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People ex rel. Director of the Department of Corrections v. Melton

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

September 4, 2014

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS ex rel. THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JOHNNIE MELTON, Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from Circuit Court of Logan County. No. 13MR28. Honorable William A. Yoder, Judge Presiding.

SYLLABUS

The judgment entered against defendant for reimbursement of the costs the State incurred for his incarceration was upheld over his contentions that he was denied his right to due process and effective assistance of counsel, and that the money in his trust account came from an award for the wrongful death of his mother and was exempt from attachment, since the State has a right to seek reimbursement for the cost of his incarceration pursuant to section 3-7-6 of the Unified Code of Corrections, no due-process violation occurred in defendant's case, he could not rely on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel in the civil action seeking reimbursement for cost of his incarceration, and his complaints with respect to creating a bank account and the living conditions in the prison were not relevant to the instant proceedings

JUSTICE TURNER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Pope and Holder White concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 946

TURNER, J.

[¶1] In February 2013, plaintiff, the People of the State of Illinois ex rel. the Director of the Department of Corrections (hereinafter, the State), filed a complaint against defendant, Johnnie Melton, for reimbursement of costs incurred by his incarceration. In May 2013, the trial court found the State was entitled to judgment in the amount of $19,925.89. In June 2013, defendant filed a pro se motion to reconsider, which the court denied.

[¶2] On appeal, defendant argues he was denied his right to due process and the effective assistance of counsel. We affirm.

[¶3] I. BACKGROUND

[¶4] In February 2013, the State, by the Illinois Attorney General, filed a complaint against defendant, an inmate at Logan Correctional Center. The complaint alleged the Department of Corrections provided care, custody, treatment, or rehabilitation for defendant from October 28, 2011, through January 8, 2013, in the sum of $19,925.89. Pursuant to section 3-7-6(d) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Unified Code) (730 ILCS 5/3-7-6(d) (West 2012)), the State sought reimbursement for the expenses incurred by defendant's incarceration. The State alleged defendant had assets that could satisfy all or part of a judgment.

[¶5] The State also filed a motion for order for attachment pursuant to section 4-101 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Procedure Code) (735 ILCS 5/4-101 (West 2012)). The trial court entered the order, directing the trust fund at Logan Correctional Center to hold any of defendant's property up to the amount of $19,925.89 until further order.

Page 947

[¶6] In May 2013, defense counsel filed an answer, arguing defendant's trust account was traceable to an award for the wrongful death of his mother and exempt from attachment. The trial court found the State was entitled to judgment in the amount of $19,925.89 for the period of defendant's incarceration from October 28, 2011, through January 8, 2013. The court also ordered the funds held pursuant to the order for attachment be distributed to the Department of Corrections.

[¶7] In June 2013, defendant filed a pro se motion to reconsider, raising issues as to the assistance of counsel and the " squalid" and " unsafe" living conditions at the prison. Thereafter, defense counsel filed a motion to withdraw. In August 2013, the trial court denied defendant's ...


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