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People v. M.C.

February 28, 2001

IN THE INTEREST OF M.C., A MINOR,
(PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
M.C., A MINOR, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE).



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Wolfson

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Honorable Martin S. Agran, Judge Presiding.

There are two issues to decide in this case. First, whether the presumptive transfer provisions of the January 1, 1999, Juvenile Justice Reform Act (705 ILCS 405/5-805(2)) apply to this case. The trial court held they did not. Second, whether the trial court erred when it denied the State's motion to transfer the Minor-Respondent (M.C.) to the criminal division. We reverse and remand.

On August 13, 1998, the State filed a Petition for Adjudication of Wardship charging M.C. was delinquent because he committed the offenses of aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm, aggravated battery, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of cannabis. The petition alleged M.C. shot a young man in the foot and a young woman in the stomach on August 12, 1998.

The State also filed a motion to transfer M.C. from the juvenile division to the criminal division pursuant to section 5-4(3.3) of the Juvenile Court Act. See 705 ILCS 405/5-4(3.3) (West 1996).

The 1996 Act, section 5-4(3.3)(a), provided: If the State's Attorney files a motion to prosecute a minor, 15 years of age or older, in criminal court, and the State's Attorney's wardship petition charges the minor with, inter alia, aggravated discharge of a firearm or aggravated battery with a firearm,

"and, if the juvenile judge designated to hear and determine motions to transfer a case for prosecution in the criminal court determines that there is probable cause to believe that the allegations in the petition and motion are true, there is a rebuttable presumption that the minor is not a fit and proper subject to be dealt with under the Juvenile Court Act of 1987, and that, except as provided in paragraph (b), the case should be transferred to the criminal court." 705 ILCS 405/5-4(3.3)(a) (West 1996).

Paragraph (b) provides:

"The judge shall enter an order permitting prosecution under the criminal laws of Illinois unless the judge makes a finding based on evidence that the minor would be amenable to the care, treatment, and training programs available through the facilities of the juvenile court based on an evaluation of the following:

(i) The circumstances and gravity of the offense alleged to have been committed by the minor.

(ii) The age of the minor.

(iii) The degree of criminal sophistication exhibited by the minor.

(iv) Whether there is a reasonable likelihood that the minor can be rehabilitated before the expiration of the juvenile court's jurisdiction.

(v) The minor's previous history of delinquency.

(vi) Whether the offense was committed in an aggressive, premeditated or calculated manner.

(vii) Whether there are sufficient facilities available to the juvenile court for the treatment and rehabilitation of the minor." 705 ILCS 405/5-4(3.3)(b) (West 1996).

On January 25, 1999, the trial court held a hearing on the prosecution's transfer motion. Dr. Golden Shultz, a psychologist at the Department of Forensic Services, testified for M.C. Probation officer Tanya Kira testified for the prosecution.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court found the State had met its burden of providing sufficient evidence to support the charges against M.C. The court entered a finding of probable cause and found "there is a rebuttable presumption that the minor is not a fit and proper subject for adjudication in Juvenile Court ...


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