In re C., No. 108953.

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtOPINION
Citation346 Ill.Dec. 1,239 Ill.2d 134,940 N.E.2d 1
PartiesIn re VERONICA C., a Minor (The People of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Veronica C., Appellant).
Decision Date22 November 2010
Docket NumberNo. 108953.

239 Ill.2d 134
940 N.E.2d 1
346 Ill.Dec.
1

In re VERONICA C., a Minor (The People of the State of Illinois, Appellee,
v.
Veronica C., Appellant).

No. 108953.

Supreme Court of Illinois.

Sept. 23, 2010.As Modified Upon Denial of Rehearing Nov. 22, 2010.


[940 N.E.2d 2]

Michael J. Pelletier, State Appellate Def., Thomas A. Lilien, Deputy Def., Steven E. Wiltgen, Asst. Appellate Def., of Office of State Appellate Defender, of Elgin, for appellant.Lisa Madigan, Atty. Gen., of Springfield, John A. Barsanti, State's Atty. of St. Charles (Michael A. Scodro, Solicitor Gen., Michael M. Glick, Gopi Kashyap, Asst. Attorneys Gen., of Chicago, of counsel), for the People.

[239 Ill.2d 136] OPINION
Justice KARMEIER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

[346 Ill.Dec. 2] The respondent-minor, Veronica C., was adjudicated a delinquent in the circuit court of Kane County, the court having found that she violated section 12–3(a)(2) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Code) (720 ILCS 5/12–3(a) (2) (West 2006) (battery)). She was thereafter placed on probation for a period of one year with attendant conditions and fees. Respondent appealed, arguing that section 5–615 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (Act) (705 ILCS 405/5–615(1) (West 2006)) violates constitutional provisions pertaining to equal protection and separation of powers insofar as it prevents a minor from being placed on supervision without the consent of the State. The appellate court rejected those contentions. No. [239 Ill.2d 137] 2–07–1155 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). We allowed respondent's petition for leave to appeal (210 Ill.2d R. 315), and now affirm the judgment of the appellate court without reaching the constitutional issues it addressed.

BACKGROUND

On October 12, 2006, in the circuit court of Kane County, a petition was filed alleging that the minor-respondent was delinquent in that she had committed battery. In separate counts, the petition charged that respondent had violated section 12–3(a)(1) of the Code, in that she had knowingly caused bodily harm to Krila Cortes, and section 12–3(a)(2) of the Code, in that she had made physical contact of an insulting

[346 Ill.Dec. 3 , 940 N.E.2d 3]

or provoking nature with Cortes. Though the conduct in question occurred on the property of a public school, as the cited sections indicate, the State chose to pursue only misdemeanor charges. Acting in part upon defense representations that the minor had no criminal history, the court decided that the minor respondent would not be detained pending trial.

The matter was tried on May 22, 2007. After hearing the evidence, the court found respondent guilty of the second count of battery—charging physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature—but not guilty of the first count, as the State had adduced no evidence of bodily harm. As the details of the offense are peripheral to the issues raised by the parties, we will summarize the findings of the trial court, and the version of events those findings support.

The prevailing testimony indicated that the victim, another student at respondent's school, was pushed and punched by respondent and her friends, and that respondent initiated the attack. Respondent and her group first encircled the victim in the school's gymnasium after school. After the victim successfully extricated herself [239 Ill.2d 138] from that confrontation, and went down into the locker room, respondent and another girl proceeded to the locker room where the respondent and the victim “bumped shoulders” in passing, inciting an attack on the victim in the shower area, wherein respondent and three of her friends participated.

In announcing its guilty verdict, the court singled out respondent's lack of credibility for comment:

“[T]he testimony is notable because the testimony of the minor respondent * * * is actually contradicted by every other single witness who testified in this case, including the defense's witness.

I don't think the testimony of the minor respondent * * * and the teacher who testified can be reconciled. The teacher was very clear, the respondent said, it's on [meaning the attack on the other student]. That's what the minor said. So either Veronica is not telling the truth or the teacher is not telling the truth.

Krila testified that when she went upstairs to the gym, she was surrounded by the minor respondent and her friends in the gym, they made a circle around her. I think that's how the testimony about her saying, it's on, is relevant. I think that's what it refers to.”

The court also stated that it did not believe respondent when she testified she went to the locker room to get her gym uniform. The court concluded its comments on respondent's credibility by noting that “respondent is the only one who testified that she both didn't push Krila first and also that she didn't hit Krila.” As indicated, the court found the respondent “guilty” of battery and set the matter over for what the court referred to as a “sentencing hearing.”

At that hearing, the minor respondent's mother, Saint, testified to the minor's domestic activities and her scholastic status. Further, the witness stated that the minor was seeing a psychiatrist at Streamwood Behavior Center and claimed that she had been diagnosed with “ADHD and impulse disorder.” Saint testified that, [239 Ill.2d 139] subsequent to the coordinated attack on the victim at school, and during the time the minor respondent was awaiting sentencing, she had been in no trouble at school, no trouble with the law, no trouble at home, and no trouble with friends or neighbors. Asked about the possibility of community service, the witness responded: “I really don't think that she would be able to do the community service because of her disability

[346 Ill.Dec. 4 , 940 N.E.2d 4]

and no one being there to actually * * *, can I say, certified, to handle a situation if there's like, you know, outbursts and whatever.”

Under cross-examination by the State, respondent's mother reiterated her belief that community service would not be an option because the minor “has an impulse disorder,” “someone would have to watch her,” and there would be problems “sending her out with other kids.” The witness was then asked about supervision after school:

“THE STATE: So what happens when school is over, who supervises her between her last class when the teacher sees her and when she makes it to your home?

WITNESS: We live right next door to the school, we're right next door.

THE STATE: So you're saying she has constant supervision?

WITNESS: Well, actually her sister was at school with her, so she walks right home everyday.

THE STATE: So why wasn't she being supervised on October 10th, 2006, when she was in a fight in a locker room?

WITNESS: You know I can't answer that because I wasn't there at the school, so I don't know what happened that day or what triggered her to go downstairs. I can't answer that.

THE STATE: So there are times when she is not completely supervised?

WITNESS: As far as like maybe standing with friends at school or something like that. I really don't know as far as with school, but I know at home she's supervised.”

Asked if her daughter “should have any consequence for [239 Ill.2d 140] her behavior on October 10th,” the witness responded: “As far as writing an apology letter, I mean, this is her first time ever being in a situation like this.”

After respondent's mother testified, the court stated that it was prepared to hear argument, but first asked the State if it objected to court supervision. The State responded affirmatively, and was then directed to proceed.

In argument, the State urged the court to impose a term of 12 months' probation with appropriate conditions. In support of that position, the State observed that the minor respondent had incited the attack on the victim in the locker room, when respondent and her friends “did not have a reason to be in that locker room.” Continuing, the State pointed out:

“[T]he purpose of the Juvenile Court Act is to hold minors accountable for their unlawful behavior and not to allow them to think that their delinquent acts have no consequences for themselves.

And the State believes at this time if you were simply to close this minor's case, she would believe that her acts have no consequences. The minor's mother stated that [the minor-respondent] has impulse disorder and that she has outbursts. And the State would submit she's not being properly supervised if this is the case and she has outbursts.

* * * She shouldn't think that her behavior was okay and that she's gonna get a pass on it.”

For her part, respondent's attorney acknowledged testimony concerning the minor's “impulse disorder,” but noted that the minor had not been in any trouble pending her sentencing, and referenced the mother's testimony that the minor had not been in trouble prior to this offense. Counsel argued that the minor's mother was “very concerned about her and her behavior” and had “taken measures to improve

[346 Ill.Dec. 5 , 940 N.E.2d 5]

the situation” insofar as she had taken her daughter to see a psychiatrist and had gotten her daughter on appropriate medication. Counsel also argued, notwithstanding the incident in [239 Ill.2d 141] question, that the minor respondent was “well-supervised” when at school. Counsel concluded:

“We would ask, in light of this being her first case and her young age and the excellent care that her mother has taken to insure that this type of thing does not occur again, as well as Veronica making the choice to make sure that, in spite of struggling with some of these disabilities, making sure that this does not repeat itself, we would ask that you adjudicate and close this case.”

Having heard arguments of counsel, the court announced its sentencing decision: “She's a first offender, I would give her court supervision if I could, but I'm not allowed to if the State objects, so she's gonna be placed on a year of probation.”

...

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33 practice notes
  • People v. Derrico G. (In re Derrico G.), No. 114463.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • August 4, 2014
    ...of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (the Act) (705 ILCS 405/5–615 (West 2010) ), which, as construed by this court in In re Veronica C., 239 Ill.2d 134, 346 Ill.Dec. 1, 940 N.E.2d 1 (2010), grants a State's Attorney, among others, the authority to object to the entry of an order of continuanc......
  • Choate v. Ind. Harbor Belt R.R. Co., No. 1–10–0209.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • August 1, 2011
    ...the judgment below, even though [352 Ill.Dec. 704] [954 N.E.2d 787] he had not previously advanced such an argument.” In re Veronica C., 239 Ill.2d 134, 151, 346 Ill.Dec. 1, 940 N.E.2d 1 (2010). Also, we can affirm the circuit court on any basis appearing in the record, regardless of the gr......
  • Rivera v. the City of Chicago Electoral Bd., No. 1–11–0283.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • July 29, 2011
    ...10–10.1. A party has standing to challenge the constitutionality of a statute only when he has suffered under it. See In re Veronica C., 239 Ill.2d 134, 150, 346 Ill.Dec. 1, 940 N.E.2d 1 (2010) (party lacked standing to challenge constitutionality of statute because she was not adversely af......
  • People v. M.I. (In re M.I.), No. 113776.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • May 23, 2013
    ...¶ 34 “A party may not raise a constitutional challenge to a provision of a statute that does not affect him or her.” In re Veronica C., 239 Ill.2d 134, 147, 346 Ill.Dec. 1, 940 N.E.2d 1 (2010); People v. Malchow, 193 Ill.2d 413, 425, 250 Ill.Dec. 670, 739 N.E.2d 433 (2000); Rogers, 133 Ill.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
33 cases
  • People v. Derrico G. (In re Derrico G.), No. 114463.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • August 4, 2014
    ...of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (the Act) (705 ILCS 405/5–615 (West 2010) ), which, as construed by this court in In re Veronica C., 239 Ill.2d 134, 346 Ill.Dec. 1, 940 N.E.2d 1 (2010), grants a State's Attorney, among others, the authority to object to the entry of an order of continuanc......
  • Choate v. Ind. Harbor Belt R.R. Co., No. 1–10–0209.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • August 1, 2011
    ...the judgment below, even though [352 Ill.Dec. 704] [954 N.E.2d 787] he had not previously advanced such an argument.” In re Veronica C., 239 Ill.2d 134, 151, 346 Ill.Dec. 1, 940 N.E.2d 1 (2010). Also, we can affirm the circuit court on any basis appearing in the record, regardless of the gr......
  • Rivera v. the City of Chicago Electoral Bd., No. 1–11–0283.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • July 29, 2011
    ...10–10.1. A party has standing to challenge the constitutionality of a statute only when he has suffered under it. See In re Veronica C., 239 Ill.2d 134, 150, 346 Ill.Dec. 1, 940 N.E.2d 1 (2010) (party lacked standing to challenge constitutionality of statute because she was not adversely af......
  • People v. M.I. (In re M.I.), No. 113776.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • May 23, 2013
    ...¶ 34 “A party may not raise a constitutional challenge to a provision of a statute that does not affect him or her.” In re Veronica C., 239 Ill.2d 134, 147, 346 Ill.Dec. 1, 940 N.E.2d 1 (2010); People v. Malchow, 193 Ill.2d 413, 425, 250 Ill.Dec. 670, 739 N.E.2d 433 (2000); Rogers, 133 Ill.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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