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Slepicka v. State

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

September 12, 2013

MARY SLEPICKA, By and Through JoANN KAMINSKI, Her Agent and Attorney-in-Fact, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Acting Through THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH, TERESA GARATE, Ph.D., Its Assistant Director, and LaMAR HASBROUCK, MD, MPH, Its Director; and HOLY FAMILY VILLA, Defendants-Appellees.

Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 12MR743 Honorable John Schmidt, Judge Presiding.

JUSTICE APPLETON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Steigmann and Justice Holder White concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

APPLETON, JUSTICE

¶ 1 The defendant in this appeal is Holy Family Villa, a nursing home in Palos Park. The plaintiff is Mary Slepicka, a resident of the nursing home.

¶ 2 Defendant served upon plaintiff a notice of involuntary transfer or discharge on the ground of nonpayment. See 210 ILCS 45/3-401(d) (West 2012). Plaintiff administratively appealed to the Illinois Department of Public Health (Department), which, after an administrative hearing, approved the involuntary transfer or discharge.

¶ 3 Plaintiff then filed a complaint for administrative review in the Sangamon County circuit court. Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint, or, alternatively, to transfer the case to the Cook County circuit court, on the ground that the Sangamon County circuit court was an impermissible venue. The Sangamon County circuit court denied the motion but ultimately upheld the Department's decision. Plaintiff appeals. (The Attorney General filed an appearance on behalf of the Department, Garate, and Hasbrouck as named defendants, but has not filed a brief.)

¶ 4 Because the Sangamon County circuit court was indeed an impermissible venue under section 3-104 of the Administrative Review Law (735 ILCS 5/3-104 (West 2012)), we vacate the judgment of the Sangamon County circuit court and remand this case with directions to transfer the case to the Cook County circuit court. See 735 ILCS 5/2-106(b) (West 2012).

¶ 5 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 6 Defendant operates a skilled nursing facility in Palos Park, in Cook County. As we said, plaintiff is a resident there.

¶ 7 On January 24, 2012, defendant served plaintiff with a notice of involuntary transfer or discharge on the ground of nonpayment. See 210 ILCS 45/3-401(d) (West 2012). Plaintiff requested the Department to hold a hearing. See 210 ILCS 45/3-410 (West 2012).

¶ 8 On February 23, 2012, an administrative law judge from the Department, Omayra R. Giachello, held a prehearing conference at the nursing home in Palos Park. On May 24, 2012, she held an administrative hearing, also at the nursing home.

¶ 9 On August 16, 2012, Giachello issued a decision recommending approval of the involuntary transfer or discharge.

¶ 10 On August 29, 2012, in a final administrative decision, the assistant director of the Department, Teresa Garate, concurred with Giachello's recommendation.

¶ 11 On September 14, 2012, in the Sangamon County circuit court, plaintiff filed a complaint for administrative review.

ΒΆ 12 Defendant moved to dismiss the complaint, or alternatively to transfer the case, on the ground that the Cook County circuit court was the only permissible venue. The Sangamon County circuit court denied defendant's motion but upheld the ...


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