Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 02 CR 14572 The
Honorable Timothy Joyce, Judge, presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE GORDON delivered the judgment of the court,
with opinion. Justice Reyes concurred in the judgment and
opinion. Justice Lampkin specially concurred, with opinion.
GORDON, PRESIDING JUSTICE
1 This appeal raises a purely legal question: does the
complainant in a criminal case have standing to bring a
petition, pursuant to section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil
Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-1401 (West 2014)),
the purpose of challenging a court's prior grant of a
certificate of innocence to a criminal defendant?
2 In the case at bar, petitioner Susan Riggio filed a section
2-1401 petition on December 29, 2014, seeking to vacate a
trial court's order, entered on November 19, 2013. The
order granted a certificate of innocence to defendant Carl
Chatman, who was petitioner's alleged assailant. On July
20, 2015, the trial court granted the State and
defendant's motions to dismiss her petition for lack of
standing, and she appealed.
3 Petitioner argues that she has standing pursuant to the
Illinois Constitution and various Illinois
statutes which provide rights to crime victims.
However, as we explain below, she does not satisfy the
definition of the term "[c]rime victim, " provided
by our legislature and quoted in her brief. Pub. Act 99-413
(eff. Aug. 20, 2015) (amending 725 ILCS 120/3(a) (West
2014)). In addition, as the State observes, the legislature
has authorized only the State's Attorney and the Attorney
General to intervene in the civil proceeding for a
certificate of innocence. 735 ILCS 5/2-702(e) (West 2012)
(expressly providing only the Attorney General and the
State's Attorney with "the right to intervene as
4 We are mindful that our decision today might not leave
petitioner with a level playing field in a contemporaneous
federal civil action, which was filed by defendant against
petitioner and various state entities and officials for
damages in connection with his prior conviction and
incarceration. At oral argument on this matter,
defendant's attorney forthrightly admitted that defendant
is seeking to admit his Illinois certificate of innocence as
evidence of his innocence, and therefore evidence of
petitioner's alleged lies, in that federal action.
However, pure speculation about what may or may not be
admitted in a federal action does not change the laws
governing standing in a state court. For the following
reasons, we affirm.
6 Petitioner appeals, stating that this appeal presents a
pure question of law, and we agree. Thus, we present here
only the few procedural facts needed to understand the legal
question at hand.
7 In September 2013, the State moved to vacate
defendant's 2004 rape conviction and sentence in People
v. Chatman, No. 02 CR 14572 (Cir. Ct. Cook Co.), a case in
which petitioner had been the complainant. In its motion, the
State asked "that the matter be reinstated and
redocketed, " so that it could "move to vacate the
conviction and sentence and move to nolle pros the
conviction" and "request that the defendant, Carl
Chatman, be released immediately from the custody of the
Illinois Department of Corrections."
8 Petitioner concedes that she received prior notice of the
State's decision to move to vacate defendant's
conviction and sentence. Although the State's attorney had a
duty to notify her by first-class mail,  and petitioner
was notified by telephone instead, petitioner does not
challenge the method of notice here.
9 On September 10, 2013, the trial court issued a written
order granting the State's motion, which stated in full:
"It is Hereby Ordered that pursuant to the State's
motion to reinstate the matter, the conviction and sentence
in the above-captioned matter are vacated and it is further
ordered that Carl Chatman, Inmate Number ***, be released
immediately from the Illinois Department of
appellate record does not contain a transcript or
bystander's report for these proceedings, and petitioner
does not seek to challenge the order vacating defendant's
conviction and releasing defendant.
10 On October 25, 2013, defendant moved pursuant to section
2-702 of the Code (735 ILCS 5/2-702 (West 2012)) for a
certificate of innocence. The State did not oppose it and, on
November 19, 2013, the trial court granted it. It is this
order that petitioner seeks to challenge in her section
2-1401 petition. She claims that she was not notified of
defendant's motion, and neither defendant nor the State
claims that she was.
11 On December 29, 2014, petitioner filed her section 2-1401
petition seeking to vacate the certificate of innocence
granted to defendant 14 months earlier. The caption of her
petition stated: ""The People of the State of
Illinois, Plaintiff, v. Carl Chatman, Defendant. No. 02 CR
14572." Attached as an exhibit to the petition was a
complaint filed on April 24, 2014, by defendant against the
City of Chicago and 21 other named entities and individuals,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2012). The last of the
21 named entities and individuals was petitioner. The
complaint alleged that defendant spent 11 years in prison for
a crime he did not commit. In addition to the section 1983
claims, the complaint also included state law claims for
malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional
distress, civil conspiracy and defamation. The defamation
count specifically named petitioner.
12 On March 4, 2015, the State filed a response to the
section 2-1401 petition in which it observed that defendant
had already filed a "motion to strike" the section
2-1401 petition on the ground that petitioner lacked the
standing to bring it, and the State adopted and joined
defendant's motion.However, defendant's motion is not
in the appellate record. It is this missing motion which is the
subject of this appeal.
13 On July 20, 2015, the trial court granted the State's
and defendant's motion to dismiss on the ground that
petitioner lacked standing. The trial court found that
"[n]o notice of the petition for the certificate of
innocence was given to [petitioner], " but concluded
that petitioner was not entitled to notice. Petitioner had
argued that she was entitled to notice pursuant to both the
Illinois Constitution and various statutes which provide
rights to crime victims. In response, the trial court
observed in its written order:
"First, how is it established that one is, or is not, a
'victim'? Obviously, Riggio claims that she is and
always has been. Curiously, the State once believed and
alleged that Riggio was, and now they claim that she is not,
or at least that she may not be, as evidenced by their motion
to vacate Chatman's conviction, and seek his immediate
release. Chatman presumably has always believed that she was
Thus, whether [she is] afford[ed] standing in connection with
this proceeding would presumably require some type of hearing
to determine whether she is a 'victim.' That,
however, is putting the cart before the horse, if she is then
determined to be a 'victim, ' then Chatman would
resultantly be determined to be guilty of having victimized
her, and thus not entitled to a certificate of innocence.
Standing would thus be conferrable only to those who can
'prove' (in some manner not set out by the
Constitution or any statute) that they are entitled to the
relief they seek.
This is circuitous. The concept of standing relates to the
ability to make a claim. Standing is not synonymous with
having a successful claim; it is having the ability conferred
by our Constitution and the laws of this State to make the
claim, whether or not it is thereafter succeeded upon."
14 The trial court then observed that the law "affords
no relief for any claimed violation" of its provisions
for crime victims, and that this was "consistent with
the well-established precepts regarding responsibility of the
maintenance of criminal prosecutions in this State" by
the State's Attorney or the Attorney General, but not by
individual members of the public. The trial court concluded
that petitioner was without standing to maintain her section
15 Petitioner filed a notice of appeal on August 17, 2015,
stating: "This is an appeal from an order granting the
motions of [defendant] Carl Chatman and the Cook County
State's Attorney's Office to dismiss Susan
Riggio's petition pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-1401, holding
that appellant, Susan Riggio, does not have standing to
challenge the Court's grant of a Certificate of Innocence
to Carl Chatman pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-702, et
seq." This appeal followed.
17 In the case at bar, petitioner filed a section 2-1401
petition seeking to vacate a trial court's prior order,
which had granted a certificate of innocence to
petitioner's alleged assailant in a criminal case. The
trial court granted the State and defendant's motion to
dismiss her petition for lack of standing and, for the
following reasons, we affirm.
18 I. Section 2-1401
19 Petitioner filed her petition pursuant to section 2-1401.
735 ILCS 5/2-1401 (West 2014).
20 "Section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil Procedure
[citation] establishes a comprehensive procedure by which
final orders and judgment may be vacated or modified more
than 30 days after their entry." Paul v. Gerald
Adelman & Associates, Ltd, 223 Ill.2d 85, 94 (2006).
It provides, in relevant part, that: "Relief from ***
orders and judgments, after 30 days from the entry thereof,
may be had upon petition as provided in this Section."
735 ILCS 5/2-1401(a) (West 2014). "The petition must be
filed in the same proceedings in which the order or judgment
was entered but is not a continuation thereof. The petition
must be supported by affidavit or other appropriate showing
as to matters not of record. All parties to the petition
shall be notified as provided by rule." 735 ILCS
5/2-1401(b) (West 2014). "[T]he petition must be filed
not later than 2 years after the entry of the order of
judgment." 735 ILCS 5/2-1401(c) (West 2014).
21 "[A] section 2-1401 petition is ordinarily used to
bring facts to the attention of the trial court which, if
known at the time of judgment, would have precluded its
entry, " and it also may "be used to challenge a
purportedly defective judgment for legal reasons."
Paul, 223 Ill.2d at 94.
22 II. Standard of Review
23 Where the success of a section 2-1401 petition is
dependent entirely on the interpretation of a rule or
statute, that legal issue will be reviewed de novo.
Paul, 223 Ill.2d at 98. In the case at bar, we are
faced with an entirely legal question, namely, which
statutory section governs the issue of standing and whether
the appropriate section permits petitioner to have standing.
Thus, de novo review applies.
24 In addition, when a trial court enters judgment on the
pleadings alone or grants a motion to dismiss a section
2-1401 petition due to a failure to state a cause of action
or due to a legal insufficiency, we apply a de novo
standard of review. People v. Vincent, 226 Ill.2d 1,
13-18. (2007). Thus, de novo review also applies for
25 "A de novo review entails performing the
same analysis a trial court would perform. That is, we accept
all well-pleaded facts in the [petition] as true while
disregarding legal or factual conclusions unsupported by
allegations of fact. [Citation.] From the well-pleaded facts,
we draw inferences in the [petitioner's] favor whenever
it would be reasonably defensible to do so. [Citation.]"
Khan v. BDO Seidman, LLP, 408 Ill.App.3d 564, 578
26 III. Standing
27 The issue before us is whether petitioner has standing.
"Under Illinois law, lack of standing is an affirmative
defense. A plaintiff need not allege facts establishing that
he [or she] has standing to proceed. Rather, it is the
defendant's burden to plead and prove lack of
standing." Wexler v. Wirtz Corp., 211 Ill.2d
18, 22 (2004). "Where a plaintiff has no standing, the
proceedings must be dismissed *** because lack of standing
negates a plaintiff's cause of action."
Wexler, 211 Ill.2d at 22. The issue of a
plaintiff's standing presents a question of law, which we
also review de novo. Wexler, 211 Ill.2d at
28 IV. Statutory Interpretation
29 On this appeal, petitioner claims that article I, section
8.1 of the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. I,
§8.1) and section 2-408 of the Code (735 ILCS 5/2-408
(West 2012)) govern the standing issue, while the State and
defendant argue that section 2-702 of the Code applies. 735
ILCS 5/2-702(e) (West 2012) (describing who "shall have
the right to intervene as parties" with a petition for
certificate of innocence). We must interpret these sections
to ascertain whether any of these sections permit petitioner
to have standing.
30 With both constitutional and statutory interpretation, our
primary goal is to ascertain the drafters' intent, and
the best indication of their intent is the plain language of
their words. MD Electrical Contractors, Inc. v.
Abrams, 228 Ill.2d 281, 287 (2008). However, when
interpreting a constitution or statute, we do not read a
portion of it in isolation; instead, we read it in its
entirety, keeping in mind the subject it addresses and the
drafters' apparent objective in enacting it. MD
Electrical Contractors, 228 Ill.2d at 287.
31 V. Section 2-702
32 The State and defendant argue that section 2-702 takes
precedence in our determination of standing.
33 Section 2-702 permits a criminal defendant to move the
court for a certificate of innocence if: (1) his or her
conviction was reversed or vacated, and the indictment or
information was dismissed; or (2) a new trial was ordered and
either (a) he or she was found not guilty at the new trial or
(b) no retrial was held and the indictment or information was
dismissed; or (3) the statute upon which the indictment or
information was based was declared unconstitutional. 735 ILCS
5/2-702(c)(2) (West 2012).
34 Section 2-702 requires the criminal defendant to serve
only the Attorney General and the State's Attorney.
Section 2-702(e) provides: "A copy of the petition shall
be served on the Attorney General and the State's
Attorney of the county where the conviction was had. The
Attorney General and the State's Attorney of the county
where the conviction was had shall have the right to
intervene as parties." (Emphasis added.) 735 ILCS
5/2-702(e) (West 2012)."Under the maxim of expressio
unius est exclusio alterious, the enumeration of an
exception in a statute is considered to be an exclusion of
all other exceptions." Schultz v. Performance
Lighting, Inc., 2013 IL 115738, ¶ 17 (citing
People ex rel. Sherman v. Cryns, 203 Ill.2d 264, 286
(2003)). This rule is based on " 'logic and common
sense, ' " as it is " 'common
experience' " that " 'when people say one
thing' " they do not intend another. (Internal
quotation marks omitted.) Schultz, 2013 IL 113776,
¶ 17 (quoting Cryns, 203 Ill.2d at 286).
"When a statute lists the things to which it refers,
there is an inference that all omissions should be understood
as exclusions, despite the lack of any negative words of
limitation." In re C.C., 2011 IL 111795, ¶
34. Thus, this section provides only the Attorney General and
the State's Attorney ...