Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial Circuit Knox County, Illinois. No. 92-L-76. Honorable David R. Hultgren, Judge Presiding.
Released for Publication June 9, 1994.
Present - Honorable Allan L. Stouder, Justice, Honorable Peg Breslin, Justice, Honorable Tom L. Lytton, Justice
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stouder
JUSTICE STOUDER delivered the opinion of the court:
The plaintiff, Collette Hawley, brought an action against the defendants, Arthur Kenley and Kay Kenley, her step-grandfather and her maternal grandmother. The circuit court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint with prejudice. The plaintiff appeals. We affirm.
On July 24, 1992, the plaintiff filed a four-count complaint against the defendants. In the complaint, she alleged that Arthur Kenley repeatedly sexually abused her from the time she was approximately 9 years old until she was about 16 years old. She also alleged her grandmother, Kay Kenley, knew the abuse was taking place, failed to prevent it, and failed to protect the plaintiff from the abuse. In her complaint, she alleged the abuse caused severe psychological trauma resulting in loss of memory and suppression of her memory of physical and sexual abuse. She further alleged that because of the psychological trauma caused by the actions of the defendants, she had been unable to recall any" of the alleged abuse until sometime in August of 1990. She sought compensatory and punitive damages from the defendants. The record shows that at the time she filed the complaint in 1992, the plaintiff was 26 years old.
The defendants filed a motion for discovery limited to issues relating to the statute of limitations. The motion was granted. Subsequently, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to section 2-619 of the Code of Civil Procedure (the Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-619 (West 1992)). The defendants asserted the plaintiff's action was barred by the applicable statute of limitations. See 735 ILCS 5/13-202.2 (West 1992).
Attached to the motion was the deposition testimony of the plaintiff taken on February 23, 1993. In the deposition, the plaintiff testified that the last incident of abuse by Arthur Kenley occurred during the midsummer of 1982, when she was 16 years old. This final act of alleged abuse took place while she, her grandparents, and other members of her family were cleaning up church campgrounds near Oswego. The plaintiff testified that on that date, Arthur Kenley sexually abused her and her cousin, Kimberly Raymond. (At the time of the deposition, the plaintiff's testimony indicates Kimberly Raymond was either dead or missing.) The plaintiff further testified that Kimberly Raymond was present on as many as 20 separate occasion when she and Kimberly were abused by their step-grandfather.
The plaintiff testified she began recalling the abusive events after she spoke with Kimberly Raymond on September 24, 1990. (At the time, the plaintiff was 24 years old.) On that day, Kimberly called her and was upset because Kimberly's mother had forced her to confront Arthur Kenley, and she had been told her allegations were a "fiction" resulting from the fact she was a drug user. The plaintiff also testified she had "overheard" other relatives talking about abuse prior to September 24, 1990.
Thereafter, the following colloquy took place:
"Q. Okay. * * * you just answered that in general you had some recollection in between the last event and September 24, 1990 of your grandfather committing abusive acts to (sic) you. And what I'm trying to determine now is approximately when those recollections may have occurred.
A. The general idea that my grandfather molested me has always been in my mind. That's the general; that he had done something to me. The knowledge of what he had done I didn't recollect until after September 24.
Q. In other words, the specific events that you're complaining of you didn't remember until on or ...