from the Circuit Court of Livingston County No. 2016OP1
Honorable Robert M. Travers, Judge Presiding.
STEIGMANN JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Harris and DeArmond concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 In January 2016, petitioner, Dawn Ivancicts, filed a
petition for a stalking no contact order against respondent,
Mickey Griffith, pursuant to the Stalking No Contact Order
Act (Act) (740 ILCS 21/1 et seq. (West 2016)). In
September 2016, the trial court entered a plenary stalking no
contact order against Griffith. In October 2016, Griffith
filed a motion to vacate judgment, arguing that the
unclean-hands doctrine should have barred the court from
entering the order. The trial court declined to apply the
unclean-hands doctrine and denied Griffith's motion to
2 On appeal, Griffith argues that (1) the doctrine of unclean
hands applies to petitions brought pursuant to the Act and
(2) the trial court erred by failing to apply the
unclean-hands doctrine in his case. We conclude that (1) the
doctrine of unclean hands does not apply to the Act and, even
if it did, (2) the trial court properly rejected its
application on this record.
3 I. BACKGROUND
4 This case involves a dispute between two neighbors. In
January 2016, Dawn filed a verified petition for a stalking
no contact order against Griffith. The trial court denied
Dawn's request for an emergency order and set the
petition for a plenary hearing.
5 In July and September 2016, the trial court conducted
hearings on the petition. Dawn's husband, Jeff Ivancicts,
testified that Dawn and he were neighbors with Griffith and
that Griffith had an easement over their property. Jeff
stated that they got along well with Griffith until a lawsuit
involving Griffith and the easement was filed in 2014.
Thereafter, Griffith yelled obscenities at Dawn and mocked
her on multiple occasions. Specifically, Jeff testified about
an incident in September 2015 when he and Dawn were outside
their home and Griffith yelled at Dawn that she was "a
f**king fat b***h" and Griffith then made cow or pig
sounds to emphasize the point. He also then accused her of
being involved in killing her mother-in-law. Griffith has
also turned his stereo up to loudly play music and then
pointed it at the residence of Jeff and Dawn.
6 Jeff testified that Griffith repeatedly engaged in yelling,
playing his music very loud, and swearing at Dawn. Jeff said
that during these incidents Griffith sounded intoxicated and
7 Jeff also testified about an incident in April 2015. When
after he returned from work one evening, he and Dawn saw
Griffith walking in front of their house. Griffith yelled at
them that he was going to bulldoze their garage, bulldoze
their shed, and was going to own their property. He also
yelled that Dawn "was a b***h, " and he again
yelled that Dawn let her mother-in-law die.
8 Jeff emphasized that Griffith's mistreatment of Dawn
"happens every day or every other day; it's
continuous." He said it has reached the point where Dawn
will not go out of the house until Jeff gets home from work
because she is afraid of Griffith, who was now at his home
during the day. Jeff explained that Dawn has "been a
nervous wreck" and is "on medication for her
nerves. She's constantly crying and upset."
9 Dawn testified, essentially corroborating Jeff's
testimony. She said that Griffith had yelled obscenities at
her on multiple occasions during 2015 and 2016. One of the
insults that Griffith yelled at Dawn is that she killed her
mother-in-law for money. She also testified that in April
2016, she discovered Griffith looking through her kitchen
window as Dawn sat down to eat. Griffith's conduct has
caused her severe emotional and physical distress and has
altered her daily routine. She said he has constantly called
her names-like "baboon" and "you're a fat
ugly bitch"-and then he would bring his chair out to a
place on his property where he could sit and stare at her.
Dawn testified that Griffith's conduct has created stress
for her and required her to take medication under a
10 Griffith testified and acknowledged that he has yelled at
Dawn and did accelerate his vehicle quickly outside her home.
He complained that Dawn constantly video-recorded him with
her cell phone and that she had video cameras pointed at the
easement. Griffith also testified that Dawn constantly
blocked the easement and that they were currently involved in
litigation over it. Griffith argued that his actions were a
justified response to Dawn's provocations.
11 During closing arguments, Dawn argued that she was a
victim of stalking and sought imposition of a two-year
stalking no contact order as well as attorney fees. Griffith
argued that both parties engaged in routine harassment of
each other and asked the court to deny imposition of the
stalking no contact order. Griffith argued ...