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People v. Madej

August 10, 2000


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Rathje

cons.-Agenda 8 -May 2000.

Defendant, Gregory Madej, appeals from the decision of the circuit court of Cook County denying his petition for relief from judgment (see 735 ILCS 5/2-1401 (West 1998)) and denying his petition for writ of mandamus (see 735 ILCS 5/14-101 et seq. (West 1998)). Intervenor, Consul General for the Republic of Poland in Chicago, also appeals from the dismissal of the petition for writ of mandamus. Moreover, the Consul General appeals the trial court's denial of the Consul General's motion to intervene in the section 2-1401 proceeding.


Original Criminal Proceedings

This case began in 1981 when the police arrested defendant after he led them on a car chase through Chicago. When the officers arrested defendant, his hands and head had blood on them, and his shirt, pants, and undershorts were heavily stained with blood. Defendant also had deep scratches on his face and scratches on his chest, arms, and back.

Shortly thereafter, Barbara Doyle, the owner of the car in which defendant fled from the police, was found in an alley on the northwest side of Chicago. Doyle was naked and had died from multiple stab wounds. Her missing clothes were found in the car defendant was driving.

After defendant was arrested, he told the police that a friend named Hojamoto was driving the victim's car. Defendant rode around with Hojamoto, who jumped from the car a block before the police overtook the car. At trial, defendant testified that he was in the car with the victim and twice had consensual sex with her. He explained that the victim pulled a knife during an argument over drugs. They struggled, and the victim began bleeding. He then threw her from the car and left the scene.

Defendant was convicted of murder, armed robbery, rape, and deviate sexual assault and sentenced to death. This court affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence. People v. Madej, 106 Ill. 2d 201 (1985). Thereafter, defendant filed a post-conviction petition and amended it in 1993. The trial court dismissed defendant's petition, and this court affirmed that dismissal. People v. Madej, 177 Ill. 2d 116 (1997). Subsequently, defendant sought leave from this court to file a petition for writ of mandamus. This court denied that motion.

Current Proceedings

In July 1998, defendant filed the current action. Defendant filed his section 2-1401 petition in the criminal division. Because of local court rules, defendant filed his petition for writ of mandamus in the chancery division.

Defendant's section 2-1401 petition alleged that his rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, April 24, 1963, 21 U.S.T. 77, and the Consular Convention of 1972 between Poland and the United States, *fn1 May 31, 1972, 24 U.S.T. 1231, were violated when the police failed to inform defendant that, as a Polish citizen, he had a right to contact a consular official from Poland. Defendant also alleged that, after he was arrested, the United States had a duty to notify the Polish consular that a Polish national had been arrested and detained. *fn2 Defendant's mandamus petition alleged that he was entitled to relief because his conviction and sentence are void under international law.

In December, the Consul General sought leave to intervene in both actions. Judge Albert Green, who was presiding over the mandamus proceedings, granted the Consul General's petition. Thereafter, Judge Green transferred the mandamus proceedings to Judge Thomas Fitzgerald, who was presiding over the section 2-1401 proceedings. Thereafter Judge Fitzgerald denied the Consul General's motion to intervene in the section 2-1401 proceeding. Subsequently, Judge Fitzgerald denied both petitions. Defendant and the Consul General now appeal.

While this appeal was pending, this court granted leave to the United Mexican States, the Human Rights Committee of the Bar of England and Wales, and the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Chicago to file briefs as amici curiae.


Section 2-1401 Proceeding

Section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides a method for obtaining relief from a judgment after more than 30 days have passed. See 735 ILCS 5/2-1401(a) (West 1998). A section 2-1401 petition must be filed "not later than 2 years after the entry of the order or judgment." 735 ILCS 5/2-1401(c) (West 1998). Relief sought more than two years after the entry of judgment will not be considered absent a showing that the petitioner was under duress, or a legal disability, or that the grounds for relief were fraudulently concealed. People v. Caballero, 179 Ill. 2d 205, 211 (1997).

Here, judgment was entered in 1982. Defendant filed his petition in 1998, approximately 14 years after the limitation period expired. Defendant and the Consul General acknowledge that the petition is untimely, but argue that this court can consider the merits of the petition because (1) under international law defendant's conviction and sentence are void; (2) the Consul General was never told of the treaty violation and thus could not preserve its rights sooner; (3) the State fraudulently concealed from defendant his rights under the Vienna Convention; and (4) the reliance on a state procedural rule to bar an action violates international law.


Defendant contends that the principle restitutio in integrum, which is well established in international law, renders his conviction and sentence void. Restitutio in integrum is defined as:

"In the civil law, restoration or restitution to the previous condition. This was effected by the pr'tor *fn3 on equitable grounds, at the prayer of an injured party, by rescinding or annulling a contract or transaction valid by the strict law, or annulling a change in the legal condition produced by an omission, and restoring the parties to their previous situation or legal relations. The restoration of a cause to its first state, on petition of the party who was cast, in order to have a second hearing." Black's Law Dictionary 1313 (6th ed. 1990).

Although we acknowledge the important role that restitutio in integrum plays in international law, defendant has not cited any authority to support a conclusion that the principle renders defendant's conviction and death sentence void. Instead, both the quotation from Black's, upon which defendant relies, and the other authorities cited by defendant support the conclusion that restitutio in integrum is an equitable remedy for violations of a treaty. To say that the proper remedy for a treaty violation ...

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