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In re Jesse B.

February 26, 2002


Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial Circuit, McDonough County, Illinois No. 97-JD-20 Honorable Patricia A. Walton, Judge, Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Homer


The circuit court adjudged the minor, Jessie B., to be delinquent and placed him on one year's probation. The court later issued a nunc pro tunc order extending the probation to five years. The State filed a petition to revoke probation, which the trial court granted. On appeal, the State argues that the case is moot because Jessie has already been released from the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Division (DOCJD). Jessie contends that (1) the case is not moot because he faces collateral legal consequences from the revocation of his probation, (2) the trial court lacked jurisdiction over him when it granted the State's petition to revoke his probation, and (3) the State failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Jessie violated a condition of his probation. We hold that the case is not moot and affirm.


On September 3, 1997, the State petitioned the circuit court to adjudge the minor, Jessie B., to be a ward of the court because of his delinquency. Jessie's birth date is August 24, 1981. The petition alleged that he had committed residential burglary (720 ILCS 5/19--3 (West 1996)) and theft of services (720 ILCS 5/16--3(a) (West 1996)) on May 25, 1997. The petition also alleged that he committed disorderly conduct (720 ILCS 5/26--1(a)(1) (West 1996)) by fondling himself in plain view of a female neighbor on September 1, 1997.

On September 12, 1997, the minor stipulated to having committed residential burglary and theft of services, but denied the disorderly conduct charge. The State dismissed the disorderly conduct allegation. The court adjudged Jessie to be delinquent.

On October 31, 1997, the court placed Jessie on one year's probation with the condition that he "comply with and successfully complete the residential program at Onarga Academy," a treatment facility for youths with sexual behavioral and psychological problems. On October 16, 1998, the State petitioned the court to revoke Jessie's probation because the minor had failed to meet treatment goals at Onarga.

Following a February 4, 1999, hearing on the petition to revoke, the court did not determine whether Jessie had violated his probation. Instead, by agreement of the parties, the court issued an amended probation order extending Jessie's probation until August 4, 1999, to allow him to work toward successful completion of the Onarga program. This amended order stated that "all prior conditions of Probation shall continue." At a June 25, 1999, status hearing, the parties agreed to continue the case until August 19, 1999.

At a status hearing on August 19, 1999, the State moved for leave to file a second petition to revoke Jessie's probation based on new information from Onarga. The court granted the State's motion and the State filed its second petition to revoke. In this petition, the State alleged that Jessie had "failed to successfully complete the first of the three phase treatment plan during his twenty month placement at Onarga Academy."

On September 1, 1999, Jessie filed a motion to dismiss the State's petition to revoke. In this motion, Jessie argued that his probation ended on August 4, 1999, and the State's petition to revoke was not filed until August 19, 1999. Jessie contended that because the State's petition was filed after his probation ended, the court did not have jurisdiction over him to consider the petition.

In its response, the State argued that the court's original October 31, 1997, probation order of one year's probation was invalid. The State submitted that by statute, the commission of a forcible felony by a juvenile, such as residential burglary, required a probationary period of five years. See 720 ILCS 5/2--8 (West 1996); 705 ILCS 405/5--24 (West 1996). *fn1

On December 2, 1999, the court denied Jessie's motion to dismiss the petition to revoke. The court ruled that the original probation order was void and set Jessie's probation at five years, nunc pro tunc. On December 8, 1999, the court again amended the probation order to reflect that Jessie was now on probation for five years and continued all prior conditions of probation.

On January 21, 2000, the court held a hearing on the State's second petition to revoke. The testimony at the hearing indicated that the Onarga treatment program was in three phases. The average stay at Onarga to complete the three phases was a year and a half. The average period to complete the first phase was 6 to 10 months. Jessie had been at Onarga for 26 months and had not completed phase one because of his noncompliant behavior. Although Jessie had made progress toward the completion of phase one during the two months immediately prior to the hearing, witnesses estimated that he was 6 to 10 months from completion of the full program.

At the end of the hearing, the judge noted that Jessie had not completed the first phase of the three-phase program. She noted that he had taken far longer than originally projected to complete the program. She stated that it did not appear that Jessie could complete the program within the near future. The judge found that the State had proven by a preponderance of the evidence that Jessie had failed to even come close to substantial ...

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