from the Appellate Court for the Fifth District; heard in
that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison
County; the Hon. Review Elizabeth L. Levy, presiding.
Madigan, Attorney General, of Springfield, and Thomas D.
Gibbons, State's Attorney, of Edwardsville (Carolyn E.
Shapiro, Solicitor General, and Michael M. Glick and Joshua
M. Schneider, Assistant Attorneys General, of Chicago, of
counsel), for the People.
Christopher M. Geiler, appellee pro se.
JUSTICE KILBRIDE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Thomas, Karmeier, and Theis concurred in
the judgment and opinion. Justice Burke specially concurred,
with opinion, joined by Chief Justice Garman and Justice
1 In this case, the circuit court of Madison County dismissed
the defendant's traffic citation based on a violation of
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 552 (eff. Sept. 30, 2002),
requiring the arresting officer to transmit specified
portions of the citation to the circuit court clerk within 48
hours after the arrest. The appellate court affirmed, holding
that when, as here, there is a pattern of a clear and
consistent violation of Rule 552, the trial court may dismiss
a citation without considering whether the defendant was
prejudiced by the violation. 2015 IL App (5th) 140423. For
the following reasons, we reverse the judgments of the
circuit and appellate courts and remand to the circuit court
for further proceedings.
3 On May 5, 2014, defendant Christopher M. Geiler received a
traffic citation from a city of Troy police officer for
driving 80 miles per hour in a 65-mile-per-hour speed zone.
The citation was filed with the Madison County circuit court
clerk's office on May 9, 2014. Defendant filed a motion
to dismiss the citation, claiming it was not transmitted to
the circuit court clerk within 48 hours after it was issued,
as required by Illinois Supreme Court Rule 552 (eff. Sept.
4 At the motion hearing, the trial court noted that defendant
submitted "a stack of tickets" issued by the city
of Troy. The report of proceedings indicates those tickets
were marked as defendant's Exhibit A and admitted into
evidence, but the exhibit was not included with the record on
appeal. The State described the exhibit in its subsequent
motion to reconsider, stating "of the (50) tickets that
Defendant submitted into evidence, almost half of them were
filed within the 48 hours."
5 The State called city of Troy police detective Todd Hays,
who testified that after a citation is issued, it is placed
in a secure box in the dispatch office. On Mondays and
Fridays, a supervisor would remove the citations from the
box, review and record them on bond sheets, and deliver them
to the Madison County courthouse. Hays estimated there were
between 30 and 50 citations filed each Monday and Friday. He
testified it was not "physically possible" to
transport the citations to the courthouse every day.
6 When asked by defendant if he was familiar with Rule 552,
Detective Hays responded, "I am now." He testified
the rule "states that the tickets should be up within 48
hours." Detective Hays did not read the rule as "a
mandate, " but a "decision that if you can get them
up in 48 hours, if possible, that's the way it should
be." Detective Hays testified that citations issued over
the weekend were delivered to the circuit court clerk on
Monday and the ones issued during the week were delivered on
Friday. He acknowledged that citations issued on Tuesday
would not be filed with the circuit court clerk until Friday.
7 The trial court determined that the evidence showed "a
clear and consistent violation of Rule 552 and not an
inadvertent action." Accordingly, dismissal of the
traffic citation was warranted based on Rule 552 and
People v. Hanna, 185 Ill.App.3d 404 (1989). The
trial court also denied the State's motion to reconsider.
8 On appeal, the appellate court explained that, under
Hanna, dismissal of a citation is warranted if there
is "a pattern of clear and consistent violation of Rule
552." 2015 IL App (5th) 140423, ¶ 11. If a clear
and consistent pattern is present, the court may dismiss a
citation without considering whether the violation prejudiced
the defendant or impaired the circuit court's management
of its docket. 2015 IL App (5th) 140423, ¶ 13. The
appellate court concluded that the trial court did not err in
dismissing the citation in this case based on a clear and
consistent violation of Rule 552. 2015 IL App (5th) 140423,
¶ 14. The trial court's judgment was, therefore,
affirmed. 2015 IL App (5th) 140423, ¶ 16.
9 We allowed the State's petition for leave to appeal.