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Elston v. Oglesby

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

October 30, 2014

BARBARA ANN ELSTON and DONALD A. ELSTON, Husband and Wife, Petitioners,
v.
RICHARD OGLESBY IV, WAYNE MILLER, KIMBERLY DAWN DETMERS, and JACK ANTHONY DETMERS, Respondents, and KIMBERLY DAWN CAMPBELL, f/k/a KIMBERLY DAWN DETMERS, Petitioner-Appellant,
v.
RICHARD OGLESBY V, Intervenor-Appellee

Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County. No. 73A37. Honorable John Schmidt, Judge Presiding.

Affirmed.

SYLLABUS

The trial court properly dismissed petitioner's action seeking to reopen and vacate the 1973 adoption in which she was adopted by her biological mother and her mother's husband on the ground that the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction over her biological father due to a false affidavit filed by her mother, since section 20 of the Adoption Act provides that only the father could assert the lack of personal jurisdiction over him in contesting the validity of the proceedings.

Matthew J. Cate (argued), of Barber, Segatto, Hoffee, Wilke & Cate, and Barry O. Hines, both of Springfield, for appellant.

Andy Scharf, of Scharf Law Firm, of Litchfield, and Kent Follmer (argued), of Follmer Law Offices, of Urbana, for appellee.

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

OPINION

Page 58

HARRIS, JUSTICE

[¶1] Petitioner, Kimberly Dawn Campbell, f/k/a Kimberly Dawn Detmers, filed a

Page 59

motion to reopen an adoption in which she was the adoptee and vacate the decree of adoption entered on June 20, 1973. The trial court granted a request by Richard Oglesby V (hereinafter, Richard V), Kimberly's paternal half-brother, to intervene in the matter and he filed a motion to dismiss Kimberly's adoption challenge pursuant to section 2-619 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-619 (West 2012)). Ultimately, the court granted Richard V's motion to dismiss. Kimberly appeals, arguing the trial court erred in finding her adoption challenge was barred by a one-year statute of limitations contained in section 20b of the Adoption Act (750 ILCS 50/20b (West 2012)) when her challenge was based upon allegations of fraud on the court and a lack of personal jurisdiction over her biological father. We affirm.

[¶2] I. BACKGROUND

[¶3] Kimberly was born on September 21, 1968, and is the biological child of Barbara Ann Elston and Richard Oglesby IV (hereinafter, Richard IV). In 1973, Barbara and her husband Donald A. Elston, whom she married on April 3, 1972, filed a petition for adoption of Kimberly, who was then four years old, and Kimberly's maternal half-sibling (Barbara's child from another relationship who is not a party to this ...


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