Appeal from Circuit Court of Champaign County No. 09JD301 Honorable Harry E. Clem, Judge Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Knecht
JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Turner and Justice Pope concurred in the judgment and opinion.
¶ 1 In December 2009, the State filed a petition for adjudication of wardship pursuant to section 5-520 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (Juvenile Act) (705 ILCS 405/5-520 (West 2010)) against respondent, Shelby R., born February 15, 1995, alleging on December 29, 2009, she committed two counts of domestic battery, Class A misdemeanors (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(a)(1) (West 2010)) (counts I and II); aggravated assault, a Class A misdemeanor (720 ILCS 5/12-2(1) (West 2010)) (count III); and unlawful consumption of alcohol, a Class A misdemeanor (235 ILCS 5/6-20(e) (West 2010)) (count IV). In June 2010, respondent admitted to unlawful consumption of alcohol in exchange for the dismissal of the remaining three charges. In July 2010, the trial court sentenced respondent to 18 months' probation. In September 2010, the State filed a petition to revoke probation, and in November 2010 respondent admitted the allegations contained in the petition. In December 2010, the court resentenced respondent to 364 days' confinement in the Department of Juvenile Justice (Department).
¶ 2 Respondent appeals, arguing the Juvenile Act (705 ILCS 405/1-1 to 7-1 (West 2010)) prohibits a minor's incarceration in the Department for unlawful consumption of alcohol, and the trial court erred by imposing a 364-day incarceration sentence. We agree.
¶ 4 On December 30, 2009, after a hearing, the trial court placed respondent in temporary detention in the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center. On February 1, 2010, respondent was released from the juvenile detention center to attend residential substance-abuse treatment. On April 14, 2010, respondent, against staff advice, left the treatment facility. The record shows respondent returned to detention from May 19, 2010, to June 7, 2010.
¶ 5 At the June 2010 plea hearing, respondent admitted unlawful consumption of alcohol, and in exchange the State dismissed the other three counts. According to the factual basis, on December 29, 2009, police responded to respondent's residence for a domestic disturbance. Respondent, then 14 years old, was arrested and transported to the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center. She admitted to a police officer she consumed alcohol and she submitted to a breath-alcohol test. Her breath-alcohol concentration was 0.142. At the hearing, the trial court admonished respondent she could be committed to the Department for a period of up to one year. The trial court adjudicated respondent a delinquent minor.
¶ 6 In July 2010, the trial court held the initial sentencing hearing. The State introduced a written social investigation report pursuant to section 5-705(1) of the Juvenile Act (405 ILCS 5-705(1) (West 2010)). Neither party presented additional evidence. The court sentenced respondent to 18 months' probation. Probation conditions required respondent refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages or using illegal drugs and required her to submit urine samples for testing.
¶ 7 In September 2010, the State filed a petition to revoke probation. According to the petition, on August 18, 2010, respondent submitted a urine sample testing positive for marijuana and cocaine metabolites. At the November 10, 2010, petition-to-revoke hearing, respondent admitted the allegations set forth in the petition. The trial court admonished respondent she could be incarcerated in the Department for one year and ordered an updated written social investigation report.
¶ 8 At the December 2010 resentencing hearing, the State introduced an updated written social investigation report. The report showed respondent was pregnant and due to deliver in June 2011. Neither party introduced additional evidence. Assistant State's Attorney Stephanie Weber argued the respondent needed to go to the Department of Juvenile Justice where she would not have access to drugs and alcohol and she would receive needed structure, discipline, and treatment to the benefit of herself and her unborn child.
¶ 9 Respondent's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Melinda Liccardello, recommended a community-based sentence. Liccardello argued respondent participated in community-based services such as Parenting With Love & Limits and anger-management and substance-abuse treatment.
¶ 10 Respondent exercised her right to make a statement and stated she changed her friends, no longer "hangs out" with the same people, and alcohol and drugs are not allowed where she resides. In reference to her pregnancy, she stated, "I'm not just thinking of myself no more; I'm also thinking of my baby's life."
¶ 11 The trial court pursuant to section 5-750(1)(a) of the Juvenile Act (705 ILCS 405/5-750(1)(a) (West 2010)) found respondent's parents were unfit or unable, for some reason other than financial circumstances alone, to care for, protect, train, or discipline her, or were unwilling to do so, and the best interests of the public would not be served by an alternative placement under section 5-740 (705 ILCS 405/5-740 (West 2010)). The trial court resentenced respondent to an indeterminate term of 364 days in the Department or upon attaining 21 years of age, whichever comes first. The court ordered credit for 55 days served in detention. The court explained its decision, in part, by noting respondent's bad decisions, repeated substance abuse, and her pregnancy. Both the assistant State's Attorney and the trial judge believed respondent and her child had their best chance at a good outcome through a term of incarceration.
¶ 12 In December 2010, respondent filed a motion to reconsider, alleging, among other things, a sentence to the Department for unlawful consumption of alcohol is barred under the Juvenile Act. After a hearing, the trial court denied respondent's motion. This appeal followed.
¶ 14 Respondent appeals, arguing the Juvenile Act (705 ILCS 405/1-1 to 7-1 (West 2010)) prohibits a minor's incarceration in the Department for unlawful consumption of alcohol, and the trial court erred by imposing a 364-day incarceration sentence. Respondent acknowledges she served her sentence and "been discharged from parole." The State contends this case is moot and respondent failed to show any exception to the mootness doctrine applies. We find an exception to the mootness doctrine applies and agree with respondent.
¶ 16 An issue on appeal becomes moot where events occurring after the filing of the appeal render it impossible to grant effectual relief to the complaining party. In re Christopher K., 217 Ill. 2d 348, 358-59, 841 N.E.2d 945, 952 (2005) (quoting People v. Roberson, 212 Ill. 2d 430, 435, 819 N.E.2d 761, 764 (2004)). Generally, where the relief sought is to set aside a sentence, the question of the validity of its imposition is moot when the sentence has been served. In re Jabari C., 2011 IL App (4th) 100295, ¶ 19, 962 N.E.2d 8 (quoting In re Napier, 83 Ill. App. 3d 503, 505, 404 N.E.2d 423, 425 (1980)). Respondent solely challenges her sentence and has completed her sentence. This appeal is moot.
¶ 17 Respondent maintains both the collateral-consequences exception and the public-interest exception apply. We agree the public-interest exception applies, and need not ...