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11/30/94 ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT PUBLIC AID v. STEVEN

November 30, 1994

THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC AID, EX REL. CONNIE SUE MCGINNIS, N/K/A CONNIE SUE LEWIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
STEVEN R. MCGINNIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Coles County. No. 74D260. Honorable Gary W. Jacobs, Judge Presiding.

As Corrected January 9, 1995.

Honorable James A. Knecht, J., Honorable Frederick S. Green, J., Honorable Robert J. Steigmann, J. Green and Steigmann, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Knecht

JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the opinion of the court:

Defendant Steven R. McGinnis appeals the decision of the trial court to revive a judgment against him pursuant to section 2-1601 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-1601 (West 1992)) and award interest to the plaintiff. Defendant contends the trial court lacked jurisdiction over him because he was improperly served. We affirm.

The following facts are not in dispute. This case has a long procedural history beginning in 1971, when plaintiff Connie Sue Lewis married defendant. On July 31, 1972, a son named Aaron Mathew McGinnis was born of the marriage. The parties divorced in 1974. The divorce decree granted custody of Aaron to Lewis, subject to defendant's visitation rights, and ordered him to pay $25 per week in child support.

In April 1980, Lewis filed a petition to show cause, alleging defendant was $6,100 in arrears in child support payments. In August 1980, following a stipulation and agreement by the parties, the circuit court entered findings and ordered the following:

"A. That CONNIE SUE McGINNIS [n/k/a Lewis], is awarded a Judgment against STEVEN RAY McGINNIS in the sum of $6,100.00 for the child support in arrears up through and including the date of the Entry of this Order.

B. That the award of weekly child support from STEVEN RAY McGINNIS to CONNIE SUE McGINNIS as provided in the original Decree of Divorce is hereby suspended until further Order of Court.

C. That the visitation privileges awarded to STEVEN RAY McGINNIS in the original Decree of Divorce are hereby terminated until further Order of Court and STEVEN RAY McGINNIS shall cease any contact or communication with the minor until further Order of this Court.

D. In the future, if STEVEN RAY McGINNIS Petitions the Court to reestablish visitation and contact with the minor child then the $6,100.00 child support arrearage shall be immediately paid to CONNIE SUE McGINNIS prior to the reestablishment of visitation privileges and with assurances to the Court by STEVEN RAY McGINNIS that he will in fact exercise regular visitation privileges."

In February 1989, Lewis filed another petition to show cause. She alleged the $6,100 judgment remained unpaid. She also sought child support between 1980 and 1988, arguing the 1980 circuit court order suspending defendant's child support obligations was invalid. After much procedural wrangling by the parties, the circuit court denied the request for child support between 1980 and 1988 because it found the 1980 court order suspending defendant's child support obligations to be valid and enforceable. Lewis appealed to this court, and this court affirmed the circuit court's decision in an unpublished order. Lewis v. McGinnis (1992), 224 Ill. App. 3d 1112 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).

On November 25, 1992, the Illinois Department of Public Aid (Department) filed a petition to intervene in the action and collect the judgment on behalf of Lewis. The petition read:

"PETITION TO INTERVENE AND COLLECT JUDGMENT

Now comes the ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC AID, Intervening [plaintiff], by ROLAND W. BURRIS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, and alleges upon information and belief:

1. That a judgment was entered herein on August 15, 1980 in the amount of $6,100.00 against [defendant] and in favor of Connie Sue McGinnis, n/k/a/ Connie Sue Lewis, for back child support.

2. That Steven McGinnis, the [defendant], has not paid any portion of the judgment.

3. That the Intervening [plaintiff], [Department], is providing support services pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, 42 USC 651 et. seq. and Ill. ...


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