Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County No. 17 JD 363 Honorable
Lana Charisse Johnson, Judge, Presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE HOFFMAN delivered the judgment of the
court, with opinion. Justices Connors and Delort concurred in
the judgment and opinion.
HOFFMAN PRESIDING JUSTICE
1 The respondent, J'Lavon T., appeals from the trial
court's judgment adjudicating him a delinquent minor by
reason of his commission of one count of armed robbery and
the resulting sentence of 2 years' probation and 40
hours' community service. The respondent argues that
certain conditions of probation imposed by the trial court,
including that he have "no gang contact" and not
post "anything related to a gang" on social media,
were improper because they lack exceptions for legitimate
purposes. Additionally, he claims that the social media
restriction violates due process because it does not
adequately identify what conduct constitutes a violation of
probation. For the reasons that follow, we affirm in part,
vacate in part, and remand in part.
2 The State alleged in a petition for adjudication of
wardship that the 15-year-old respondent committed one count
each of theft from a person (720 ILCS 5/16-1 (West 2016));
robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-1 (West 2016)); aggravated robbery
(720 ILCS 5/18-1(b) (West 2016)); armed robbery (720 ILCS
5/18-2(a)(2) (West 2016)); unlawful restraint (720 ILCS
5/10-3(a) (West 2016)); aggravated unlawful restraint (720
ILCS 5/10-3.1(a) (West 2016)); and battery (720 ILCS
5/12-3(a)(2) (West 2016)).
3 The matter proceeded to a bench trial, where the following
evidence was adduced by the State. At approximately 10 a.m.
on February 11, 2017, the victim, Jonathon Todd, met an
acquaintance at a store in Chicago. The acquaintance led Todd
to the basement of an abandoned building, where the
respondent and two other individuals "grabbed" him.
One of those individuals drew a gun and took Todd's cell
phone, and the respondent "punched" Todd in the
face. Todd contacted the police, identified the respondent at
the police station, and also identified him in court. Based
on this evidence, the trial court found the respondent
delinquent as to the armed robbery count.
4 The matter proceeded to a dispositional hearing, where the
trial court received a social investigation report. According
to the report, the respondent had "been to" the
Juvenile Temporary Detention Center once but had not
previously been subject to a warrant, arrest, station
adjustment, or probation. He attended high school and had
"some friends that are in a gang, " but denied that
he belonged to a gang. The respondent's mother stated
that their family lives in "a rough area with a lot
crime and gangs, " and that he "got caught up"
in the offense because of "hanging with the wrong
people." She added that, during the offense, the
respondent "was a follower and he should have kn[own]
better, " and that "the biggest problem she [has]
with [him] is making sure he does not hang with a negative
crowd." She also stated that, during the year following
the offense, "things have been about the same but [the
respondent] needs to stay away from negative peers."
5 The trial court sentenced the respondent to 2 years'
probation and 40 hours' community service. In setting
forth the conditions of his probation, the judge stated:
"No gangs, guns or drugs; drugs includes [sic]
marijuana and alcohol.
Gang[s], you can't post anything on social media related
to gangs or any money that might have been attained. I
don't [think] this is going to be a problem but I have
[to] tell you that.
No illegally attained funds can be shown on Facebook or any
social media and anything related to a gang, you can't do
that on social media."
dispositional order form includes a checkmark next to the
words "no gang contact or activity, " and a
handwritten addition stating "no guns, no drugs."
The probation order includes handwritten additions stating
"no social media, " "no gangs, guns, or drugs,
" and "no gang involvement." The trial court
did not ask whether these probation conditions interfered
with the respondent's family, school, or employment
relationships, although the respondent signed the probation
order, which states "[b]y signing, *** you are
indicating that you have read and fully understand all of the
conditions of your Probation." The respondent neither
objected to the probation conditions at the dispositional
hearing nor filed a post-adjudication motion. This appeal
6 On appeal, the respondent first contends that the probation
conditions imposed by the trial court, including that he have
"no gang contact" and not post "anything
related to a gang" on social media, constitute overbroad
impairments on his right to freedom of speech and association
under the first amendment of the United States Constitution
(U.S. Const., amend. I). Specifically, he argues that the
restrictions lack "commonsense exceptions" for
"legitimate purposes, " such as contact with family
members, classmates, or coworkers who might be gang members,
and provide "no guidance" as to what kind of social
media usage would violate the no-contact order. Because the
respondent lives in an area with gang activity, he also
maintains there is an "unreasonable risk" that he
could violate the "blanket" restrictions
unknowingly and unintentionally.
7 The State, in response, argues that the respondent
forfeited his claim of error by not raising it in the trial
court. On the merits, however, the State contends that the
respondent's argument regarding his probation conditions
amounts to an as-applied constitutional challenge, which
fails because the record does not establish that his personal
circumstances warrant any exceptions to the trial court's
order. According to the State, there is no evidence
establishing that anyone in the respondent's family or
school belongs to a gang; in the trial court, he identified
no legitimate reason for having contact with gang members or
posting gang-related content on social media; and nothing in
the record suggests that he was "confused" about
the scope of the probation order or has been accused of
violating his probation by ...