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07/07/89 the People of the State of v. James J. Stevens

July 7, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

JAMES J. STEVENS, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

541 N.E.2d 239, 185 Ill. App. 3d 261, 133 Ill. Dec. 402 1989.IL.1082

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. Thomas E. Callum, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE McLAREN delivered the opinion of the court. REINHARD and NASH, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCLAREN

Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 604(a) (107 Ill. 2d R. 604(a)), the State appeals from the dismissal of its information against defendant, James Stevens. The trial court dismissed the charge against defendant because it found that the State violated defendant's right to a speedy trial under section 103-5(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 103-5(b)). On appeal, the State contends that the trial court erred in dismissing its information because the entry of a nolle prosequi prior to defendant's demand for a speedy trial rendered the 160-day period of section 103-5(b) inapplicable. We reverse and remand.

On October 16, 1986, defendant was charged by complaint in case No. 86-CM-5432 with the offense of theft in violation of section 16-1(a)(1) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 16-1(a)(1)). On September 15, 1987, defendant's case was called for trial. After defendant answered that he was ready to proceed, the State moved for a continuance because it was unable to procure a material witness. Noting that the case had been called numerous times, the trial court denied the State's motion. The State next moved for leave to amend the complaint asserting that defendant should have been charged under section 16-1(d)(1) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 16-1(d)(1)). The trial court denied the State's motion to amend. After the State moved to nol-pros the charge, defendant made his demand for a speedy trial. The trial court then granted the State's motion for a nolle prosequi.

On September 22, 1987, defendant was charged by information in case No. 87-CM-4950 with the same offense of theft as had been nol-prossed on September 15, 1987. The record reflects that on April 4, 1988, defendant was placed on a $1,000 bail bond on this charge. On May 3, 1988, defendant filed a motion to dismiss which alleged that his rights under the speedy-trial provisions of section 103-5(b) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 103-5(b)) had been violated. On June 3, 1988, the trial court conducted a hearing on defendant's motion. At the hearing, defendant argued that the charges filed in cases Nos. 86-CM-5432 and 87-CM-4950 were based on the same occurrence. Defendant noted that although his demand for a speedy trial was made after the State nol-prossed case No. 86-CM-5432, the granting of the nolle prosequi did not toll the provisions of section 103-5(b). Defendant maintained that because more than 160 days had passed since his September 15 demand for speedy trial, his rights had been violated and the September 22 information should be dismissed. The State contended that the nolle prosequi tolled the speedy-trial provisions of section 103-5(b).

On June 30, 1988, the trial court ruled on defendant's motion. Relying on People v. Rodgers (1982), 106 Ill. App. 3d 741, the trial court found that the State's nolle prosequi of case No. 86 -- CM -- 5432 did not toll the 160-day period of section 103 -- 5(b). At a hearing on its motion to reconsider the June 30 ruling, the State argued that our decision in People v. Eblin (1983), 114 Ill. App. 3d 891, distinguished Rodgers. According to the State, Eblin impliedly held that a nolle prosequi, as opposed to the striking of a charge with leave to reinstate, tolled the 160-day period of section 103 -- 5(b). The State therefore concluded that because the charge in case No. 86 -- CM -- 5432 was nol-prossed and defendant was released from his bail obligation, the speedy-trial provisions of section 103 -- 5(b) were inapplicable with respect to the September 22 information. The trial court denied the State's motion to reconsider, and the State filed a timely notice of appeal.

The State's sole contention on appeal is that since the charge against defendant in case No. 86 -- CM -- 5432 was nol-prossed and defendant was not on bail or recognizance, the 160-day period for a speedy trial did not begin to run until April 4, 1988, when defendant was placed on bail for the September 22 information.

Section 103 -- 5(b) states:

"Every person on bail or recognizance shall be tried by the court having jurisdiction within 160 days from the date defendant demands trial unless delay is occasioned by the defendant, by an examination for fitness ordered pursuant to Section 104-13 of this Act, by a fitness hearing, by an adjudication of unfitness to stand trial, by a continuance allowed pursuant to Section 114-4 of this Act after a court's determination of the defendant's physical incapacity for trial, or by an interlocutory appeal." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 103-5(b).)

To invoke the 160-day period, the accused must be out on bail or recognizance and must demand trial; however, such demand is meaningless if made at a time when no charges are pending against the accused. People v. Freedman (1987), 155 Ill. App. 3d 469, 474.

In People v. Rodgers (1982), 106 Ill. App. 3d 741, the case relied upon by the trial court, we were presented with the issue of whether the granting of a motion to strike a charge with leave to reinstate tolled the 160-day period of section 103 -- 5(b). We concluded that the striking of a charge with leave to reinstate did not toll the 160-day period because the ...


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