Friday, May 26, 2017

Seventh Circuit Dismisses Appeal After Defendant Filed Premature Interlocutory Appeal

By Nate Nieman
Nieman Law Group

The juvenile appellant in U.S. v. Sealed Defendant Juvenile Male (4), No. 16-3311, (7th Cir. 2017), along with two other juveniles and an adult, allegedly robbed a CVS store in Indianapolis at gunpoint. They were charged in federal court with Hobbs Act Robbery and possession of a firearm during a robbery. The Government sought to transfer the juveniles’ cases for adult prosecution under 18 U.S.C. § 5032. In order to transfer a case under 18 U.S.C. § 5032, the transfer must be “in the interest of justice,” which the court determines by making certain findings related to the offense and the juvenile offender.

The Government moved to have the juveniles examined by government psychologists to provide evidence showing that it would be in the interest of justice to try the juveniles as adults. The juveniles objected, arguing that the examinations, which would be conducted without their lawyers present, violated their Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. The magistrate disagreed and ordered the juveniles to submit to the examination without their lawyers present. The district court agreed with the magistrate, and the juvenile appellant in this case filed an interlocutory appeal, arguing that the examination would violate his constitutional rights.

The Seventh Circuit never reached the merits of his appeal because the court dismissed the appeal after determining that it was without jurisdiction to hear it. The court has jurisdiction only over final decisions from the district court. 28 U.S.C. § 1291. A final decision is “one which ends the litigation on the merits and leaves nothing for the court to do but execute the judgment.” Gelboim v. Bank of Am. Corp., 135 S. Ct. 897, 902 (2015) (quoting Catlin v. United States, 324 U.S. 229, 233 (1945)). However, the court also noted that “There does exist a ‘small class’ of nonfinal orders that ‘finally determine claims of right separable from, and collateral to, rights asserted in the action, too important to be denied review and too independent of the cause itself to require that appellate consideration be deferred until the whole case is adjudicated.’ ” Cohen v. Beneficial Indus. Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541, 546 (1949). These are called “collateral orders,” and they are “immediately appealable if three elements are satisfied: the nonfinal order must ‘(1) be conclusive on the issue presented; (2) resolve an important question separate from the merits of the underlying action; and (3) be “effectively unreviewable” on an appeal from the final judgment of the underlying action.’ ” Doe v. Vill. Of Deerfield, 819 F.3d 372, 375 (7th Cir. 2016) (quoting Mohawk Indus., Inc. v. Carpenter, 558 U.S. 100, 106 (2009)).

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

First District Appellate Court: Motion For New Trial Did Not Toll Time to File Notice of Appeal Where Record Not Conclusive On Motion's Filing Date and Prosecutor Waived 30-Day Time Period to File Motion

By Stephen Soltanzadeh
Associate, Ancel Glink


The First District Appellate Court recently held that a motion for a new trial did not toll the 30-day period for filing a notice of appeal where the record was inconclusive as to the motion’s filing date, even where the prosecutor verbally agreed to “waive” the 30-day requirement for posttrial motions and consented to the defendant filing the motion later than 30 days after judgment.

In People v. Hall, 2017 IL App (1st) 150918, a jury determined that the defendant was a sexually violent person under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, 725 ILCS 207/1, et seq. (2014), and the trial court entered an order committing him to the care of the Department of Human Services. The trial court entered judgment on May 14, 2014, after which the parties discussed scheduling posttrial motions with the court. In that discussion, the Assistant State’s Attorney stated that she would “waive the 30 days,” meaning that she would “not object if it’s after the 30 days if it’s all right with the Court.” Defense counsel followed up by asking the court for “June 20,” and the court stated that it would “set that down for any post-trial motions.” The trial court then issued a written order stating that judgment was entered and that the defendant would be transported to court on June 20, 2014, “for further status on this matter.”

At the June 20, 2014 hearing, defense counsel requested leave to file a motion for new trial. In response, the trial court set a date for arguments on posttrial motions. Transcripts from subsequent hearings indicated that a new trial motion was ultimately filed, but it was not clear from the record when the motion was filed, and no file-stamped copy of the motion was included in the record. The court ultimately denied the motion on February 6, 2015, and defense counsel filed a notice of appeal on March 6, 2015.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Notre Dame Law Professor Amy Coney Barrett Nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

On May 8, President Donald Trump nominated Notre Dame University Law School Professor Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Cirucit. 

According to the White House's press release, Barrett currently serves as the Diane and M.O. Miller II Research Professor of Law at the Notre Dame University Law School where she teaches federal courts, constitutional law and statutory interpretation. Prior to becoming a faculty member at Notre Dame, Barrett clerked for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States and for Judge Laurence H. Silberman of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She also worked as an associate at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin in Washington, D.C., and served as a visiting associate professor at the George Washington University Law School and the University of Virginia Law School.

DISCLAIMER: The Appellate Lawyers Association does not provide legal services or legal advice. Discussions of legal principles and authority, including, but not limited to, constitutional provisions, statutes, legislative enactments, court rules, case law, and common-law doctrines are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Carle Foundation v. Cunningham Township Sheds New Light on Appellate Jurisdiction Under Rule 304(a)

By Richard Harris
Law Clerk to Hon. Susan F. Hutchinson, Illinois Appellate Court, Second District

The Illinois Supreme Court recently shed new light on appellate jurisdiction under Rule 304(a). The rule provides that, where “multiple claims” for relief are involved in a single action, an appeal may be taken from a final judgment as to a single “claim” upon the trial court’s written finding that there is no just reason for delaying an appeal. The court has previously explained that Rule 304(a) applies only to judgments that dispose of “separate, unrelated claims,” and that orders disposing only of “separate issues relating to the same claim” are not immediately appealable under the rule. (Emphasis in original.) In re Marriage of Leopando, 96 Ill. 2d 114, 119 (1983).

In Carle Foundation v. Cunningham Township, 2017 IL 120427, the trial court issued a Rule 304(a) finding after granting the plaintiff’s request for a declaratory judgment as to which section of the Property Tax Code governed certain claims in the plaintiff’s complaint. The Supreme Court held, however, that a declaration as to what law governs a complaint “resolves nothing other than the standard by which the underlying claim will be adjudicated.” Carle Foundation, 2017 IL 120427, ¶ 18. Thus, the trial court had merely resolved an “issue” that was ancillary to the plaintiff’s underlying “claims,” and its Rule 304(a) finding was improper. Id. 

The parties in Carle disputed whether a charitable-use tax exemption applied to four parcels of land that were used in connection with the operation of a hospital for the tax years 2004 through 2011. The plaintiff argued that the parcels qualified for an exemption that had recently been created for hospitals under section 15-86 of the Property Tax Code. See 35 ILCS 200 15-86 (eff. June 14, 2012). The defendants maintained that section 15-86 did not apply retroactively, and that the case was controlled by the older charitable purposes exemption, under section 15-65 of the Property Tax Code. See 35 ILCS 200 15/65 (eff. Jan 1, 1994).

The plaintiff’s fourth amended complaint included 35 counts. Count II sought a declaration that section 15-86 was applicable to the parcels for the tax years in question. The remaining counts sought declarations that an exemption the plaintiff had received prior to 2004 was never lawfully terminated, and that the parcels actually qualified for an exemption under section 15-65. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged the breach of a 2002 settlement agreement that it had entered with various local taxing authorities.

Friday, May 5, 2017

ALA Will Host Roundtable Luncheon on May 16 Featuring Judges of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals

On May 16, the ALA will host a roundtable luncheon and panel discussion featuring the Judges of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Attendees at the luncheon will have the opportunity to speak with the judges about appellate practice in an informal setting. The event will take place at the Union League Club in Chicago, beginning at 12:30 p.m. and ending at 2 p.m.

Attendees will receive one hour of MCLE credit.

For more information about any of the events and to register, please click here.

DISCLAIMER: The Appellate Lawyers Association does not provide legal services or legal advice. Discussions of legal principles and authority, including, but not limited to, constitutional provisions, statutes, legislative enactments, court rules, case law, and common-law doctrines are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

ALA’s Cases Pending Previews Illinois Supreme Court’s May Term

Cases Pending, edited by Hon. Clare J. Quish (pictured left) and Gretchen Sperry, has been updated to discuss the Illinois Supreme Court’s May Term, which begins Tuesday, May 9, 2017, with oral arguments scheduled for May 9, 10, 11, 16 and 17, 2017. A total of 15 cases will be heard – 9 criminal and 6 civil.

The following civil cases are scheduled for argument this Term:

People ex rel. Lisa Madigan v. Wildermuth—No.120763—May 10

Rozsavolgyi v. The City of Aurora—No. 121048—May 11

Manago v. The County of Cook—No. 121078—May 11

Cochran v. Securitas Security Services USA, Inc.—No. 121200—May 16

Aspen American Insurance Co. v. Interstate Warehousing, Inc.—No. 121281— May 17

Illinois Landowners Alliance v. Illinois Commerce Commission—Nos. 121302, 121304, 121305, 121308 (cons.)—May 17

The following criminal cases are scheduled for argument this Term:

In re Linda B.—No. 119392—May 9

People v. Willis Reese—No. 120011—May 9

In re Destiny P.—No. 120796—May 9

People v. Matthew Gray—No. 120958—May 9

People v. Richard Holman—No. 120655—May 10

People v. Dennis Bailey—No. 121450—May 10

In re Jarquan B.—No. 121483—May 10

People v. Fernando Casas, Jr.—No. 120797—May 16

People v. Byron Boykins—No. 121365—May 16

Below is a summary for one civil case, Cochran v. Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., and one criminal case, People v. Richard Holman. Summaries for these cases and others pending with the Illinois Supreme Court can be found in our Cases Pending publication, accessible to ALA members on the ALA's website.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Don't Miss Out on the ALA's May Events

On May 10, the ALA and the Sangamon County Bar Association will co-sponsor a roundtable luncheon and panel discussion featuring the Justices of the Illinois Appellate Court’s Fourth District. Attendees at the luncheon will have the opportunity to speak with the justices about appellate practice in an informal setting. The event will take place at Maldaner's Restaurant, 222 South Sixth Street in Springfield, beginning at noon and ending at 1:30 p.m.
 
On May 19, the ALA will host the same event featuring the Justices of the Illinois Appellate Court’s Fifth District. The event will take place at The Gateway Center, 1 Gateway Drive in Collinsville, beginning at noon and ending at 2 p.m.
 
Attendees to the luncheon will receive one hour of MCLE credit.
 
Following each luncheon, Tyler Technologies will provide an e-filing presentation, covering such topics as: (1) filing fees; (2) the Illinois Supreme Court mandate requiring e-filing; (3) implementation of the mandate around the State; (4) the mechanics of e-filing; and (5) third-party vendors who can be retained to provide e-filing services to the bar. The event will run from 1:45 p.m. until 3:15 p.m. in Springfield and from 2:15 p.m. until 3:45 p.m. in Collinsville.
 
This presentation is free to attendees, including those who wish to attend only the e-filing presentation.
 
Attendees to the e-filing presentation will receive 1.5 hours of MCLE credit.