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McNally v. Bredemann

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Third Division

March 31, 2015

DEBORAH McNALLY, Petitioner-Appellee and Cross-Appellant,
v.
SCOTT BREDEMANN, Respondent-Appellant and Cross-Appellee

As Corrected March 31, 2015.

Page 558

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 559

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 13 OP 73314. The Honorable Cynthia Ramirez, Judge Presiding.

For Appellant: Harry C. Lee, Law Office of Harry C. Lee, Chicago, IL.

For Appellee: Anthony J. Carballo, Gary L. White, Freeborn & Peters LLP, Chicago, IL.

JUSTICE LAVIN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Pucinski and Justice Hyman concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

LAVIN, JUSTICE.

Page 560

[¶1] After nearly five years of persistently being stalked in various forms including email, telephone, Internet posting and a personal visit at her home, Deborah McNally, a practicing psychologist, obtained a two-year " stalking no contact" order against her former patient, Scott Bredemann. After the order was entered, her attorneys filed a petition for payment of roughly $73,000 in fees for their professional time spent on the seemingly interminable proceedings. The trial judge awarded only $7,500, an amount that was apparently inspired by a proposed settlement between the parties that respondent rather purposely walked away from.

[¶2] Bredemann appeals, contending that the Stalking No Contact Order Act (740 ILCS 21/1 et seq. (West 2012)) (the Act) does not apply to a patient trying to contact his therapist, that he did not know nor should he have known that McNally would fear for her safety, and that as a result the trial court's determination was against the manifest weight of the evidence. Additionally, he contends first amendment rights were violated. McNally also appeals, contending that her attorneys should be compensated in the amount requested and also that Bredemann should be sanctioned for filing a frivolous appeal that is cunningly designed to continue harassing his former therapist. We affirm the judgment against Bredemann and dismiss McNally's cross-appeal as it relates to the fee request, owing to a lack of jurisdiction. We deny McNally's motion for sanctions.

[¶3] BACKGROUND

[¶4] In May, 2002 Scott Bredemann was a troubled college student who sought therapy from Deborah McNally, a clinical psychologist with offices in a western suburb of Chicago. Over the course of that summer, McNally saw Bredemann a dozen times, without any noticeable issue or conflict. The main subject of the therapy, according to Bredemann, concerned his preoccupation with the thought that he was homosexual. Six years passed and Bredemann again made an appointment with McNally. The intervening years were clearly not kind to Bredemann's mental health, as he appeared highly irrational and delusional to his therapist, who saw him twice before coming to the conclusion that he needed to see a psychiatrist for a medication evaluation and told her patient that she would not see him until he was ...


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