APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, THIRD DIVISION
SLATE, Respondent (Wilma Wilson, Respondent-Appellee)
536 N.E.2d 894, 181 Ill. App. 3d 110, 129 Ill. Dec. 844 1989.IL.384
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Donna Cervini, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE McNAMARA delivered the opinion of the court. RIZZI and WHITE, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCNAMARA
Petitioner, Paulette Slate, formerly a resident of the State of Washington and now living in Illinois, had her marriage dissolved in Illinois and has sought a custody determination in the circuit court of Cook County pursuant to the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 40, pars. 2101 through 2126) , since respondent, the State of Washington, had previously appointed additional respondent, Wilma Wilson, a paternal aunt residing in Illinois, as the legal guardian of the three children. The trial court here ruled that Washington retained jurisdiction under the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 23, pars. 2601 through 2609), and declined to exercise jurisdiction in Illinois of the custody matter. Petitioner appeals.
The record reveals the following facts. Petitioner was married on October 21, 1980, to Freddie State in Cook County, Illinois. His whereabouts are unknown. They had three children. LaTina was born on May 27, 1978, Althea on June 22, 1980, and Marguerite on September 1, 1981. The family moved to Washington, where Freddie was stationed in the Navy.
On July 8, 1982, dependency petitions were filed in Washington alleging that the mother's mental health and father's unavailability due to military service resulted in the children's dependency. During 1982 and 1983, the Washington Department of Social and Health Services filed reports with the Washington court describing the mother's limited progress and inability to care for the children. Several hearings held in Washington courts determined the continued dependency of the children, who lived in Washington foster homes and sporadically visited with their parents.
On August 3, 1983, petitioner returned to Chicago to live with her mother. On August 15, 1983, the Washington DSHS asked the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to conduct a home study on Wilson and another relative, whose names were submitted to Illinois on the interstate compact applications, and recommend whether or not the children could be placed in one of their homes. In early September 1983 the father received an administrative discharge from the Navy.
In November 1983, social studies were forwarded to Illinois. Problems between the two agencies regarding the home studies and recommendation for placement delayed plans. The Illinois worker was unable to provide the Washington worker with an exact date as to when they could receive the required reports. The Washington agency reported to the Washington court: "Consequently, we are unable to respond and make any recommendations for the court to consider, regarding sending the children there."
A February 16, 1984, report stated:
"The issue still needing resolution in November was financial support for Ms. Wilson. Because of financial problems in Cook County (Chicago), Aid to Dependent Children support was insufficient to meet their needs. In addition, Cook County would not supply medical coupons for children who are under the jurisdiction of another state. The only solution available was to license Ms. Wilson as a foster parent, with foster care payments and medical coupons to be paid by the State of Washington. . . . Supervision of the placement will be performed by the [Illinois] Department of Children and Family Services in Cook County."
On February 26, 1984, the children returned to Chicago and were placed with Wilson. On March 21, 1984, the Washington court found the original reasons for the removal of the children continued to exist. Supervision ...