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People ex rel Shockley v. Hoyle

May 27, 2003

THE PEOPLE EX REL. SHARON L. SHOCKLEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
RONALD J. HOYLE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Ogle County. No. 99--F--50 Honorable Michael T. Mallon, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Grometer

PUBLISHED

The Illinois Department of Public Aid (IDPA) filed a petition against defendant Ronald J. Hoyle in the circuit court of Ogle County to obtain a judicial determination that defendant was the natural father of minor Kailynd L. McGregor and to compel defendant to pay child support and obtain health insurance for Kailynd. The State, on behalf of the IDPA, filed a motion for summary judgment on the issue of paternity. The trial court granted the State's motion for summary judgment. The trial court also ordered defendant to pay child support and support arrearages, required defendant to name Kailynd as a beneficiary on his health insurance, and awarded defendant the income tax exemption for Kailynd. On appeal, defendant challenges the trial court's determination of paternity. We affirm.

FACTS

Kailynd was born to Sharon L. Shockley on May 27, 1989, in Alameda, California. Kailynd's birth certificate, which Shockley signed, lists John P. Van Olden as the minor's father. Shockley and Van Olden were never married. Eventually, Shockley and Kailynd moved to Montana.

On October 29, 1999, the IDPA filed a petition on behalf of the State of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) seeking to (1) establish that defendant is Kailynd's father and (2) obtain child support and medical coverage from defendant for Kailynd. See 750 ILCS 22/100 et seq. (West 2000) (the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act). Attached to the petition was an affidavit in support of establishing paternity. In the affidavit, Shockley alleged that she became pregnant on October 1, 1988, and that Kailynd was born six weeks prematurely. Shockley further alleged that her physician did not establish that Kailynd was premature until after Shockley filled out the birth certificate. Given the confusion about Kailynd's conception date, Shockley listed Van Olden as Kailynd's father on the birth certificate. Shockley stated that Van Olden neither signed an acknowledgment of paternity nor held himself out to be Kailynd's father. Shockley further alleged that Kailynd was conceived while Shockley was involved in a relationship with defendant, a man to whom she was never married.

Defendant filed an answer denying the substantive allegations of the petition. Defendant also filed a motion for declaratory judgment and sanctions. In support of his motion for declaratory judgment, defendant alleged that (1) under the law of California, the state of Kailynd's birth, Van Olden had been established as Kailynd's father; (2) Shockley is estopped to assert that anyone other than Van Olden is Kailynd's father; and (3) section 27 of the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984 (Parentage Act) (750 ILCS 45/27 (West 2000)) requires the court to grant full faith and credit to California's determination of paternity. The trial court denied defendant's motion and entered an order requiring Shockley, Kailynd, and defendant to undergo deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests. The test results indicated that the probability of defendant's paternity of Kailynd was 99.96%.

The State, on behalf of the IDPA, then moved for summary judgment. Defendant opposed the State's motion on the same grounds asserted in his motion for declaratory judgment. The trial court granted the State's motion based on the results of the DNA tests. The court later ordered defendant to pay child support and support arrearages, required defendant to name Kailynd as a beneficiary on his health insurance policy, and awarded defendant the income tax exemption for Kailynd effective beginning the 2002 tax year. Defendant appealed.

ANALYSIS

The principal issue in this case is whether, under California law, Kailynd's parentage was established by the issuance of the minor's birth certificate, which named Van Olden as Kailynd's father. Defendant asserts that under section 102425 of the California Health and Safety Code (Cal. Health & Safety Code §102425 (West 2002)) and sections 7573 and 7576 of the California Family Code (Cal. Fam. Code §§7573, 7576 (West 2002)), a man is presumed to be a child's father if he is listed as the father on the child's birth certificate. Defendant further asserts that, although California law provides a mechanism by which this presumption of paternity may be rebutted or set aside (see, e.g., Cal. Fam. Code §§7575, 7576 (West 2002)), neither Shockley nor Van Olden challenged the finding of paternity within the statutorily mandated periods of time. Thus, defendant reasons that Illinois courts are required to uphold California's determination of paternity under the full faith and credit clause of the United States Constitution (U.S. Const., art. IV, §1) and section 27 of the Parentage Act (750 ILCS 45/27 (West 2000)), which provides that establishments of paternity made under the laws of other states shall be given full faith and credit in Illinois.

The State counters that no presumption of paternity arose by the fact that the birth certificate issued in 1989 named Van Olden as Kailynd's father. The State points out that defendant's entire argument is based on current California law relating to presumptions of paternity. However, the State posits that the statutory provisions relied on by defendant are not applicable in this case because they were not in effect in 1989 when Kailynd was born and her birth certificate was completed. According to the State, application of the statute in effect at the time of Kailynd's birth does not create a presumption that the man listed on her birth certificate is her natural father. See Cal. Health & Safety Code §10125 (West 1989).

In appeals from orders granting summary judgment, our review is de novo. Vinzenz v. Hintzsche Fertilizer, Inc., 336 Ill. App. 3d 468, 471 (2003). This case also involves questions of statutory construction and interpretation, which are also subject to de novo review. Department of Public Aid ex rel. Howard v. Graham, 328 Ill. App. 3d 433, 435 (2002).

As defendant correctly notes, the full faith and credit clause of the United States Constitution requires each state to give full faith and credit to the judicial proceedings of every other state. U.S. Const., art. IV, §1. Similarly, section 27 of the Parentage Act (750 ILCS 45/27 (West 2000)) requires Illinois to recognize establishments of paternity made under the laws of other states. In this case, defendant claims that Kailynd's parentage has already been determined under California law and that Illinois courts must recognize this determination. California law mandates the contents of a child's birth certificate. Current California law provides in relevant part:

"§102425. Certificate of live birth; required information

(a) The certificate of live birth for any live birth occurring on or after January 1, 1980, shall contain those items necessary to establish the fact of the birth and shall contain only the following information:

(4) Full name of the father, birthplace, and date of birth of the father including month, day, and year. If the parents are not married to each other, the father's name shall not be listed on the birth certificate unless the father and the mother sign a voluntary declaration of paternity at the hospital before the birth certificate is prepared. The birth certificate may be amended to add the father's name at a later date only if paternity for the child has been established by a judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction ...


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