A.M. v. Butler, No. 02-2882.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtTerence T. Evans
Citation360 F.3d 787
PartiesA.M., a minor, Petitioner-Appellee. v. Jerry BUTLER, Superintendent of the Illinois Youth Center, Respondent-Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 02-2882.
Decision Date02 March 2004
360 F.3d 787
A.M., a minor, Petitioner-Appellee.
v.
Jerry BUTLER, Superintendent of the Illinois Youth Center, Respondent-Appellant.
No. 02-2882.
United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.
Argued September 18, 2003.
Decided March 2, 2004.

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Steven A. Drizin (Argued), Northwestern University School of Law, Chicago, IL, for Petitioner-Appellee.

Lisa A. Hoffman (Argued), Office of the Attorney General, Chicago, IL, for Respondent-Appellant.

Before EASTERBROOK, DIANE P. WOOD, and EVANS, Circuit Judges.

TERENCE T. EVANS, Circuit Judge.


In 1993, 83-year-old Anna Gilvis was savagely beaten and stabbed to death in her home. Eleven months later, Anthony Morgan,1 who was 10 years old at the time of the murder, was charged with the crime and adjudged a delinquent after a 2-day trial in the Cook County Court Juvenile Division. Given the paucity of options available under Illinois law for an 11-year-old offender, Morgan received a modest sentence — 5 years probation.2 The Appellate Court of Illinois affirmed his delinquency adjudication, and the state supreme court denied leave to appeal. Morgan then filed a petition for federal habeas corpus relief which the district court granted. United States ex rel. A.M. v. Butler, 2002 WL 1348605 (N.D.Ill.). The State of Illinois appeals.

Before reaching the merits, we address two matters, the first being whether this appeal is moot because Morgan, who

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is now 20 years old, finished serving his probation term over 4 years ago. Although neither side challenges our jurisdiction — indeed, in supplemental filings, both insist that the case is not moot — a federal court at any stage of the proceedings must, on its own, dismiss a case as moot when it cannot give the petitioner any effective relief. Spencer v. Kemna, 523 U.S. 1, 7, 118 S.Ct. 978, 140 L.Ed.2d 43 (1998); Calderon v. Moore, 518 U.S. 149, 150, 116 S.Ct. 2066, 135 L.Ed.2d 453 (1996). The inability to review moot cases stems from the requirement of Article III of the Constitution which limits the exercise of judicial power to live cases or controversies. Spencer, 523 U.S. at 7, 118 S.Ct. 978. "Federal courts are without power to decide questions that cannot affect the rights of litigants in the case before them." D.S.A. v. Circuit Court Branch 1, 942 F.2d 1143, 1145 n. 2 (7th Cir.1991) (quoting North Carolina v. Rice, 404 U.S. 244, 246, 92 S.Ct. 402, 30 L.Ed.2d 413 (1971)).

Here, Morgan was still on probation when he filed his habeas petition in 1998.3 He completed his probation term while his petition was pending in the district court. Although no longer in custody, however, a challenge to a criminal conviction (or, in this case, a declaration of juvenile delinquency, which is its equivalent for a child) is not moot when the defendant continues to face adverse consequences stemming from its adjudication. Thus, in determining if Morgan's petition is moot, we must examine "whether sufficient collateral consequences of the conviction persist to give the petitioner `a substantial stake in the judgment of conviction which survives the satisfaction of the sentences imposed on him.'" Puchner v. Kruziki, 111 F.3d 541, 543 (7th Cir.1997) (quoting Carafas v. La Vallee, 391 U.S. 234, 237, 88 S.Ct. 1556, 20 L.Ed.2d 554 (1968)). This standard applies equally to juvenile adjudications. D.S.A., 942 F.2d at 1145-50.

Applying these principles, we think Morgan's petition is not moot. Examining Illinois law, Morgan has a stake in the outcome of this litigation. For example, one aggravating factor under Illinois' Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon statute is whether a defendant has previously been adjudicated a delinquent for an act that if committed by an adult would be a felony. 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(a)(3)(d); People v. Marin, 342 Ill.App.3d 716, 277 Ill.Dec. 285, 795 N.E.2d 953 (Ill.App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2003). A first-time conviction under this statute is a Class 4 felony. 720 ILCS 5/24-1.6(d). In contrast, without a juvenile adjudication as an aggravating factor, the comparable crime would be Unlawful Use of a Weapon, a Class A misdemeanor. 720 ILCS 5/24-1. The difference in potential sentences is significant. If treated as a felony, the possible sentence is 3 years imprisonment. 730 ILCS 5/5-8-1(7). In contrast, if considered a misdemeanor, the maximum sentence would be less than one year. 730 ILCS 5/5-8-3(1). Because Morgan's delinquency adjudication will, like an adult criminal conviction, increase his potential punishment in the future, we agree with the parties that his petition is not moot.4

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The second pre-merits matter is the State's breach of our rules in prosecuting its appeal. In large part, the outcome of this appeal depends on our assessment of how the case was resolved by the Appellate Court of Illinois. And to facilitate our review, one of our most important rules, Circuit Rule 30, requires that important opinions from other courts be given to us in either an appendix to the appellant's main brief or in a separate appendix. Circuit Rule 30(a) provides that "[t]he appellant shall submit, bound with the main brief, an appendix containing the judgment or order under review and any opinion, memorandum of decision, findings of fact and conclusions of law, or oral statement of reasons delivered by the trial court...." Circuit Rule 30(b)(4) calls for "[c]opies of all opinions, by any ... state appellate court previously rendered in the criminal prosecution, any appeal, and any earlier collateral attack." These materials must be submitted as part of the appendix to the main brief or in a separate appendix. See Circuit Rule 30(b)(7). The decision of the Appellate Court of Illinois, the most important decision by the state courts in this case, falls squarely within our rule.

The State's counsel, Lisa Anne Hoffman, signed a certification saying that her brief contains, in its appendix, "all of the materials required under Circuit Rule 30(a) and (b)." This certification was false: the opinion of the Appellate Court of Illinois is nowhere to be found. As we have said, a breach of Rule 30 is "not a `nit-picky' violation. Failure to supply necessary documents goes to the heart of this court's decision-making process." Hill v. Porter Mem'l Hosp., 90 F.3d 220, 225-26 (7th Cir.1996). The purpose of the rule is to give us, at our fingertips, the materials we consider most important to discharging our duties. The materials called for by Rule 30 "are the tools of decision on appeal," and "[c]ompliance with Circuit Rule 30 is essential to proper performance of the appellate task...." United States v. Rogers, 270 F.3d 1076, 1084 (7th Cir.2001). The State's failure here is a material breach of our rules.

Sanctions for failure to comply with Rule 30 may include dismissal of the appeal, see, e.g., Urso v. United States, 72 F.3d 59, 61 (7th Cir.1995); Mortell v. Mortell Co., 887 F.2d 1322, 1327 (7th Cir.1989), or imposition of a penalty on the offending lawyer, including a public rebuke and fine. See, e.g., In re Galvan, 92 F.3d 582 (7th Cir.1996); United States v. Evans, 131 F.3d 1192 (7th Cir.1997). Although we will not dismiss this appeal, when we finish our work we will return to the question of an appropriate sanction.

Finally, before leaving our pre-merits concerns, we note another error in the State's principal brief, plus an argument that is much ado about nothing. First, on

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page 4 of its main brief, when referring to the Illinois Appellate Court decision (the one not included in any appendix!), the State says it is a "published decision." This is wrong. The decision was not "published." It is not retrievable on any electronic database nor is it printed in any book. Second, the State complains that the district court improperly conducted an evidentiary hearing on Morgan's petition. Yet the State fails to point to any material "use" of the information elicited at the hearing. Rather, the district court ultimately accepted the historical facts found by the Illinois Appellate Court, so where is the harm caused by the federal hearing? Because none is cited, we dismiss the State's objection on this point and now move to the merits of this appeal.

Morgan lived with his mother, Janet Tims, next door to the house where the elderly Gilvis lived, apparently alone. On October 5, 1993, she was found dead in her home, the victim of a terrible crime: she had been beaten with her cane; her throat was slit; she was tied with a phone cord; blood was all over the place; and her purse, with its contents spewed out, was found on the kitchen floor.

Police interviewed a number of neighbors after discovering Gilvis's body. Morgan, who as we said was 10 years old, was in his backyard when Detective Guy Habiak, who was in Gilvis's backyard, conversed with him over a fence. Morgan, who was with an unidentified adult female, said that around 7 p.m. the evening before, he saw a black man walk down the gangway to the back door of the victim's home. He then heard a squeaking or pounding noise. He also said he saw Gilvis an hour later walking down the street with plastic bags filled with liter bottles. He said he helped her carry her bags but did not go into her house. He said she thanked him and he went home.

It was not until 11 months later that the police again contacted Morgan, who by then had turned 11 years old.5 Detectives James Cassidy and Edward Schmidt knocked on Morgan's door, he answered, and Cassidy told him, "We need to ask you a few questions involving a murder." Tims then came to the door, and the police repeated that they wanted to question Morgan. Tims allowed the detectives to speak with her son.

The detectives and Morgan sat in a police car, parked outside Morgan's home. The detectives told Morgan they were investigating Gilvis's murder and understood that he had seen someone around the time she was killed. Morgan then went beyond the statement he gave 11...

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106 practice notes
  • Case v. Hatch, No. 08–CV–0542 MV/WDS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • March 28, 2011
    ...service” to the correct standard, and proceeded to evaluate the evidence under a different, and conflicting, standard. See A.M. v. Butler, 360 F.3d 787, 796 (7th Cir.2004) (“While giving lip service to the [correct] objective standard, the Illinois court shunned this objective test, substit......
  • Rockwell v. Palmer, No. 1:05-cv-205.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District Michigan)
    • March 31, 2008
    ...does not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel. See Chegwidden v. Rapture, 92 Fed.Appx. 309, 311 (6th Cir.2004); AM. v. Butler, 360 F.3d 787, 795 (7th Cir.2004); James v. Borg, 24 F.3d 20, 27 (9th Cir.1994); Koch v. Puckett, 907 F.2d 524, 527 (5th Cir.1990); United States v. Wright, ......
  • Conner v. McBride, No. 03-1951.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 20, 2004
    ...if it is objectively so, and not merely erroneous or incorrect. Williams, 529 U.S.at 410-12, 120 S.Ct. 1495; A.M. v. Butler, 360 F.3d 787, 794-95 (7th Cir.2004) (citing Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510, 123 S.Ct. 2527, 2535, 156 L.Ed.2d 471 (2003)). Specifically, a state court's decision "min......
  • Gentry v. Sevier, No. 08-3574.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit
    • February 26, 2010
    ...and there is thus no indication that a motion to suppress evidence resulting from such searches would have been futile. See AM. v. Butler, 360 F.3d 787, 795 (7th Cir.2004) (stating that "[i]f there was no underlying constitutional violation, a motion to suppress would have been futile and c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
107 cases
  • Case v. Hatch, No. 08–CV–0542 MV/WDS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • March 28, 2011
    ...service” to the correct standard, and proceeded to evaluate the evidence under a different, and conflicting, standard. See A.M. v. Butler, 360 F.3d 787, 796 (7th Cir.2004) (“While giving lip service to the [correct] objective standard, the Illinois court shunned this objective test, substit......
  • Rockwell v. Palmer, No. 1:05-cv-205.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Western District Michigan)
    • March 31, 2008
    ...does not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel. See Chegwidden v. Rapture, 92 Fed.Appx. 309, 311 (6th Cir.2004); AM. v. Butler, 360 F.3d 787, 795 (7th Cir.2004); James v. Borg, 24 F.3d 20, 27 (9th Cir.1994); Koch v. Puckett, 907 F.2d 524, 527 (5th Cir.1990); United States v. Wright, ......
  • Conner v. McBride, No. 03-1951.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 20, 2004
    ...if it is objectively so, and not merely erroneous or incorrect. Williams, 529 U.S.at 410-12, 120 S.Ct. 1495; A.M. v. Butler, 360 F.3d 787, 794-95 (7th Cir.2004) (citing Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510, 123 S.Ct. 2527, 2535, 156 L.Ed.2d 471 (2003)). Specifically, a state court's decision &quo......
  • Gentry v. Sevier, No. 08-3574.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Seventh Circuit
    • February 26, 2010
    ...and there is thus no indication that a motion to suppress evidence resulting from such searches would have been futile. See AM. v. Butler, 360 F.3d 787, 795 (7th Cir.2004) (stating that "[i]f there was no underlying constitutional violation, a motion to suppress would have been futile ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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