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In re Leonard R.

June 30, 2004

[5] IN RE LEONARD R., A MINOR MINOR-RESPONDENT-APPELLEE,
(PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE
v.
DEBORAH D., RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.)



[6] Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 99 JA 2817 Honorable Stephen Brodhay, Judge Presiding.

[7] The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Tully

[8]  In this case we granted Respondent, Deborah D., leave to appeal pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 306(a)(5) (166 Ill.2d R. 306(a)(5)) from an order of the circuit court affecting the care and custody of respondent's minor son. For the reasons which follow, we have now determined that respondent's appeal is untimely and that we are without jurisdiction to consider it. The appeal shall therefore be dismissed.

[9]  Respondent, Deborah D., sought leave to appeal from the trial court's November 14, 2002, order changing the permanency goal for her minor son from return home to substitute care pending court determination of termination of parental rights. Respondent filed a motion to reconsider arguing that the trial court "overlooked" certain facts and erred in its application of existing law. On February 10, 2003, the trial court denied respondent's motion to reconsider.

[10]   On March 11, 2003, respondent filed a "Motion for Leave to Appeal and/or Motion for an Extension of Time to File an Amended Motion for Leave to Appeal". This court allowed the extension of time to file an Amended Petition for Leave to Appeal. On May 1, 2003, respondent filed a second motion for extension of time which this court granted. On June 2, 2003, respondent filed her Petition but failed to file the Record on appeal. Thus, on August 13, 2003, on the court's own motion, the appeal was dismissed for want of prosecution. On August 25, 2003, respondent filed a petition to vacate the dismissal and on September 9, 2003, this court withdrew the dismissal order and allowed the Amended Petition for Leave to Appeal.

[11]   The merits of the appeal have now been briefed. Both the State and the minor-respondent maintain that this court lacks jurisdiction to hear this appeal because respondent's petition for leave to appeal was not filed within thirty days of the trial court's order.

[12]   According to her jurisdictional statement, respondent bases this court's jurisdiction to hear her appeal on Supreme Court Rule 306(a)(5) (166 Ill.2d R. 306(a)(5)). Supreme Court Rule 306(a)(5) states:

[13]   "(a) Orders Appealable by Petition. A party may petition for leave to appeal to the Appellate Court from the following orders of the trial court:

[14]   (5) from interlocutory orders affecting the care and custody of unemancipated minors, if the appeal of such orders is not otherwise specifically provided for elsewhere in these rules[.]" 166 Ill. 2d R. 306(a)(5).

[15]   The Rule further provides:

[16]   "(b) Petition. The petition shall contain a statement of the facts of the case, supported by reference to the supporting record, and of the grounds for the appeal. An original and three copies of the petition *** shall be filed in the Appellate Court *** within 30 days after entry of the order.

[17]   (e) Extensions of Time. The above time limits may be extended by the reviewing court or a judge thereof upon notice and motion, accompanied by an affidavit showing good cause, filed before expiration of the original or extended time." 166 Ill. 2d. R. 306(b), (e).

[18]   Supreme Court Rule 306 is specific in its requirement that, in order to vest the appellate court with jurisdiction, the petition for leave to appeal must be filed within 30 days after entry of the trial court's order or within such extension of time as may be granted by the reviewing court. The thirty-day time limit under Rule 306 is jurisdictional. Kemner v. Monsanto Co., 112 Ill. 2d 223, 236, 492 N.E.2d 1327 (1986).

[19]   The petition here did not meet this requirement. The record makes clear that respondent did not file a request for an extension of time until March 11, 2003, almost four months after the trial court entered the order concerning the permanency goal. The respondent did file her request for an extension within thirty days of the trial court's ruling on her motion to reconsider. However, this is not sufficient to vest jurisdiction in this court.

[20]   Illinois courts have held that a motion for reconsideration directed against an interlocutory order will not toll the running of the 30-day deadline for the filing of the appeal under Supreme Court Rule 306. See Law Offices of Jeffrey M. Leving, Ltd. v. Cotting, 345 Ill. App. 3d 495, 801 N.E.2d 6 (2003); National Seal Co. v. Greenblatt, 321 Ill. App. 3d 306, 308, 748 ...


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