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Brzowski v. Brzowski

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

March 14, 2014

LAURA A. BRZOWSKI, n/k/a Laura A. Zasadny, Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
WALTER J. BRZOWSKI, Respondent-Appellant.

Rehearing denied April 29, 2014

Held [*]

In proceedings arising from an order of protection entered for petitioner that was extended several times and was subjected to numerous pro se appeals by respondent raising the same frivolous and previously decided issues, the appellate court, in the instant appeal from the extension of the order of protection by a trial judge who had recused herself but then heard evidence and entered the extension order without a remittal, vacated that judge’s orders and then, in the interest of preserving the status quo until petitioner’s emergency motion to extend the order could be heard before a different judge, ordered that the order of protection remain in effect, on a temporary basis, and directed the trial court to hold such a hearing within 21 days.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Will County, No. 07-OP-595; the Hon. Victoria M. Kennison, Judge, presiding.

Walter J. Brzowski, of Pinckneyville, appellant pro se.

No brief filed for appellee.

JUSTICE McDADE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Carter and O'Brien concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

McDADE JUSTICE

¶ 1 This case is the latest in a long series of pro se appeals filed by respondent Walter Brzowski regarding a 2007 order of protection entered in favor of his ex-wife, petitioner Laura Zasadny (formerly Laura Brzowski). The plenary order of protection was extended several times, and on May 16, 2013, the trial court entered another two-year extension of the order. Respondent appealed. Because the judge who presided over the 2013 extension hearing had previously recused herself from the case, we vacate and remand for further proceedings.

¶ 2 BACKGROUND

¶ 3 In 2003, the circuit court of Cook County entered a judgment of dissolution of marriage between the parties, although in all of his filings both in the trial court and on appeal, respondent denies the validity of that proceeding and insists that he is still legally married to petitioner. Apparently, a plenary order of protection was also entered against respondent in Cook County.

¶ 4 In 2007, the circuit court of Will County entered a two-year plenary order of protection (OP) against respondent in favor of petitioner. Respondent appealed that order, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to grant the OP, that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enter the OP, that the Cook County divorce action was void, and that criminal proceedings against him based on his violation of a Cook County order of protection were invalid. We rejected these arguments and affirmed. See Brzowski v. Brzowski, No. 3-07-0379 (2007) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). Respondent later filed a motion to vacate the OP, which the trial court denied. Respondent appealed again, raising the same arguments as in his first appeal; we affirmed on the basis of res judicata because the issues had already been decided. Brzowski v. Brzowski, No. 3-08-0783 (2009) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).

¶ 5 In 2009, the trial court allowed petitioner's request to extend the OP for a period of two years. Respondent appealed yet again, arguing that his due process rights were violated by the extension of the OP, and also raising the same arguments as in the prior two appeals. We affirmed, ruling that the 2009 extension of the OP was proper and that review of the other issues was barred by res judicata. Brzowski v. Brzowski, No. 3-09-0602 (2010) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). Petitioner obtained another two-year extension of the OP on April 20, 2011. Respondent appealed the entry of the 2011 extension, and we affirmed, again finding that the arguments raised by respondent were decided in prior appeals and thus were barred by res judicata and law-of-the-case. See Brzowski v. Brzowski, 2012 IL App (3d) 110335-U, ¶ 12.

ΒΆ 6 In 2010, respondent was charged with criminal violation of the OP (720 ILCS 5/12-30(a)(1) (West 2010)) in Will County proceeding No. 10-CF-2494. He was convicted in 2012 and ...


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