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01/12/94 RAYMOND L. KROMEICH v. CITY CHICAGO

January 12, 1994

RAYMOND L. KROMEICH, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Glynn Elliott, Judge Presiding.

Rehearing Denied March 3, 1994. Released for Publication April 19, 1994. Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied June 2, 1994. As Corrected August 5, 1994.

Cerda, Rizzi, Tully

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cerda

JUSTICE CERDA delivered the opinion of the court:

Plaintiff, Raymond L. Kromeich, brought a replevin action to recover nine firearms seized by the Chicago police pursuant to chapter 8-20 of the Chicago Municipal Code. The circuit court entered a judgment in favor of the City of Chicago (City). On appeal, plaintiff asserts that (1) municipalordinance 8-20-040(b)(5) is void for vagueness; (2) municipal ordinance 8-20-220 is unconstitutional on its face in that it gives unlawful delegation of authority to the superintendent of police; (3) People v. Ziomek (1989), 179 Ill. App. 3d 303, 534 N.E.2d 538, was incorrectly decided; and (4) the trial court's decision is erroneous in that it misconstrues the safeguards under the State constitution and applicable State law. We affirm.

On July 31, 1990, Chicago police officers A. Torres and G. Parker received information from an informant that plaintiff possessed unregistered firearms. The officers went to 1946 North Lockwood Street, Chicago, which is plaintiff's mother's house.

According to plaintiff, who is 61 years old and employed as a chauffeur for the director of Cook County Hospital, he resided in Wood Dale, Illinois, on July 31, 1990, and was temporarily staying with his mother. When plaintiff arrived at his mother's house at 6:30 p.m., the officers approached him and flashed a badge. After the police questioned plaintiff about his firearms, he voluntarily let the officers into the house and gave them eight rifles and shotguns, a .22 caliber revolver, gun cases, and a holster. Plaintiff then went to the police station with the officers, who gave him inventory receipts for the weapons.

Plaintiff testified that all the guns were registered in Wood Dale and he had valid State and Federal firearm identification cards. Plaintiff used the guns for hunting and target practice. He brought the guns to his mother's house three weeks earlier so that he could clean and oil them before having them insured. He was planning to then take them to his son's house, which was not in Chicago.

According to the testimony of both plaintiff and Officer Torres, plaintiff was never given his Miranda warnings and he was not arrested or charged with any crime.

On October 31, 1990, plaintiff filed a complaint in replevin seeking the return of the nine weapons. Following a bench trial and a hearing on plaintiff's motion for reconsideration, the trial court entered judgment in favor of the City.

On appeal, plaintiff asserts that Chicago's municipal ordinance 8-20-040(b)(5) is so vague and uncertain that it violates due process rights. Section 8-2-040 of the Chicago Municipal Code states that:

"(a) All firearms located in the City of Chicago shall be registered in accordance with the provisions of this Chapter. It shall be the duty of a person owning or possessing a firearm to cause such firearm to be registered. No person within the City of Chicago, shallpossess, harbor, have under his control, transfer, offer for sale, sell, give, deliver, or accept any firearm unless such person is the holder of a valid registration certificate of such firearm.

(b) This section shall not apply to:

(5) Any non-resident of the City of Chicago participating in any lawful recreational firearm-related activity in the City, or on his way to or from such activity in another jurisdiction; provided, that such weapon shall be unloaded and securely wrapped and that his possession or ...


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