SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS
521 N.E.2d 884, 122 Ill. 2d 50, 118 Ill. Dec. 407 1988.IL.411
Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Third District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Courts of Kankakee and Iroquois Counties, the Hon. Roger Benson, Edward McIntire and Dwight McGrew, Judges, presiding.
JUSTICE CUNNINGHAM delivered the opinion of the court.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE CUNNINGHAM
In these consolidated cases, defendants, William Badoud, Robert Kiger, J. F. Quigley, Betty Marshall, James Fleming, Walter Gray, James Andrew Grubbs, Kenneth Jones, Michael McNerny, Kevin Palmateer, Julie Ann Rawlings, Edwin Winge, Michael Baugus and John Graham, were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, and a breath test of each defendant disclosed an unlawful concentration of alcohol.
The circuit court, Kankakee and Iroquois Counties, notified each defendant that pursuant to section 11-501.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501.1), his or her license would be suspended. Pursuant to section 2-118.1 of the Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 2-118.1), each defendant requested that before the effective date of the suspension a judicial hearing be held. Each defendant was granted a hearing, and in each case the Judge presiding at the hearing vacated the summary suspension. The appellate court consolidated the cases for appeal and affirmed the judgments of the circuit courts (155 Ill. App. 3d 912). Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 315 (107 Ill. 2d R. 315), we granted the People leave to appeal.
Section 2-118.1 of the Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 2-118.1) sets forth certain issues to which a summary suspension hearing is to be limited. Such issues include whether the defendant was arrested (upon reasonable grounds) for driving under the influence of an unlawful drug, whether he was properly advised of the consequences of refusing to take an appropriate chemical test (or failing such test), and whether the results of any such test indicate an unlawful concentration of alcohol. The suspension hearings in these causes, however, did not focus upon any of the above issues. Rather, the focus of each hearing was on a provision of section 11-501.1(d) of the Code that the arresting officer "shall immediately submit a sworn report" to the Secretary of State and circuit court of venue after the arrested driver refuses or fails an appropriate test.
The defendants in each cause contended that the report filed by each arresting officer, although labeled a "sworn report," was not actually a sworn report because it was not affirmed before an individual licensed to administer oaths. The circuit courts vacated the suspensions on this basis, and the appellate court agreed that the reports did not comply with the statute.
We must first consider whether the circuit court was precluded at the hearing from considering deficiencies in the sworn report. As indicated previously, section 2-118.1 sets forth limitations on the breadth of the hearing. However, we do not believe that the General Assembly intended to preclude at the hearing inquiry into whether the report was properly sworn. This is indicated in part by the fact that section 2-118.1 states that the hearing "may be conducted upon a review of the law enforcement officer's own official reports." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 2-118.1(b).) It would seem incongruous to permit conducting a hearing based on a report and yet not permit examination of whether the report was properly sworn. Moreover, in this expedited proceeding the sworn report also serves a function analogous to a complaint in an ordinary civil proceeding. Section 2-118.1 states that the hearing is to proceed in the same manner as in other civil proceedings, and in an ordinary civil proceeding a circuit court is not precluded from examining and permitting amendment to the complaint. For these reasons we conclude that the circuit court could properly consider whether the report was sworn to in accordance with the statute.
We next consider whether there has been strict compliance with the "sworn report" provision of section 11-501.1(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501.1(d)). The reports at issue herein were each signed by the arresting officer below the following notation: "I do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm that [certain statutory requirements of section 11-501.1 have been met]." The report did not, however, provide space for the officer to swear under oath before an official authorized to administer an oath.
The General Assembly has enacted a law specifically addressing oaths and affirmations. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 101, pars. 1 through 6.) In these provisions the General Assembly has specified certain persons who are authorized to administer oaths and affirmations and has specified that such oaths and affirmations shall subject to perjury charges any person swearing falsely. Statutes should be construed in conjunction with other statutes addressing the same subject (Spring Hill Cemetery v. Ryan (1960), 20 Ill. 2d 608) and considering the evident long-standing legislative recognition of the importance of perjury sanctions as an assurance of veracity, we simply cannot conclude that the reports submitted by the officers in these causes were "sworn" reports. In using the term "sworn report," the General Assembly contemplated that a report would be signed under the pains and penalties of perjury.
Also supporting our Conclusion regarding legislative intent is the rule that generally an amendatory act is to be interpreted as continuing in effect (as previously judicially construed) the unchanged portions thereof. (Gaither v. Lager (1954), 2 Ill. 2d 293, 300; see also Johnson v. Industrial Comm'n (1972), 53 Ill. 2d 23, 26.) This rule is based on a presumed legislative awareness of the judicial construction of the earlier version of the statute. (Gaither v. Lager (1954), 2 Ill. 2d 293, 301.) The term "sworn report" as used in section 11 -- 501.1 has been judicially applied in numerous cases. These cases have consistently assumed without extensive Discussion that in using the term the General Assembly contemplated an oath, affirmation or verification made under the penalties of perjury. (See, e.g., People v. Gaddi (1986), 145 Ill. App. 3d 227; People v. Newberry (1984), 121 Ill. App. 3d 1069; People v. Matulis (1983), 117 Ill. App. 3d 876; People v. Rehfeldt (1982), 103 Ill. App. 3d 368.) During this same span of time and even more recently the General Assembly has made numerous additions and revisions in the Code, many of which encompassed section 11 -- 501.1. Despite these changes the General Assembly has not altered the judicial Conclusion that the report is to be signed under penalty of perjury.
Not only has the General Assembly failed to refute the courts' Conclusions that the term "sworn report" contemplates a signature under penalty of perjury, but a very recent amendment to the Code explicitly addresses and confirms this judicial Conclusion. By Public Act 85 -- 992 (1987 Ill. Laws 4632), the General Assembly has, inter alia, explicitly defined the term "sworn report" as "[a] confirmation of correctness and truth by an affidavit, oath, deposition or a verification by certification executed pursuant to Section 1 -- 109 of the Code of Civil Procedure." This amendment is extremely relevant to the instant causes. The reason is that an amendment to a statute is an appropriate source for determining the original legislative intent of the statute. (People v. Bratcher (1976), 63 Ill. 2d 534, 543; People v. Scott (1974), 57 Ill. 2d 353, 358.) Where, as here, an amendment is enacted soon after controversies have arisen regarding the statute amended, it is logical and reasonable to regard the amendment as a legislative interpretation of the original statute. (People v. Rink (1983), 97 Ill. 2d 533, 541.) Although the legislature may not by amendment alter the outcome of a final judgment in which the ...