from the Circuit Court of Kendall County. Nos. 13-CF-333
14-CF-24 14-CF-53 14-CF-138 14-CF-139 14-CF-140 Honorable
Timothy J. McCann, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE JORGENSEN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Hudson and Justice McLaren
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 Defendant, Jordan Easton, pleaded guilty to aggravated
unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle (625 ILCS
5/4-103.2(a)(7)(A) (West 2012)), unlawful possession of a
stolen motor vehicle (625 ILCS 5/4-103(a)(1) (West 2012)),
and four counts of unlawful use of a credit card (720 ILCS
5/17-36 (West 2012)). The trial court sentenced him to 10
years' imprisonment for aggravated unlawful possession of
a stolen motor vehicle and lesser terms for the other
convictions, with the sentences to run concurrently.
2 Defendant moved to reconsider the sentences. Defense
counsel filed a certificate pursuant to Illinois Supreme
Court Rule 604(d) (eff. Feb. 6, 2013), stating in pertinent
part as follows:
"1. I have consulted with the Defendant in person to
ascertain his contentions of error in the imposition of the
sentence or the entry of plea of guilty[.]"
trial court denied the motion, and defendant timely appealed.
We vacate and remand.
3 Defendant contends that counsel's certificate is
insufficient because it states that she consulted with him
about his contentions concerning the "imposition of the
sentence or the entry of plea of guilty."
(Emphasis added.) Defendant acknowledges that the use of the
word "or" tracked the rule as it was then written.
See People v. Mineau, 2014 IL App (2d) 110666-B,
¶¶ 16-19. However, he notes that the supreme court
has since amended the rule to require that a certificate
state that counsel has consulted with the defendant about his
or her "contentions of error in the sentence
and the entry of the plea of guilty." (Emphasis
added.) Ill. S.Ct. R. 604(d) (eff. Mar. 8, 2016). He contends
that the amendment is a procedural one that applies
retroactively to cases on direct appeal. The State disagrees.
4 On October 29, 2014, when defendant filed his motion to
reconsider the sentences, Rule 604(d) required defense
"file with the trial court a certificate stating that
the attorney has consulted with the defendant either by mail
or in person to ascertain defendant's contentions of
error in the sentence or the entry of the plea of guilty, has
examined the trial court file and report of proceedings of
the plea of guilty, and has made any amendments to the motion
necessary for adequate presentation of any defects in those
proceedings." Ill. S.Ct. R. 604(d) (eff. Feb. 6, 2013).
compliance with Rule 604(d) is required. People v.
Janes, 158 Ill.2d 27, 35-36 (1994). Compliance with
supreme court rules is reviewed de novo. People
v. Dismuke, 355 Ill.App.3d 606, 608 (2005).
5 In Mineau, 2014 IL App (2d) 110666-B, the
defendant, after pleading guilty to unlawful possession of a
stolen motor vehicle and receiving an eight-year sentence,
moved to withdraw his plea or, alternately, to reconsider the
sentence. His counsel certified that he had consulted with
the defendant " 'to ascertain defendant's
contentions of error in the sentence or the entry of the plea
of guilty.' " Id. ¶ 4. We rejected the
defendant's contention that the certificate did not
strictly comply with Rule 604(d), noting that the certificate
comported exactly with the rule's text. Id.
¶ 16. We stated, "Courts have repeatedly held that
a certificate need not recite verbatim the
rule's language. [Citation.] However, we are aware of no
case finding a certificate insufficient for following the
rule's language too closely." Id.
6 Shortly after we issued our initial opinion in
Mineau, the supreme court decided People v.
Tousignant, 2014 IL 115329. There, the court held that,
to effectuate the rule's intent, "or" should be
construed to mean "and." Id. ¶ 20.
The court noted that the rule's purpose is " 'to
eliminate needless trips to the appellate court and to give
the trial court an opportunity to consider the alleged errors
and to make a record for the appellate court to consider on
review in cases where defendant's claim is
disallowed.' " Id. ¶ 13 (quoting
People v. Wilk, 124 Ill.2d 93, 106 (1988)).
Requiring counsel to file a certificate ensures that counsel
has reviewed the defendant's claim and "
'considered all relevant bases for the
motion.' " (Emphasis in original.) Id.
¶ 15 (quoting People v. Shirley, 181 Ill.2d
359, 361 (1998)).
7 The court observed that a literal reading of the rule would
require counsel to consult with a defendant about contentions
of error in either the plea proceedings or in the sentencing,
depending upon which type of motion was being filed. Such a
construction, however, was inconsistent with the rule's