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January 17, 1997


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable John Wasilewski, Judge Presiding.

Rehearing Denied February 19, 1997. Released for Publication February 28, 1997.

Justice Zwick delivered the opinion of the court. Theis, J., and Quinn, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Zwick

Justice Zwick delivered the opinion of the court:

Defendant James Cameron appeals from an order of the circuit court of Cook County denying his second motion to vacate his guilty plea. Defendant appealed the denial of his first motion to vacate his guilty plea and this court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. People v. Cameron, 1-93-0727, 1-93-0800 (Cons.) (1995) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). Defendant contends that upon remand the trial court held a perfunctory hearing that failed to comply with this court's mandate, the requirements of People v. Janes, 158 Ill. 2d 27, 196 Ill. Dec. 625, 630 N.E.2d 790 (1994), and Supreme Court Rule 604(d). 134 Ill. 2d R. 604(d).

The record indicates that on the first court date following the remand, the trial court advised defense counsel that the case was remanded only because he had not filed a 604(d) certificate. Counsel then filed a 604(d) certificate which clearly described his actions with respect to defendant's contentions of error in the prior appeal. Although the certificate was dated September 7, 1995, a date after the remandment, defense counsel told the court that he was in fact tendering the original 604(d) certificate. The court then set the matter over for a date "to writ out the defendant so [defense counsel] can talk to him and see how we're going to proceed after that." On the following court date, defendant was present. Defense counsel told the court that he had asked defendant whether he had anything further to present and defendant responded that he did not. As a result, defendant agreed to stipulate that all the proceedings heard originally would be the proceedings on which he would base his motion to withdraw his plea. The trial court then asked defendant if this was his agreement and defendant responded that it was. The trial court took a recess to review the transcripts. When court resumed the judge announced that he had reviewed all of the transcripts, specifically remembered the case and was going to reenter the same ruling, stating:

"I'm in agreement with that ruling, and I'm going to reenter that ruling at this point and time, and I'm going to read that ruling into the record because I believe everything I've said in here was a correct assessment of the testimony heard."

The court then proceeded to read into the record his prior decision in its entirety.

Defendant asserts that contrary to the mandate in Janes, after the case was remanded, the trial court allowed defense counsel merely to stipulate to all of the proceedings that had occurred prior to the appeal instead of requiring him to file a new motion to vacate the guilty plea or conducting a new hearing. Defendant further asserts that although defense counsel filed a new certificate in compliance with Supreme Court Rule 604(d), the certificate was deficient in that it attested to counsel's discharge of his responsibilities prior to the appeal instead of the responsibilities which accrued after the matter was remanded. Citing People v. Porter, 258 Ill. App. 3d 200, 203, 197 Ill. Dec. 226, 630 N.E.2d 1350 (1994), defendant contends that both the trial court and counsel improperly treated the remand simply as an opportunity to supply the missing certificate and because the original motion and hearing were "nullities," his case must again be reversed and remanded for the filing of a new motion and for a new hearing on the motion.

In Janes, the supreme court stated:

"the remedy for failure to strictly comply with each of the provisions of Rule 604(d) is a remand to the circuit court for the filing of a new motion to withdraw guilty plea *** and a new hearing on the motion." Janes, 158 Ill. 2d at 33.

In view of the Janes decision, the court in Porter stated:

"It was error for defense counsel and the trial court merely to rely on matters determined in defendant's prior hearing on his Rule 604(d) motion. Since the well-established rule is that the filing of the certificate is a condition precedent to a hearing on the motion to withdraw the plea and vacate the judgment, the prior hearing is a nullity as it was tainted by the failure to follow the certification procedure. Thus, the parties and the court should not have relied on matters determined in the prior hearing on the Rule 604(d) motion."

In the case at bar, although the record clearly indicates that after remand defense counsel tendered his original 604(d) certificate to the trial court, we find no error in the court's acceptance of the certificate as long as the court complied with the mandates of Janes and Porter. Defendant argues that the only way that the trial court could have complied with Janes and Porter was to have conducted a new hearing and that the court's ...

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