Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division
Rehearing denied February 9, 2017
from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 11-L-8803; the
Hon. James Flannery, Jr., Judge, presiding.
Oruta, of South Bend, Indiana, appellant pro se.
brief filed for defendants.
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 court has dismissed three prior appeals by plaintiff
in this same case for lack of jurisdiction. Oruta v.
B.E.W., 2014 IL App (1st) 133941-U (Dec. 5, 2014)
(Oruta I); Oruta v. Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive
Behavioral Health Center, Inc., 2014 IL App (1st)
131690-U (Aug. 1, 2014) (Oruta II); Oruta v.
B.E.W., 2013 IL App (1st) 123541-U (Dec. 20, 2013)
(Oruta III).  For the following reasons, this opinion
will mark our fourth time dismissing an appeal by the same
litigant in the same case for lack of jurisdiction.
3 I. First Appeal
4 We provide a description of the prior appeals in this
opinion so that issues do not repeat themselves. We quote
from the documents because the events of this case are so
bizarre that they would be hard to believe without
documentation. Just for example, plaintiff was able to obtain
from the trial court an $80, 000 garnishment order on a
nonexistent judgment; and a defendant was forced to file a
motion to dismiss-multiple times-although there was never any
record of a complaint being filed which named it as a
5 In our first Rule 23 order, dated December 20, 2013,
summarized the case as follows:
"Plaintiff Larry Oruta filed a series of pro se
complaints, that were completely unintelligible, against
defendants B.E.W.,  Continental Air Transport, Inc., Budget
Avis (Budget) and other parties seeking to enforce a judgment
that never existed. Defendant Budget, who is the only party
before this court on appeal, responded to each complaint with
a motion to dismiss pursuant to section 2-615 of the Illinois
Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-615 (West 2010)). Oruta
filed a garnishment against a bank claiming he obtained a
judgment against Continental on a workers compensation case,
and after service of process, filed a motion for a turn over
of funds. The trial court granted the motion, ordering the
bank to turn over $80, 000 to Oruta in satisfaction of
judgment. Actually, the record on appeal indicates that Oruta
received no award from the workers compensation case, had no
judgment, and filled out the garnishment forms claiming that
there was a judgment. The trial court subsequently vacated
its turn over order, finding that no judgment existed, and
ordered that Oruta return any money he may have received.
Oruta appealed the order vacating the turn over order only
and, for the following reasons, we dismiss the appeal for
lack of jurisdiction. After Oruta filed his notice of appeal,
Budget, who was apparently not a party to the workers
compensation case, prevailed on its motion to dismiss."
Oruta III, 2013 IL App (1st) 123541-U, ¶ 2.
6 In our 2013 order, we observed that plaintiff had filed his
notice of appeal before the trial court's
January 14, 2013, order dismissing the case with prejudice.
Thus, his appeal of the turnover order was an appeal of a
nonfinal order, and we lacked jurisdiction to review it for
the reasons explained in our Rule 23 order, which we will not
repeat here. Oruta III, 2013 IL App (1st) 123541-U,
¶ 21. We therefore dismissed his appeal for lack of
7 As for the odd assortment of named defendants, the record
reveals that plaintiff initially made claims of overcharges
on a rental car against defendant Budget and then sought to
add, to the same case, unrelated claims relating to
workers' compensation against defendants B.E.W. and
8 II. Second Appeal
9 Next, plaintiff appealed from an order finding him in civil
contempt and ordering him into the sheriff's custody for
not obeying an earlier order to return the $80, 000 that he
improperly obtained by garnishment upon a nonexistent
judgment. Oruta II, 2014 IL App (1st) 131690-U,
¶ 2. Plaintiff was to stay in the county jail until he
purged himself from the contempt finding by returning the
wrongfully obtained funds. On May 20, 2013, plaintiff
appealed, even though the trial court had already ordered his
immediate release from custody on April 24, 2013. We
described the underlying facts in that case as follows:
"Plaintiff's claims against B.E.W. and Continental
concern in relevant part workers' compensation claims
upon which the Commission issued decisions on June 20, 2012.
In case 04WC30529, with B.E.W. as the employer-respondent,
the Commission denied plaintiff benefits upon a finding that
he failed to prove a causal connection between his present
health and his work-related accident of September 3, 2003. On
June 28, 2012, the court in the instant case (then pending
against Budget, Chase and Sedgwick) granted plaintiff leave
to add B.E.W. as a defendant. On July 18, plaintiff obtained
a summons in workers' compensation review, in case
04WC30529; however, while its caption names the Commission,
B.E.W., and Continental as defendants, the list of parties to
be summoned, and plaintiff's certificate of mailing, do
not list the Commission as a served party. See 820 ILCS
305/19(f)(1) (West 2012) (judicial review of Commission
decision must be commenced within 20 days of party's
notice of decision). Plaintiff also filed a complaint naming
the same defendants and seeking review of the
Commission's decision and purporting to raise claims of
misrepresentation and fraud, negligence, emotional distress,
and retaliatory discharge. The complaint alleged that the
Commission's decision was erroneous but merely named the
other claims without any further allegation.
In case 06WC4948, with Continental as the
employer-respondent, the Commission granted plaintiff
benefits of $383.76 per week for 37.5 weeks of temporary
total incapacity for work, plus certain specified medical
expenses and interest, resulting from an accident on January
3, 2006. In September 2012, upon plaintiff's motion, the
court transferred the workers' compensation case pursuant
to its order of June 28, 2012. That same month, plaintiff
obtained a summons in workers' compensation review, in
cases 04WC30529 and 06WC4948, naming the Commission, B.E.W.,
and Continental as defendants; again, plaintiff's
certificate of mailing did not include the Commission. As
noted in our prior order, the trial court found on December
4, 2012, that Budget was the only properly served and
represented defendant and that plaintiff had no default or
monetary judgment against any defendant, and the court
ordered that default against B.E.W. [sic] was
denied, that any previous order requiring the turnover of
funds to plaintiff was vacated as plaintiff had not won any
monetary judgment, and that plaintiff had until December 7,
2012, to return any funds erroneously released to him.
Plaintiff appealed this order, which we found to be non-final
as it did not terminate any litigation against any party.
On December 10, 2012, the court ordered that plaintiff appear
on December 13 and show cause why he should not be held in
civil contempt for not returning funds by December 7 as
ordered on December 4. The order noted that plaintiff was
notified in person on December 4 that failure to obey that
day's order would result in a proceeding for civil
contempt. On December 13, 2012, the court found plaintiff in
contempt and ordered the sheriff to arrest and incarcerate
him until he purged his contempt by returning $80, 000 to
Fifth Third Bank. The order recited that plaintiff made
misrepresentations that resulted in a judgment of $80, 000
against Continental and thus an $80, 000 garnishment and
turnover order against Fifth Third Bank.
In December 2012, B.E.W. appeared, and in January 2013 filed
a motion to dismiss claiming a limitations defense: that
plaintiff did not sue B.E.W. for his 2003 discharge until
2012. On January 14, 2013, the court granted with prejudice
both Budget's pending motion to dismiss on all claims and
B.E.W.'s motion to dismiss on all claims. The court also
set a status hearing 'for any remaining issues to the
extent there are any such issues.' The order did not
include a finding there is no just reason for delaying
appeal. See Ill. S.Ct. R. 304(a) (eff. Feb. 26, 2010).
On April 4, 2013, the court found that plaintiff continued to
be in civil contempt for not complying with the December 4
order and reiterated that he would remain in the
sheriff's custody until he paid $80, 000. However, on
April 24, 2013, the court ordered plaintiff's immediate
release from the sheriff's custody.
Plaintiff filed the instant notice of appeal on May 20, 2013,
seeking to appeal the orders of April 4 and 24, 2013."
Oruta II, 2014 IL App (1st) 131690-U, ¶¶
10 In our order in Oruta II, we observed that, while
an order imposing a penalty for civil contempt is generally
appealable, plaintiff waited until May 20, 2013, to file his
notice of appeal, and "May 20 is well over 30 days after
April 4." Oruta II, 2014 IL App (1st) 131690-U,
¶ 12 (citing Ill. S.Ct. R. 303(a) (eff. June 4, 2008)).
In addition, plaintiff's incarceration for contempt was
terminated by one of the orders being ...