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The People of the State of Illinois Ex Rel. Anita Alvarez v. David Skryd

February 3, 2011

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS EX REL. ANITA ALVAREZ,
PETITIONER,
v.
DAVID SKRYD,
RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Freeman

JUSTICE FREEMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Chief Justice Kilbride and Justices Thomas, Garman, Karmeier, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Petitioner, Anita Alvarez, State's Attorney of Cook County, seeks a writ of mandamus or prohibition against respondent, the Honorable David Skryd, judge of the circuit court of Cook County. See Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, §4(a). Respondent granted the motion of defendant, Efrain Loza, to withdraw defendant's approximately 12-year-old guilty plea and vacate his misdemeanor conviction. The State requests an order compelling respondent to rescind his order and dismiss defendant's motion for lack of jurisdiction. We award the State a writ of mandamus.

I. BACKGROUND

At the outset we make two observations. First, in an original action to review a judicial act, the judge is only a nominal party in the proceeding. Counsel for the prevailing party below may file papers for that party, but shall not file any paper in the name of the judge. Ill. S. Ct. R. 381(c) (eff. Dec. 29, 2009). Second, our recitation of the undisputed facts is taken from limited sources for a limited purpose. In an original mandamus proceeding: "Only issues of law will be considered. The proposed complaint shall be sworn to and shall contain or have attached to it the lower court records or other pertinent material that will fully present the issues of law." Ill. S. Ct. R. 381(a) (eff. Dec. 29, 2009). Here, the parties have attached to their pleadings only those portions of the record in support of their respective legal arguments.

On May 21, 1998, defendant entered into a negotiated plea of guilty to one count of misdemeanor possession of cannabis (720 ILCS 550/4(c) (West 1998)) in exchange for two days in the Cook County jail, time considered served. The circuit court held a hearing on defendant's guilty plea (see Ill. S. Ct. R. 402 (eff. July 1, 1997)), which is memorialized, in full, as follows:

"CLERK: Efrain Loza. [Defense Counsel]: *** We would accept the State's offer time considered served and tender a jury waiver.

COURT: Is that what you are agreeing to, two days House of Corrections, time considered served?

Defendant: Yes.

COURT: You are giving up right to a jury, right to insist the State prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Are you aware you are giving up those rights?

Defendant: Yes.

COURT: Still pleading guilty? ...


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