Before setting forth the facts relevant to the Disposition of this appeal, we note that respondent has not filed a brief in this case. Nevertheless, we elect to review the issues raised in this appeal pursuant to the principles enunciated in First Capitol Mortgage Corp. v. Talandis Construction Corp. (1976), 63 Ill. 2d 128, 131-33.
APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT
Melvin Yancey, Respondent-Appellee)
542 N.E.2d 432, 186 Ill. App. 3d 234, 134 Ill. Dec. 253 1989.IL.1129
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. Jane D. Waller, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE WOODWARD delivered the opinion of the court. DUNN and LINDBERG, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WOODWARD
Petitioner, Linda Thompson, appeals from an order of the trial court denying her petition for retroactive child support brought against respondent, Melvin Yancey. On appeal, petitioner contends that the trial court's denial of her petition for retroactive child support from the date upon which she filed a paternity action was contrary to prior case law, the legislative intent underlying the Paternity Act of 1957 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 40, par. 1351 et seq.), and public policy.
Eric Hubbard, petitioner's son, was born on August 28, 1978. On July 31, 1986, petitioner filed a paternity suit against respondent which sought, among other things, current child support and support for a period prior to the commencement of the lawsuit. On November 21, 1986, respondent filed a motion to dismiss claiming that petitioner's action was barred by the statute of limitations and laches. On January 6, 1987, respondent filed a supplemental motion to dismiss asserting that petitioner's cause should be dismissed because she failed to vacate a court order dismissing her cause for want of prosecution. Respondent further claimed that petitioner's cause of action was barred by the five-year limitation period of section 13-205 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 110, par. 13-205). Respondent's motions to dismiss were denied.
After respondent submitted to a court-ordered blood test, the cause was set for trial. On September 22, 1987, the trial court found that respondent was the natural father of Eric. On September 20, 1988, the trial court conducted a hearing to determine the issues of current and retroactive child support. The report of proceedings from that hearing have not been made part of the record on appeal. At the Conclusion of that hearing, the trial court ordered respondent to pay child support in the amount of $75 per week beginning on September 30, 1988. The trial court determined that retroactive support was improper based on People ex rel. Causley v. Jackson (1988), 171 Ill. App. 3d 464. From the denial of her request for retroactive child support, petitioner has timely filed the instant appeal.
Initially, we note that the statutory rights and remedies available to petitioner are those which were in effect at the time of Eric's birth. (See DePhillips v. DePhillips (1966), 35 Ill. 2d 154, 156-57; Causley, 171 Ill. App. 3d at 467.) Because Eric was born in 1978, the applicable statute is the Paternity Act of 1957 (1957 Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 40, par. 1351 et seq.). Hence, the sole issue raised in this appeal is whether the 1957 Act provides for an award of retroactive child support.
To resolve the issue raised in this appeal, we turn to section 15 of the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 (1984 Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 40, par. 2515). In the relevant part, section 15 states:
"If existence of the parent and child relationship is declared, or paternity or duty of support has been established under this Act or under prior law or under the law of any other jurisdiction, the judgment rendered thereunder may be enforced in the same or other proceedings by any party or any person or agency that has furnished or may furnish financial assistance or services to the child. Sections 14, 16 and 20 of this Act shall also be applicable with respect to entry, modification and enforcement of any support judgment entered under provisions of ...