In re MARRIAGE OF CORTNIE M. HODGES, Petitioner-Appellant, and TODD HODGES, Respondent-Appellee.
23 order filed March 22, 2018
to publish granted April 24, 2018.
from the Circuit Court of Clinton County. No. 04-D-4
Honorable William J. Becker, Judge, presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant Douglas C. Gruenke, J.D. Brandmeyer,
Bruckert, Gruenke & Long, P.C.
Attorney for Appellee Timothy T. Raw, Barkau &
Intervenor- Petitioner Ann C. Maskaleris, Assistant Attorney
General, Office of the Illinois Attorney General,
JUSTICE GOLDENHERSH delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Welch and Moore concurred in the judgment
1 Petitioner, Cortnie M. Hodges, appeals from an order of the
circuit court of Clinton County that reduced the child
support arrearage of her ex-husband, respondent, Todd Hodges,
on the basis of equitable estoppel. The issue on appeal is
whether the trial court erred in applying the principles of
equitable estoppel to the facts and circumstances of this
case. We affirm.
2 In this appeal, respondent filed a motion to strike
petitioner's brief. While we agree that petitioner failed
to include some pertinent facts, we deny the motion to
4 The parties married on July 22, 1995. Two children were
born during the marriage, a son born on January 16, 1996, and
a daughter born on September 5, 1998. Petitioner filed a
petition for dissolution on January 26, 2004. A marital
settlement agreement was filed with the trial court and was
incorporated into the judgment for dissolution entered on
September 28, 2004. The parties agreed respondent would pay
petitioner $788 per month in child support.
5 On August 23, 2006, the Illinois Department of Healthcare
and Family Services (Department) notified the circuit clerk
that it was providing child support enforcement services in
conjunction with this case. On August 27, 2006, the
Department filed a petition to intervene, which was granted.
The Department, through an assistant attorney general, filed
a petition for adjudication of indirect civil contempt,
alleging that respondent was in arrears in the amount of
$9483.60, of which $744.36 was interest as of September 30,
6 A hearing on the petition was scheduled for November 15,
2006. Both parties appeared and discussions ensued. The
parties disagree as to what transpired; however, the record
is clear that the assistant attorney general drafted a
uniform order of support, which showed an arrearage of $8400
as of that date. The child support payment is filled in as
$330 and payment on the arrearage was set at $50. It stated
that both payments were to be made every other week beginning
December 1, 2006. The order was never entered. The only order
entered on that date was an order stating, "Based on
[petitioner] opting out of the IV-D program and at her
request, the Rule to Show Cause filed herein on Oct. 27, 2006
is hereby ...