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05/26/88 the People of the State of v. Gayle L. Gerke

May 26, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE

v.

GAYLE L. GERKE, APPELLANT

THE ELDRIDGE DUE PROCESS FACTORS HAVE BEEN APPLIED BY THE SUPREME COURT IN UPHOLDING THE TERMINATION OF DRIVING PRIVILEGES PRIOR TO A HEARING IN DIXON

v.

LOVE (1977),


SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS

525 N.E.2d 68, 123 Ill. 2d 85, 121 Ill. Dec. 262 1988.IL.827

Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Second District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County, the Hon. Donald J. Hennessy, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE CLARK delivered the opinion of the court.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE CLARK

Petitioner raises two issues in this proceeding dealing with the Illinois statutory summary suspension provision of the Illinois Vehicle Code. The first issue raised by the appellant is whether the statutory summary suspension procedure is violative of the due process clause of the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. I, § 2) and the fourteenth amendment of the United States Constitution. The second issue is whether a circuit court has discretion to rescind a statutory summary suspension issued by the Secretary of State pursuant to section 11-501.1 of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501.1) simply on the basis of the Disposition of the underlying criminal charges. We find that there is no due process violation and that the statute does not permit the circuit court discretion to dismiss a statutory summary suspension based solely on the Disposition of the underlying criminal proceedings.

The trial court dismissed the defendant's statutory summary suspension after the State's nolle prosequi motion was granted. The appellate court reversed and remanded with instructions to notify the Secretary of State of the confirmation of the suspension. (156 Ill. App. 3d 43.) We granted the defendant's petition for leave to appeal pursuant to Rule 315 (107 Ill. 2d R. 315(a)).

The defendant, Gayle Gerke, was charged with two counts of driving under the influence (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, pars. 11-501(a)(1), (a)(2)). A blood-alcohol test was requested by the arresting officer pursuant to the Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501.1(a)). The defendant submitted to the test, which disclosed a blood-alcohol content of 0.22. In compliance with the statute upon a finding of a blood-alcohol concentration greater than 0.10 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501.1(c)), notice of the statutory summary suspension was given the defendant and confirmation was sent by the Secretary of State on February 6, 1986 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501.1(e)). On February 14, 1986, the Secretary of State's confirmation was amended from a three-month to a one-year suspension when it was discovered that the defendant was not a first-time offender. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 6-208.1(a)(3).) On February 11, 1986, the defendant filed a written request for a hearing as provided for in the statute. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 2-118.1.) The record indicates, however, that the defendant's request for the statutory summary suspension/implied-consent hearing was withdrawn on February 25, 1986, the date of her scheduled court appearance. This was 16 days before the statutory summary suspension was to become effective. No reasons for the withdrawal are noted in the record, nor is there any indication of a subsequent motion for reinstatement of the request for the summary suspension/implied consent hearing.

Following subsequent court date delays, the criminal charges came before the circuit court for trial on May 13, 1986. Due to the absence of the police officer witnesses, the prosecution moved to nol-pros the criminal charges. The motion was granted, and the defendant entered a demand for a speedy trial.

After a brief recess, the defendant moved to rescind the statutory summary suspension then in existence based on the fact that there was no longer a pending DUI prosecution. The State opposed the motion. The court granted the motion, stating that a statutory summary suspension requires an active criminal case for its existence. On the State's appeal the appellate court reversed and remanded (156 Ill. App. 3d 43), holding that the Illinois summary suspension statute complies with the requirements of due process and that a trial court lacks the discretion to rescind the suspension of the defendant's driving privileges solely on the basis of the dismissal of the underlying criminal charges. We agree.

Petitioner argues that the summary suspension provision of the Illinois Vehicle Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-501.1) is violative of due process because the procedures for a hearing do not allow for a timely Disposition of the matter and that a one-year suspension of a driver's license is an excessive deprivation. Our court previously considered the issue of due process protection as it relates to a prehearing revocation of a license to drive in People v. Esposito (1988), 121 Ill. 2d. 491. Esposito held that section 11-501.1 is constitutional under the due process clause. (121 Ill. 2d at 511.) The summary suspension provisions of section 11-501.1 comply, we held, with the three-factor test enunciated by the Supreme Court in Mathews v. Eldridge (1976), 424 U.S. 319, 47 L. Ed. 2d 18, 96 S. Ct. 893.

In Eldridge the Supreme Court held that due process does not require that a hearing be held prior to the termination of disability benefits under the Social Security Act. In its holding, the Court stated that "[t]he fundamental requirement of due process is the opportunity to be heard 'at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner.'" (424 U.S. at 333, 47 L. Ed. 2d at 32, 96 S. Ct. at 902.) In determining when a prior hearing is required in order to afford due process protection, consideration of the following three factors is required:

"first, the private interest that will be affected by the official action; second, the risk of an erroneous deprivation of such interest through the procedures used, and the probable value, if any, of additional or substitute procedural safeguards; and finally, the Government's interest, including the function involved and the fiscal and administrative burdens that the additional or substitute procedural requirement would entail." (Mathews v. Eldridge (1976), 424 U.S. 319, 335, 47 L. Ed. 2d 18, 33, 96 S. Ct. 893, 903.)

Since Esposito fully discussed and applied the Eldridge three-factor test, we see no reason to repeat what was previously clearly stated. Appellant, however, here asserts that the one-year suspension she received is excessive. Because the Esposito case may have left that question open, as it only addressed the provisions for three-month and six-month suspensions under sections 6 -- 208.1(a)(1) and (a)(2), we now expand our previous Discussion ...


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