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Village of Lisle v. Spelson

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District

September 25, 2019

THE VILLAGE OF LISLE, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
PETER SPELSON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 18-OV-422 Honorable Christine T. Cody, Judge, Presiding.

          Philip J. Piscopo, of Law Offices of Cooper, Storm & Piscopo, of Geneva, for appellant.

          No brief filed for appellee.

          JUSTICE JORGENSEN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Zenoff and Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          JORGENSEN, JUSTICE.

         ¶ 1 Following a bench trial, defendant, Peter Spelson, was found to have violated a Village of Lisle (Village) ordinance prohibiting parking in a handicapped parking space. He appeals, contending that the space in question was not properly reserved for handicapped parking. We affirm.

         ¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 At trial, Lisle police officer Schebo testified that she was dispatched to an Extended Stay of America to investigate a complaint that a vehicle was improperly parked in a handicapped space. She saw a white Cadillac registered to defendant parked directly over a large blue and white wheelchair symbol.

         ¶ 4 Defendant testified that he was parked on the west side of the hotel. There was no handicapped sign directly in front of the space. A sign hung on a pillar to the left of that space. The space was approximately 92 inches wide. He did not notice the blue wheelchair symbol on that date.

         ¶ 5 On cross-examination, defendant testified that he had lived at the Extended Stay for about a year. He said that, over the course of the year, he had routinely parked in one of two parking lots adjacent to the building and was familiar with the layout of the parking lot, including the handicapped spot at issue.

         ¶ 6 Defendant argued that the configuration and dimensions of the parking space and the placement of the sign failed to give him reasonable notice that the space was reserved for handicapped parking.

         ¶ 7 The court found defendant guilty, concluding that defendant was not credible and that the markings and signage were sufficient to put a reasonable person on notice that the spot was designated for handicapped use. The court found that defendant specifically knew that he had parked in a handicapped spot. The court fined defendant $295, including court costs. Defendant timely appeals.

         ¶ 8 II. ANALYSIS

         ¶ 9 Defendant contends that the space in which he parked did not meet the statutory guidelines for a handicapped parking space, and thus he could not be found guilty as a matter of law. He further argues that the court's finding that a reasonable person would have recognized it as a ...


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