from Circuit Court of McLean County No. 15MR546. Honorable
Rebecca Simmons Foley, Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE POPE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Steigmann and Knecht concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 On July 17, 2015, the State filed a complaint for
forfeiture against a 2005 Acura RSX, vehicle identification
number JH4DC548X5S001012, owned by claimant, Keith D. Osborn.
The State filed the complaint pursuant to section 36-1 of the
Criminal Code of 2012 (Criminal Code) (720 ILCS 5/36-1 (West
2 Following a hearing, the trial court found forfeiture of
the vehicle would violate the excessive fines clause of the
eighth amendment to the United States Constitution (U.S.
Const., amend. VIII). Therefore, the court denied the
State's complaint for forfeiture. The State appeals, and
3 I. BACKGROUND
4 On July 17, 2015, the State filed its complaint for the
forfeiture of claimant's vehicle. The complaint sought
forfeiture solely on the basis of the vehicle having been
used in the commission of the offense of possession of
burglary tools (720 ILCS 5/19-2 (West 2014)) on June 22,
2015, and June 29, 2015. In an affidavit in support of
forfeiture, Sergeant Robert Cherry of the Normal police
department reported seizing claimant's vehicle on July 6,
2015. In an addendum to the affidavit in support of
forfeiture, Sergeant Cherry stated claimant drove his vehicle
to three car washes on June 23, 2015, where he "used a
vending machine key to open the coin vault of the car wash
machines." Upon questioning, claimant identified himself
and his vehicle as captured on surveillance cameras at the
car washes. Claimant granted permission for a Normal police
officer to retrieve the vending machine key from his vehicle,
and upon a search of the vehicle, the police officer found
two vending machine keys. According to the addendum, the
Normal police department arrested claimant and charged him
with "Theft/Control/Intent [less than] $500, and
Possession of Burglary Tools."
5 According to a docket entry, the trial court conducted a
hearing on the complaint for forfeiture on April 29, 2016.
The record on appeal does not include a transcript or
bystander's report from the hearing. The court took the
matter under advisement.
6 On May 16, 2016, the trial court issued a written order.
The court stated it "heard the stipulation and arguments
of counsel." According to the court, "[t]he parties
stipulated that the subject vehicle, a 2005 Acura RSX, is
subject to forfeiture under Article 36." The court
identified the sole issue as "whether or not forfeiture
would violate the excessive fines clause of the [eighth]
[a]mendment to the United States Constitution."
7 According to the court's order, claimant
"presented by proffer that the subject vehicle has a
value to him of $17, 600, after putting in $10, 000 in parts
and labor after purchase." The order further states that
"[w]hile [claimant] was charged with the Class 4 felony
of possession of burglary tools, he ultimately entered a
guilty plea to the Class A misdemeanor offense of theft under
8 The trial court then applied the "multifactor
test" adopted by the Illinois Supreme Court in
People ex rel. Waller v. 1989 Ford F350 Truck, 162
Ill.2d 78, 642 N.E.2d 460 (1994), to the excessive fine
issue. First, the court examined the inherent gravity of the
offense compared with the harshness of the penalty. The court
found, "while charged with a Class 4 felony (which
allows a discretionary fine of up to $25, 000), [claimant]
pled guilty to the Class A misdemeanor of theft (of currency
from an auto wash)." The court noted, "at the time
of his arrest, [claimant] was found in possession of coin
machine keys, while in the subject vehicle." Further,
the court noted, "the only quantifiable loss was
9 The trial court next examined whether the property was an
integral part of the commission of the crime. The court
noted, "[w]hile the vehicle may have been a means of
transportation to and from the victim car wash *** it was not
an integral part of the offense, unlike offenses that involve
vehicles per se, i.e., driving under the influence,
driving while license suspended or revoked, or other offenses
where the vehicle is used during the commission of the crime
itself, i.e., aggravated fleeing."
10 Finally, the trial court found, "based upon the
information presented, the criminal activity was not
extensive in terms of either time or spatial use, although
the Court acknowledges that the investigation leading up to
[claimant's] arrest was occurring in both Bloomington and
11 Noting its consideration of "all of the above"
factors, the trial court concluded the forfeiture of
[claimant's] vehicle violated the excessive fines clause
and, therefore, ...