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People v. Sypien

September 20, 2001

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT
v.
MARK SYPIEN, APPELLEE



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Kilbride

UNPUBLISHED

Docket No. 89265-Agenda 6-January 2001.

The sole issue presented in this appeal is whether the General Assembly violated the single subject clause of the Illinois Constitution of 1970 (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, §8(d)) when it enacted Public Act 90-456 (Pub. Act 90-456, eff. January 1, 1998). The legislation in Public Act 90-456, styled as an act "in relation to criminal law," amended, among other statutes, the disorderly conduct provision of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Code) (720 ILCS 5/1-1 et seq. (West 1998)). Charged with disorderly conduct under the amended provision, defendant moved to dismiss the complaint, asserting a single subject violation. The circuit court of De Kalb County granted defendant's motion, and the State now appeals. Based upon the following discussion, we affirm and hold that Public Act 90-456 violates the single subject rule.

BACKGROUND

On or about August 1,1999, defendant allegedly reported to De Kalb County Sheriff's Deputies Ryan Loyd and Tim Rogers that a certain motor vehicle had been stolen. A brief investigation led the deputies to conclude that defendant's report was false. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in violation of section 26-1(a)(4) of the Code. Section 26-1(a)(4) was amended by section 15 of Public Act 90-456 and now provides, in pertinent part:

"(a) A person commits disorderly conduct when he knowingly:

(4) Transmits or causes to be transmitted in any manner to any peace officer, public officer or public employee a report to the effect that an offense *** has been committed, knowing at the time of such transmission that there is no reasonable ground for believing that such an offense *** has been committed[.]" 720 ILCS 5/26-1(a)(4) (West 1998).

Section 15 of Public Act 90-456 also amended the sentencing portion of the Code's disorderly conduct provision to provide:

"(b) Sentence.

(1) *** A violation of subsection (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(4), or (a)(9) of this Section is a Class 4 felony." 720 ILCS 5/26-1(b) (West 1998).

Prior to the amendment, a violation of section 26-1(a)(4) was a Class B misdemeanor. See 720 ILCS 5/26-1(b) (West 1996). In its present form, an accused faces a maximum three-year prison term if convicted of a section 26-1(a)(4) violation.

The other amendments accomplished by Public Act 90-456 are summarized as follows:

(1) 911 False Alarms. Section 5 amended the Emergency Telephone System Act (50 ILCS 750/0.01 et seq. (West 1998)) by adding the following: "Any person calling the number `911' for the purpose of making a false alarm or complaint and reporting false information is subject to the provisions of Section 26-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961." 50 ILCS 750/15.2 (West 1998).

(2) Juvenile Court Act. Section 10 of Public Act 90-456 amended the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (Juvenile Court Act of 1987 or Act) (705 ILCS 405/1-1 et seq. (West 1998)) to provide that once an adjudicatory hearing is commenced in an abused or neglected juvenile proceeding, subsequent delay in the proceeding may be allowed by the court when necessary to ensure a fair hearing. 705 ILCS 405/2-14(b) (West 1998). Formerly, the adjudicatory hearing was ...


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