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In re Marriage of Irwin Schneider

June 30, 1998

IN RE THE MARRIAGE OF IRWIN SCHNEIDER, PETITIONER/APPELLANT/CROSS-APPELLEE, AND PEGGY ODELL SCHNEIDER, RESPONDENT, (BERNARD B. RINELLA, ESQ., AND WALTER J. MONCO, ESQ., APPELLANTS/CROSS-APPELLEES, AND ERNEST SEMERSKY, ADDITIONAL PARTY DEFENDANT/APPELLEE/CROSS-APPELLANT).


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Zwick

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County No. 91 D 12177

Presiding. Honorable Richard S. Kelly, Judge

Petitioner, Irwin Schneider, and his trial counsel, Bernard B. Rinella and Walter J. Monco, appeal the trial court's imposition of sanctions against them pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 137. Additional Party Defendant Ernest Semersky has filed a cross-appeal, challenging the trial court's refusal to award a portion of the attorney fees requested in his petition. We affirm the rulings of the trial court.

The record reveals that on August 2, 1991, petitioner Irwin Schneider filed a petition for dissolution of marriage, alleging, inter alia, that respondent Peggy Odell Schneider had engaged in an adulterous affair with Ernest Semersky. Thereafter, on December 16, 1991, Irwin filed a second amended petition for dissolution. That petition named Semersky as an additional party defendant and included an allegation as follows:

"19. That IRWIN strongly believes from statements made to him by PEGGY and ERNEST SEMERSKY that PEGGY has transferred or caused to be transferred certain marital and non-marital assets of the parties into the possession of ERNEST SEMERSKY in order to defeat any interest in said assets being held by ERNEST SEMERSKY which the Court on final Disposition of this cause may determine should be the property of IRWIN SCHNEIDER."

In addition, the second amended petition sought imposition of a constructive trust upon marital assets purportedly held by Ernest Semersky and requested an order requiring Semersky to account for his management of those assets.

On December 30, 1991, Ernest Semersky filed a demand for a bill of particulars, requesting, inter alia, that Irwin provide the following information:

"2. State in detail the specific statements alleged to be made to petitioner Irwin Schneider by respondent and defendant Semersky concerning the alleged transfer of property as complained of in paragraph 19 of Count II of the Petition including, but not limited to:

a) the date of the statement;

b) the approximate time of the statement;

c) the place at which the statement was made;

d) the person who made the statement;

e) the content of the statement; and

f) identify any other persons present at the time that the ...


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