Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

West-Howard v. Department of Children & Family Services

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

August 29, 2013

JULIA WEST-HOWARD, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, Defendant-Appellee.

Held [*]

The Department of Children and Family Services’ final administrative decision upholding its decision to remove plaintiff’s grandchildren from her home was properly served on plaintiff when her attorney was mailed a certified copy of the decision, and the complaint plaintiff filed 45 days later seeking administrative review of the decision in the trial court was properly dismissed, notwithstanding the fact that plaintiff was never personally served with the decision, since the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act applied to the proceedings, the Act provided for service on plaintiff’s attorney and required plaintiff to file her complaint seeking review within 35 days of service on her attorney, and in the absence of such a timely filing, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to review the decision.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Champaign County, No. 12-MR-320; Review Hon. Thomas J. Difanis, Judge.

Julia West-Howard, of Rantoul, appellant pro se.

Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, of Chicago (Michael A. Scodro, Solicitor General, and Nadine J. Wichern, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel), for appellee.

Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, of Chicago (Michael A. Scodro, Solicitor General, and Nadine J. Wichern, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel), for appellee.

Panel JUSTICE HOLDER WHITE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Steigmann and Justice Knecht concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

HOLDER WHITE, JUSTICE

¶ 1 In March 2012, the Director of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) issued a final administrative decision, upholding DCFS's decision to remove the grandchildren of plaintiff, Julia West-Howard, from plaintiff's home. DCFS served plaintiff's attorney by certified mail with a copy of the decision on March 9, 2012, and 45 days later plaintiff filed a complaint for administrative review in the circuit court.

¶ 2 Following a July 2012 hearing, the circuit court granted DCFS's motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint pursuant to sections 2-619(a)(1) and (a)(5) of the Code of Civil Procedure (Civil Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-619(a)(1), (a)(5) (West 2012)), based on plaintiff's failure to file the complaint within 35 days from the date DCFS served a copy of its final administrative decision. In August 2012, the circuit court denied plaintiff's motion to reconsider.

¶ 3 Plaintiff appeals, arguing the circuit court erred by dismissing her complaint.

¶ 4 We disagree and affirm.

¶ 5 I. BACKGROUND

ΒΆ 6 On March 9, 2012, the Director issued a final administrative decision, upholding DCFS's decision to remove plaintiff's grandchildren from her home. DCFS served plaintiff's attorney by certified mail with a copy of the decision on March 9, 2012. On April 23, 2012, plaintiff filed a complaint for administrative review in ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.