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People v. Donnelly

February 21, 2002

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
SEAN C. DONNELLY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois, No. 01-DT-200 Honorable Raymond A. Bolden and Thomas Dunn, Judges, Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Slater

UNPUBLISHED

The defendant, Sean C. Donnelly, was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (625 ILCS 5/11--501(a)(2) (West 2000)) on January 28, 2001. His driver's license was summarily suspended based on the arrest. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss his summary suspension, which was denied. The defendant appealed. We affirm.

The defendant filed a motion to dismiss his statutory summary suspension on March 14, 2001, the day before the suspension began. In his motion, the defendant alleged that the police officer's sworn report was defective because it did not indicate the method of service.

A hearing was held on the defendant's motion on March 15, 2001. At the hearing, the defendant presented the sworn report. The report indicated that the defendant was served notice of his summary suspension on January 28, 2001. However, neither the box on the report which indicated the defendant was served with personal notice of the suspension, nor the box which indicated that the defendant was served with notice of the suspension by mail was marked.

The State presented the testimony of Illinois State Police Trooper Shrake, the officer who arrested the defendant. The trooper testified that he served the defendant with notice of his summary suspension on the date that he arrested the defendant for driving under the influence. He did not mark either box regarding method of service on the bottom of the sworn report, nor did he ever attempt to amend the report after it was submitted to the Secretary of State's office.

Judge Thomas Dunn found that the officer's sworn report was not defective and dismissed the defendant's motion.

On March 19, 2001, the defendant filed a motion to strike the officer's sworn statement on the grounds that it was not filed in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 137 (155 Ill. 2d R. 137). After hearing the defendant's argument, Judge Raymond Bolden denied the defendant's motion.

The defendant now appeals the dismissal of both his motions.

The defendant first argues that his statutory summary suspension should be dismissed because the police officer's sworn report was defective and this defect deprived the court of jurisdiction over him.

Under Illinois law, if a driver is arrested for driving under the influence, his driver's license is summarily suspended. 625 ILCS 5/11-501.1(c) (West 2000). By statute, this suspension begins 46 days after the defendant receives notice that his license will be suspended. 625 ILCS 5/11--501.1(g) (West 2000). When a police officer writes a citation for driving under the influence, he is also required to serve the driver with notice that his license will be summarily suspended. 625 ILCS 5/11--501.1(f) (West 2000). The police officer files a sworn report indicating the defendant's blood alcohol content with the Secretary of State's office. 625 ILCS 5/11--501.1(d) (West 2000). Once this report is received by the Secretary of State's office, that office confirms the statutory summary suspension by mailing the defendant a notice of the effective date of the suspension. 626 ILCS 5/11--501.1(h) (West 2000). If an officer fails to indicate in the sworn report when the defendant was served with notice of the statutory summary suspension, the report is defective and the court is deprived of jurisdiction. People v. Palacios, 266 Ill. App. 3d 341, 640 N.E.2d 657 (1994).

The defendant, relying on Palacios, contends that the sworn report was defective because it did not indicate whether he was served in person or by mail. He argues that this defect deprived the court of jurisdiction and rendered his statutory summary suspension void.

In Palacios, the defendant was arrested for driving under the influence. The sworn report completed by the police officer did not indicate either the day that notice was served or how the defendant was served with notice. Nevertheless, the Secretary of State's office, upon receipt of the report, assumed that the defendant was given notice on the arrest date listed on the report. The Secretary of State's office notified the defendant that his license would be suspended. The defendant contested the suspension, arguing that he was not given notice of the summary suspension. The appellate court held that a sworn report that did not indicate when the defendant was served with notice of the statutory summary suspension was defective. Palacios, 266 Ill. App. 3d 341, 640 N.E.2d 657. The court concluded that the sworn report did not provide a sufficient basis for summary suspension of the defendant's driving privileges and affirmed the trial court's rescission of the suspension. Palacios, 266 Ill. App. 3d 341, 640 N.E.2d 657.

The instant case is distinguishable from Palacios. Here, unlike Palacios, the sworn report indicated that the defendant was served with notice of his statutory summary suspension on January 28, 2001, the date of his arrest. The Secretary of State's office had a sufficient basis for suspending the defendant's driving privileges. Therefore, we agree with the trial ...


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