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The People of the State of Illinois v. Michael Jackson

September 22, 2011

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
APPELLEE,
v.
MICHAEL JACKSON, APPELLANT. THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,
v.
FELTON LEE,
APPELLANT.



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, and Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.

Justice Theis took no part in the decision.

OPINION

¶ 1 Following separate convictions, the circuit court of Cook County charged each defendant, Michael Jackson and Felton Lee, $10 for the "Arrestee's Medical Costs Fund" (medical cost assessment). 730 ILCS 125/17 (West 2006). The appellate court upheld the assessment in each case. People v. Jackson, No. 1-08-3464 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23); People v. Lee, No. 1-09-0347 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). We allowed each defendant's petition for leave to appeal (Ill. S. Ct. R. 315 (eff. Feb. 26, 2010)), and consolidated the cases for review. In Jackson's case, we affirm the judgment of the appellate court; in Lee's case, we dismiss the appeal as improvidently granted.

¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 3 Jackson and Lee were each convicted of possessing less than 15 grams of a controlled substance. 720 ILCS 570/402(c) (West 2008). The circuit court sentenced Jackson to five years' imprisonment and one year of parole, and sentenced Lee to four years' imprisonment. According to a form in each of their records, the court also imposed against Jackson and Lee various fees, costs, and fines, including $10 for the "Arrestee's Medical Costs Fund" pursuant to section 17 of the County Jail Act (730 ILCS 125/17 (West 2006)). Section 17 was amended effective August 2008, which was subsequent to defendants committing their offenses, but prior to their sentencing. Pub. Act 95-842 (eff. Aug. 15, 2008) (amending 730 ILCS 125/17 (West 2006)).*fn1

¶ 4 On appeal, Jackson contended, inter alia, that the circuit court erroneously imposed the medical cost assessment because there was no evidence that he received any medical treatment following his arrest. Jackson relied on the preamended version of the statute. The appellate court rejected Jackson's argument. People v. Jackson, No. 1-08-3464, at 11-13 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). Jackson now appeals to this court (No. 110615).

¶ 5 Before the appellate court, Lee agreed with the State that amended section 17 applied in his case, but nevertheless challenged the imposition of the medical cost assessment because he did not require or receive any medical services while in custody. People v. Lee, No. 1-09-0347, at 2 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). The appellate court upheld the imposition of the medical cost assessment. Id. at 6-8. Lee now appeals to this court (No. 110702).

¶ 6 II. ANALYSIS

¶ 7 Defendants contend that the circuit court should not have imposed the medical cost assessment because they did not receive any medical services while in custody. Section 17 of the County Jail Act authorizes the medical cost assessment. Subsequent to defendants committing their offenses, but prior to their sentencing, the legislature amended section 17. Pub. Act 95-842 (eff. Aug. 15, 2008) (amending 730 ILCS 125/17 (West 2006)). Before this court, defendants present the narrow issue of whether preamended section 17 (730 ILCS 125/17 (West 2006)) applied only to those arrestees on whose behalf the county incurred medical expenses. Defendants expressly concede that the medical cost assessment in their cases is permissible under amended section 17, even though they did not receive any medical services while in custody. However, defendants now contend that amended section 17 cannot apply to them based on the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws (U.S. Const., art. I, §§ 9, 10; Ill. Const. 1970, art. I, § 16).

¶ 8 The State contends that the medical cost assessment functions as a health insurance fund, which benefits defendants while they are in custody regardless of whether they actually receive medical services. We agree with the State's contention, and reject defendants' argument for the following reasons.

¶ 9 A. Jackson

¶ 10 Jackson contends that the circuit court erroneously imposed the medical cost assessment because there was no evidence that he received any medical treatment following his arrest. We observe that at the sentencing hearing, Jackson failed to object to any aspect of his sentence. He also did not file a post-sentencing motion raising this issue. Under different circumstances, we would deem this issue procedurally forfeited. See, e.g., People v. Reed, 177 Ill. 2d 389, 394 (1997); People v. Lykins, 77 Ill. 2d 35, 38 (1979). However, Jackson contends that the imposition of the medical cost assessment did not conform to the requirements of preamended section 17. It is quite established that a sentence which does not conform to a statutory requirement is void (People v. Arna, 168 Ill. 2d 107, 113 (1995)), and a void order may be attacked at any time or in any court (People v. Thompson, 209 ...


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