar. Judge Petersen continued the matter to September 24, 1986. On that date, Assistant Attorney General Paula Giroux appeared and filed her appearance as attorney for Jim Edgar and a motion to vacate the rule to show cause. Judge Petersen informed the parties that the matter would be continued until October 30, 1986. In response to an inquiry from attorney Giroux regarding what the hearing would pertain to, the court stated: "[On] your motion to vacate. In the event that that is not granted, it will be on the rule." Giroux moved for an order that the case was moot since the Secretary of State's office had issued the JDP subsequent to the rule to show cause. The court responded:
"Counsel, I consider the Secretary of State's actions, if established, to be in indirect criminal contempt of court, which is not rendered moot by actions after the fact by the Secretary of State."
On October 30, 1986, a hearing was held on the rule to show cause. Present at that hearing were Minor's attorney, Assistant Attorney General Giroux as counsel for Secretary of State Jim Edgar, and Steve Schnorf, chief deputy director of the driver services department of the office of the Secretary of State. Edgar was not present. At the hearing Schnorf testified regarding the procedures employed by his department upon receipt of the JDPs issued by the courts. Schnorf stated that if his department, in reviewing a JDP, determined that it asked or instructed the department to do something which the department had no statutory authority to do, the department returned the JDP to the issuing court accompanied by information describing why the department lacked such authority.
It was Schnorf's testimony that the JDP issued to Minor authorized Minor to drive his child out of State to school and that this instruction made the JDP invalid. Schnorf stated that, according to statute, a JDP should be entered only for employment purposes and for medical purposes. Schnorf explained that upon passage of the law establishing JDPs, the Secretary of State's office had been confronted with JDPs containing permission to drive for reasons beyond the statute. As a result, the department formulated a policy of returning any JDP which instructed the department to exceed the Secretary of State's statutory authority to enter it. Schnorf testified that he was the highest ranking officer in the Secretary of State's office who took part in Discussions leading up to the formulation of the ...