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03/24/88 Charles Morrow, Jr., Et Al v. Rudolph J. Westphal

March 24, 1988

CHARLES MORROW, JR., ET AL., PETITIONERS-APPELLEES

v.

RUDOLPH J. WESTPHAL, RESPONDENT AND APPELLANT AND COUNTERPETITIONER-APPELLANT (CHARLES MORROW, JR., ET



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

al., Counterrespondents-Appellees)

521 N.E.2d 283, 167 Ill. App. 3d 433, 118 Ill. Dec. 215 1988.IL.425

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Peoria County; the Hon. Richard E. Eagleton, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE STOUDER delivered the opinion of the court. BARRY and HEIPLE, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE STOUDER

The plaintiffs, Charles Morrow, Jr., Jack E. Hobeck, and Roy G. Sears, filed a petition for registration of foreign judgment in Peoria County against the defendant, Rudolph J. Westphal. The plaintiffs' petition alleged that on November 10, 1986, the Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit of Florida, in and for Palm Beach County, entered three separate judgments against the defendant. The trial court denied the defendant's motion to dismiss and vacate the plaintiffs' petition and thereafter allowed the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.

On appeal, the defendant contends: (1) the plaintiffs failed to comply with the terms and provisions of the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 12-603); (2) the trial court erred in holding that a nonwage garnishment is available to the plaintiffs; and (3) the trial court was incorrect in not allowing the defendant the opportunity to litigate a counterclaim.

Initially, the defendant argues that the plaintiffs failed to comply with the terms of the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgment Act, which mandates as follows:

"A verified petition shall set forth a copy of the judgment to be registered, the date of its entry and any subsequent facts, circumstances or legal proceedings affecting it, such as levies of execution, appeals, supplementary enforcement proceedings, payments in partial satisfaction and the like, authenticated, if of record, in a manner authorized by the laws of United States or of this State . . .." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 12-603.

The defendant contends that section 12 -- 603 is mandatory in nature and requires that the verified petition for registration set forth, in addition to a copy of the judgment to be registered, any subsequent facts, circumstances, or legal proceedings affecting it. In the instant case, the record indicates that the verified petition sets forth a copy of the Florida judgment. The petition does not set forth any subsequent fact, circumstances or legal proceedings affecting it, including the notice of final appeal filed by the defendant in the Fourth District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida. The defendant further argues that the plaintiffs' petition does not state a cause of action because the plaintiffs did not set forth the subsequent legal proceeding affecting the Florida judgment.

The trial court found that the Florida appeal does not affect the judgment and that the term "appeals" in section 12-603 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 12-603) does not mean that appeal documents not affecting the judgment need to be attached to the petition. The statute requires that the petition set forth subsequent facts, circumstances and legal proceedings affecting the judgment. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 12-603.) The appeal filed in Florida by the defendant does not affect the Florida judgment. The record does not indicate that bond was posted or that the judgment was otherwise stayed. Thus, because the Florida appeal does not affect the Florida judgment, the trial court was correct in finding the plaintiffs have set forth the documents necessary to satisfy section 12-603 of the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch 110, par. 12-603).

The defendant's second contention is that the plaintiffs failed to properly authenticate the foreign judgment as required by section 12-603 of the Uniform Enforcement of Judgments Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 110, par. 12-603).

In the present case, a certified copy of the judgment, certified by the clerk of the circuit court of Palm Beach County, Florida, was attached to the judgment and filed by the plaintiffs in the trial court. The trial court found, and we agree, that the plaintiffs' certification method was sufficient to satisfy the authentication requirement. The record indicates that the Florida judgment was proper in all respects. In an instance where a judgment is valid in all other respects, the term authenticate should be construed as having a general meaning, ...


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