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People v. McDuffee

October 06, 1998

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
RANDALL A. MCDUFFEE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Garman

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS

Appeal from Circuit Court of Ford County No. 97TR1670

Honorable Stephen R. Pacey, Judge Presiding.

On May 10, 1997, defendant Randall McDuffee was charged by Illinois citation and complaint (traffic ticket) with improper lane usage (625 ILCS 5/11-709(a) (West 1996)). Defendant was involved in an automobile accident that resulted in personal injury to the two occupants of the other vehicle. On June 4, 1997, defense counsel filed a document entering his appearance on defendant's behalf, entering a plea of not guilty to the charge, and demanding a verified complaint be filed. On the same date, counsel also filed a request for speedy jury trial. On July 8, 1997, the parties made their first appearance before Judge Stephen Pacey. At that time, defendant demanded an immediate trial. On July 15, 1997, defendant filed a motion for substitution of Judge pursuant to section 114-5(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Code) (725 ILCS 5/114-5(a) (West 1996)), alleging that Judge Pacey was prejudiced against him. The State filed an objection to this motion, alleging that Judge Pacey was the only resident circuit Judge in Ford County and that the July 8, 1997, trial docket, identifying Judge Pacey as the trial Judge, was mailed to defendant on June 23, 1997. Thus, according to the State, since defendant's motion was not filed within 10 days thereafter, the motion was untimely.

At a July 16, 1997, hearing, this motion and the State's objection were heard. The docket indicates that defense counsel was given until July 17, 1997, to submit authorities. The docket also shows a telephone motion by defense counsel on July 16, 1997, at 4:30 p.m., asking for a continuance due to a medical emergency. The motion was granted and, according to the docket, the matter was set over to the September 1997 jury trial calendar. On September 8, 1997, the trial court denied defendant's motion for substitution of Judge as untimely.

The jury trial took place on November 17, 1997. On that date, prior to the commencement of trial, defendant filed a motion to dismiss the charge on grounds that more than 160 days had elapsed since his speedy-trial demand was filed. After that motion was denied, defendant filed a motion in bar of prosecution, alleging that his motion for dismissal should have been allowed, as well as his motion for substitution of Judge. The motion asked the court to enter an order barring prosecution of defendant. This motion was also denied. Defendant then filed a notice of appeal of the orders denying his motion for substitution of Judge, motion to dismiss, and motion in bar of prosecution (case No. 4-97-1075). Defendant argued the trial court was divested of jurisdiction over the case by the filing of the notice of appeal. The trial court ruled it retained jurisdiction and the trial commenced. Defense counsel made no opening statement, declined to cross-examine the State's witnesses, presented no evidence, did not participate in the jury instruction conference, and made no closing argument. After deliberating for 10 minutes, the jury found defendant guilty.Following denial of defendant's posttrial motion, a sentencing hearing was held. Witnesses testified as to the injuries suffered by the occupants of the other car and the property damage that resulted from the accident. A written victim impact statement was presented by the State. The State recommended that defendant be fined $400. The State's Attorney noted that the victims wished defendant to be placed on conditional discharge and ordered to pay restitution. Defense counsel asked for a $75 fine and that defendant be placed on court supervision. The trial court rejected these recommendations, imposed a fine of $400, and entered a judgment of conviction. Defendant now appeals in case No. 4-98-0016, arguing that the trial court erred in (1) denying the motion for substitution of Judge; (2) denying the motion to dismiss on speedy-trial grounds; (3) allowing the case to proceed to trial without filing of a verified complaint; (4) proceeding to trial without jurisdiction; and (5) entering a judgment of conviction, rather than placing defendant on court supervision. On defendant's motion, his appeal in case No. 4-97-1075 was consolidated with the instant appeal.

Defendant first argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion for substitution of Judge. Section 114-5(a) of the Code provides that within 10 days after a cause involving only one defendant is placed on the trial call of a Judge, the defendant may move for a substitution as of right. Defendant asserts that prior to the filing of his motion, his case had not been assigned to any particular Judge for trial and no rulings had been made. The State asserts that on June 23, 1997, a trial docket naming Judge Pacey as the trial Judge was mailed to defense counsel. However, nothing in the record supports this contention. There is no transcript of proceedings or bystander's report of the hearing on defendant's motion for substitution of Judge. The docket sheet for July 8, 1997, indicates only that the parties appeared before Judge Pacey and defendant demanded an immediate trial. It does not indicate what else may have taken place that day. The record on appeal does not show the date on which Judge Pacey was assigned defendant's case for trial.

It is defendant's burden as appellant to provide this court with a complete record of the proceedings in the trial court and any doubts raised by the incompleteness of the record will be resolved against defendant. People v. Foster, 199 Ill. App. 3d 372, 393, 556 N.E.2d 1289, 1303 (1990). In the absence of a sufficient record on appeal, this court will presume the trial court's ruling conformed with the law. Foutch v. O'Bryant, 99 Ill. 2d 389, 391-92, 459 N.E.2d 958, 959 (1984). The trial court denied defendant's motion as untimely. On the state of this record, we must assume that the trial court correctly applied the law to the facts and made the proper decision.

Defendant next argues that his motion for dismissal on speedy-trial grounds was improperly denied. He asserts that 166 days elapsed between his speedy-trial demand and the commencement of trial on November 17, 1997. Defense counsel filed a motion for substitution of Judge on July 15, 1997. He also secured a continuance on July 16, 1997, and the trial was continued to the September jury trial calendar. Section 103-5(f) of the Code (725 ILCS 5/103-5(f) (West 1996)) provides that delay occasioned by the defendant tolls the running of the speedy-trial period and that on the day of expiration of the delay, the speedy-trial period commences running. The delay caused by the motion for substitution of Judge is attributable to defendant. People v. Helton, 153 Ill. App. 3d 726, 730, 506 N.E.2d 307, 309 (1987). Defendant's motion to continue also constitutes delay caused by him for speedy-trial purposes. People v. Brown, 110 Ill. App. 3d 443, 444, 442 N.E.2d 534, 536 (1982). Thus, defendant is responsible for a 54-day delay between the filing of those motions and the next hearing on September 8, 1997, when the trial court denied defendant's motion for substitution of Judge. Subtracting this period from the 166 days elapsed until trial commenced on November 17, 1997, places defendant's trial well within the required 160-day speedy-trial period.

Defendant next argues that the trial court should not have allowed the trial to proceed, where he had requested the filing of a verified complaint and none had been filed. Section 111-3(b) of the Code (725 ILCS 5/111-3(b) (West 1996)) provides that where a citation is made on a "Uniform Traffic Ticket," a copy of that ticket filed with the circuit clerk constitutes a complaint to which the defendant may plead unless the defendant specifically requests that a verified complaint be filed.

Although defendant filed a motion requesting a verified complaint, he proceeded to trial without making any objection to the fact that no verified complaint had been filed. The right to be charged by a verified complaint is waived unless the defendant objects prior to trial. People v. Wydra, 265 Ill. App. 3d 597, 609, 637 N.E.2d 741, 750 (1994). Further, the record does not indicate that the trial court ruled on the motion. The failure to request a ruling waives the issue for purposes of review. Baldi v. Chicago Title & Trust Co., 113 Ill. App. 3d 29, 34, 446 N.E.2d 1205, 1209 (1983). Moreover, defendant has not identified any prejudice he suffered as a result of proceeding to trial on the basis of the traffic ticket. Thus, plain error review is not warranted. See People v. Griffiths, 112 Ill. App. 3d 322, 326, 445 N.E.2d 521, 526 (1983) (plain error exists only when the defendant's substantial rights are affected or the evidence is closely balanced).

Defendant's next argument is that the trial court lost jurisdiction when he filed his notice of appeal in case No. 4-97-1075 and, thus, could not proceed to trial. The notice of appeal was filed after the trial court denied defendant's motion in bar of prosecution. The trial court found that it retained jurisdiction to proceed with the trial, because the order denying defendant's motion in bar of prosecution was not a final order for purposes of appeal. In support of his argument that his first notice of appeal was properly filed, defendant cites this court's decision in People v. Dinora, 13 Ill. App. 3d 99, 299 N.E.2d 797 (1973). There, the defendant was charged with gambling offenses. He filed a motion in bar of prosecution on the grounds that he had statutory immunity. This motion was denied. Trial proceeded and the defendant was convicted. He renewed his motion and it was again denied. Defendant was sentenced to a prison term. The State argued on appeal that the order denying the motion in bar was not a final order for purposes of appeal and, therefore, the appeal must be dismissed. This court noted the decision of the Supreme Court of Illinois in People v. Miller, 35 Ill. 2d 62, 67, 219 N.E.2d 475, 478 (1966), holding that an order denying a motion to dismiss rape charges was an interlocutory order and not appealable. We distinguished Dinora from Miller in the following manner:

"The defendant's motion here, while titled 'Motion to Dismiss and In Bar of Prosecution' is, despite the title, a motion in bar. It does not fall within any of the grounds upon which the defendant may move to dismiss a charge as set forth in Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 38, [par.] 114-1. Neither does the motion in bar fall within the purview of Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 38, [pars.] 116-1, 116-2. Sec[tion] 116-1 governs motions for new trial which is not applicable to defendant's legal posture and sec[tion] 116-2 deals with motions in arrest of judgment but the grounds upon which such a motion will lie do not encompass a plea in bar. Defendant's motion in bar effectively presented to the trial court the issue as to whether or not defendant's prosecution was barred and we hold that the order denying the relief sought was a final and appealable order." Dinora, 13 Ill. App. 3d at 105-06, 299 N.E.2d at 801.

To be final for purposes of appeal, an order must terminate the litigation on its merits so that, if affirmed, the trial court has only to proceed with the execution of the judgment. People v. Woolsey, 139 Ill. 2d 157, 161, 564 N.E.2d 764, 765 (1990). The Constitution of the State of Illinois provides that appeals from final judgments of the circuit court are a matter of right and that the supreme ...


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