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11/19/87 the People of the State of v. Joyce Evans

November 19, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

JOYCE EVANS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

DEFENDANT, JOYCE EVANS, WAS CONVICTED OF CRIMINAL TRESPASS TO REAL PROPERTY (ILL. RE

v.

STAT. 1985, CH. 38, PAR. 21-3) FOLLOWING A BENCH TRIAL IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. DEFENDANT WAS SENTENCED TO SIX MONTHS OF COURT SUPERVISION.



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION

516 N.E.2d 817, 163 Ill. App. 3d 561, 114 Ill. Dec. 662 1987.IL.1715

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Janice L. Bierman, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LINN delivered the opinion of the court. McMORROW, P.J., and JOHNSON, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LINN

On appeal, defendant contends that the State should not have prosecuted her under the criminal trespass law. Defendant claims that, instead, the complainant should have brought an action against her under the forcible entry and detainer statute. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, pars. 9-101 through 9-116.

We reverse the judgment of the trial court.

Background

The trial was held on February 27, 1986. Defendant represented herself. The trial adduced the following facts. The complainant, Maxine West, owned a house at 1773 Queensbury Street, in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The complainant placed an advertisement in a newspaper for a roommate, which defendant answered.

The State's evidence is summarized as follows. Defendant moved into the house on January 5, 1986, and gave complainant a $325 security deposit. The next day, complainant presented defendant with a written lease to sign. On January 7, 1986, defendant refused to sign the lease. Complainant asked defendant to move out if she would not sign a lease. Defendant remained in the house, continually refusing to sign a lease.

On January 28, 1986, complainant demanded that defendant leave the house immediately. Defendant pushed complainant out of defendant's bedroom and locked herself inside of the room. Complainant telephoned the police.

A Hoffman Estates police officer arrived on the scene. Complainant told him that defendant was living in her house without signing a lease or paying rent and refused to leave. The police officer unlocked the door and entered the bedroom. He then questioned defendant as to why she would not sign the lease. When defendant refused to answer the officer's questions, he arrested her for criminal trespass and took her to the police station.

It is undisputed that the complainant kept the security deposit.

Defendant, representing herself, presented no testimony. During her cross-examination of complainant, however, she asked whether complainant and herself had a verbal agreement to use the security deposit as a portion of the rent, beginning when she moved in, on January 19, 1986. The complainant denied the claim. Further, throughout the remainder of the trial, defendant attempted to raise the defense of a verbal lease agreement between herself and the complainant. During her closing argument, she attempted to argue that, based on the existence of a ...


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