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In re Detention of Powell

October 29, 2003

IN RE DETENTION OF HAROLD POWELL
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
HAROLD POWELL, RESPONDENT- APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 00 CR 80003 Honorable William S. Wood, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Hall

UNPUBLISHED

The respondent, Harold Powell, appeals from an order of the circuit court of Cook County denying his motion to dismiss the State's petition to commit him as a sexually violent person.

On September 25, 2000, the State filed a petition to commit the respondent as a sexually violent person pursuant to section 15 of the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act (the Act) (725 ILCS 207/15 (West 2000)). The respondent filed a motion to dismiss the petition as untimely, alleging that the petition was filed more than 90 days prior to his entry into mandatory supervised release (MSR) or was not filed within 30 days of his entry into MSR, as required by section 15(b-5)(1) of the Act (725 ILCS 207/15(b-5)(1) (West 2000)).

At the hearing on the motion to dismiss, the respondent testified as follows.

The respondent was scheduled to be released from prison into MSR on September 30, 2000. On September 26, 2000, he was served with the State's commitment petition. On September 30, 2000, he was asked to sign his MSR papers. The respondent refused to sign the MSR papers because he wanted to serve his MSR in Tennessee and did not wish to accept parole in Illinois. Because he refused to sign the MSR papers, the respondent remained in prison. On March 14, 2001, the respondent signed the MSR papers due to the discontinuation of his blood pressure medication by the prison staff.

The circuit court denied the respondent's motion to dismiss, but certified the following question to this court:

"[w]hether the State's original Petition was untimely filed where it was not filed within 30 days of the respondent's release onto mandatory supervised release, or within 90 days after said release, as required by 725 ILCS 207/15(b-5)(1)." *fn1
This court allowed the respondent's appeal pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 308 (155 Ill. 2d R. 308).

Analysis

I. Standard of Review

Issues as to statutory construction are reviewed de novo. In re Detention of Lieberman, 201 Ill. 2d 300, 307, 776 N.E.2d 218, 223 (2002); Revolution Portfolio, LLC v. Beale, 332 Ill. App. 3d 595, 600, 774 N.E.2d 14, 19 (2002).

II. Construction of Statutes

In Lieberman, our supreme court set forth the applicable criteria courts should utilize in construing a statute, stating as follows:

"It is well settled that the primary objective of this court in construing the meaning of a statute is to ascertain and give effect to the intention of the legislature. [Citation.] All other rules of statutory construction are subordinate to this cardinal principle. [Citations.] We determine legislative intent by examining the language of the statute, which is 'the most reliable indicator of the legislature's objectives in enacting a particular law.' [Citations.] The statutory language is to be given its plain, ordinary and popularly understood meaning [citation], and we are to afford the statutory language the fullest, rather than narrowest, possible meaning to which it is susceptible [citation].
Because all provisions of a statutory enactment are viewed as a whole [citations], words and phrases should not be construed in isolation, but must be interpreted in light of other relevant provisions of the statute [citations]. Each word, clause and sentence of the statute, if possible, must be given reasonable meaning and not rendered superfluous. [Citations.] Accordingly, in determining the intent of the legislature, the court may properly consider not only the language of the statute, but also the reason and necessity for the law, the evils sought to be remedied, and the purpose to be achieved. [Citations.]
'Legislative intent can be ascertained from a consideration of the entire Act, its nature, its object and the consequences that would result from construing it one way or the other.' [Citations.] In construing a statute, we also presume that the General Assembly, in its enactment of legislation, did not intend absurdity, inconvenience or injustice. [Citations.] 'Statutes must be construed in the most beneficial way which their language will permit so as to prevent hardship or injustice, and to oppose prejudice to public interests.' [Citations.]" ...

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