APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT
548 N.E.2d 78, 191 Ill. App. 3d 488, 138 Ill. Dec. 848 1989.IL.1895
Appeal from the Circuit Court of McLean County; the Hon. Luther H. Dearborn, Judge, presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the opinion of the court. GREEN and McCULLOUGH, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE KNECHT
The defendant, William L. Gallinger, appeals from a contempt citation imposed in a probation revocation proceeding. We reverse and remand.
The prosecution filed a petition to revoke the probation of the defendant based on the misdemeanor battery offense. At the revocation proceeding, through judicial notice of the finding of guilt as to misdemeanor battery and Disposition of supervision against the defendant, the circuit court found the prosecution had proved the allegations of the petition. As a sanction for this probation violation, the circuit court found defendant in contempt and imposed a five-month term of incarceration in the county jail. Defendant appeals, and we reverse.
The prosecution limits its argument on appeal to a contention the defendant has not perfected his appeal from the contempt citation entered in the probation revocation proceeding. See People v. Harvey (1972), 5 Ill. App. 3d 499, 285 N.E.2d 179.
A party perfects his appeal by filing a timely notice of appeal in the circuit court. (107 Ill. 2d Rules 301, 303, 606.) The notice of appeal must state both "the judgment . . . appealed from and the relief sought from the reviewing court." (107 Ill. 2d R. 303(c)(2).) Accordingly, the reviewing court has jurisdiction over only those issues properly stated in the notice of appeal. Harvey, 5 Ill. App. 3d at 502, 285 N.E.2d at 181.
When the defendant filed his notice of appeal, he erroneously stated the judgments appealed from as "[r]evocation of [p]robation and sentence." The defendant apparently intended to appeal from the contempt citation entered in a probation revocation proceeding.
A notice of appeal is liberally construed in the absence of prejudice to the nonappealing party. The notice of appeal here, considered as a whole, fairly informs the prosecution of the issues on review. This sort of technical defect in the form of the notice of appeal is not fatal to the jurisdiction of the reviewing court. Dorsey v. Spencer (1985), 130 Ill. App. 3d 1080, 1086-87, 475 N.E.2d 282, 286.
The circuit court has an inherent power to punish litigants for contempt in legal proceedings. This power allows the circuit court to maintain authority in both the administration and the execution of its judicial duties. (Javaras, 51 Ill. 2d at 299, 281 N.E.2d at 671.) We decline the defendant's request to hold any time a defendant violates the terms of his probation by committing a criminal offense, the alleged violation must be prosecuted as provided by the Unified Code of Corrections and not by contempt. The existence of a statutory remedy does not foreclose the use of the inherent power of contempt. The contempt power of the circuit court is a proper sanction for a violation of probation. People v. Patrick (1980), 83 Ill. App. 3d 951, 404 N.E.2d 1042.
In this case the alleged contempt is based on the misdemeanor battery Disposition of supervision. Although the defendant may later be discharged and have that Disposition dismissed (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 1005-6-3.1(f)), that does not foreclose the prosecution from seeking revocation of his probation for the underlying criminal misconduct. This is not a situation where defendant has successfully completed a term of supervision and the Disposition has been improperly considered for impeachment (People v. Schuning (1985), 106 Ill. 2d 41, 476 N.E.2d 423) or at sentencing (People v. Calvert (1981), 100 Ill. App. 3d 510, 426 N.E.2d 1218).
At the revocation hearing, the court took judicial notice of the misdemeanor battery Disposition of supervision. The court found the prosecution had proved the petition to revoke probation by the evidence presented. It is clear from the remarks of counsel, and the trial court's observations, the ...