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09/22/88 the People of the State of v. Williams

September 22, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT

v.

VINCENT WILLIAMS, APPELLEE



SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS

529 N.E.2d 558, 124 Ill. 2d 300, 124 Ill. Dec. 577 1988.IL.1412

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Hon. Shelvin Singer, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE RYAN delivered the opinion of the court.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE RYAN

This is a direct appeal by the State from a ruling by a Judge of the circuit court of Cook County holding section 114-5(c) of the recently enacted substitution-of-Judge statute unconstitutional (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 114-5(c) (as amended, effective July 1, 1987)). The statute provides:

"(c) Within 10 days after a cause has been placed on the trial call of a Judge the State may move the court in writing for a substitution of that Judge on the ground that such Judge is prejudiced against the State. Upon the filing of such a motion the court shall proceed no further in the cause but shall transfer it to another Judge not named in the motion. The State may name only one Judge as prejudiced, pursuant to this subsection." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 114-5(c).)

The trial Judge ruled that this statute violated the principles of separation of powers and due process of law.

The State brought this appeal under Supreme Court Rule 603 (107 Ill. 2d R. 603). Neither party raised the issue of whether an interlocutory ruling such as this one is appealable under Rule 603. (See Ill. Ann. Stat., ch. 110A, par. 603, Historical & Practice Notes (Smith-Hurd 1985); see also Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, §§ 4(b), 6.) We find it unnecessary to consider this question, as we view this case as an appropriate one for the exercise of our supervisory authority. Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, § 16; Brokaw Hospital v. Circuit Court of McLean County (1972), 52 Ill. 2d 182.

The defendant, Vincent Williams, was arraigned on August 11, 1987, for attempted murder, aggravated battery and armed violence. The case was assigned to a Judge for trial. On August 18, 1987, the People presented a written motion pursuant to section 114 -- 5(c) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 for substitution of Judge. The Judge denied the motion on constitutional grounds. He ruled the statute violated the separation of powers clause of the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. II, § 1), and interfered with the exercise of judicial powers granted to

The Illinois Constitution provides: "The legislative, executive and judicial branches are separate. No branch shall exercise powers properly belonging to another." (Ill. Const. 1970, art. II, § 1.) Our court has often referred to the principles established in Field v. People ex rel. McClernand (1839), 3 Ill. (2 Scam.) 79, 83-84, when it considers separation of powers issues. There, our court stated:

"The first and second sections of the first article of the constitution [Ill. Const. 1818, art. I, §§ 1, 2] divide the powers of government into three departments, the legislative, executive, and judicial, and declare that neither of these departments shall exercise any of the powers properly belonging to either of the others, except as expressly permitted. This is a declaration of a fundamental principle; and although one of vital importance, it is to be understood in a limited and qualified sense. It does not mean that the legislative, executive, and judicial power should be kept so entirely separate and distinct as to have no connection or dependence, the one upon the other; but its true meaning, both in theory and practice, is, that the whole power of two or more of these departments shall not be lodged in the same hands, whether of one or many. That this is the sense in which this maxim was understood by the authors of our government, and those of the general and state governments, is evidenced by the constitutions of all. In every one, there is a theoretical or practical recognition of this maxim, and at the same time a blending and admixture of different powers. This admixture in practice, so far as to give each department a constitutional control over the other, is considered, by the wisest statesmen, as essential in a free government, as a separation."

In 1974, our court reaffirmed these general principles in City of Waukegan v. Pollution Control Board (1974), 57 Ill. 2d 170, which has been frequently cited by this court (see, e.g., People v. Walker (1988), 119 Ill. 2d 465; People v. Joseph (1986), 113 Ill. 2d 36; Strukoff v. Strukoff (1979), 76 Ill. 2d 53). In People v. Walker (1988), 119 Ill. 2d 465, our court applied these principles relating to separation of powers in holding subsection (a) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 114-5(a)) of the substitution-of-Judge statute constitutional. Subsection (a) gives the defendant a statutory right to substitute a Judge, similar to that given to the State in subsection (c) now under consideration. The reasoning in Walker, as it relates to the separation of powers issue, is helpful in deciding the case before us.

As we noted in Walker, all legislation carries with it a strong presumption of constitutionality. (People v. Walker (1988), 119 Ill. 2d 465, 474; Sanelli v. Glenview State Bank (1985), 108 Ill. 2d 1, 20.) Section 114 -- 5(c), at issue here, is no exception. The legislature cannot enact statutes "solely concerning court administration or the day-to-day business of the courts" (People v. Walker (1988), 119 Ill. 2d 465, 475; People v. Joseph (1986), 113 Ill. 2d 36, 42), but may enact statutes complementing the authority of the judiciary (People v. Walker (1988), 119 Ill. 2d 465, 475; O'Connell v. St. Francis Hospital (1986), 112 Ill. 2d 273, 281). If legislation conflicts with a rule of the judiciary, our court will seek to reconcile the legislation with the judicial rule. (People v. Walker (1988), 119 Ill. 2d 465, 475; O'Connell v. St. Francis Hospital (1986), 112 Ill. 2d 273, ...


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