Category Archives: Commentary and Opinion

53 Hours With Kafka in St. Louis by Robert Vroman

This was forwarded to me by a friend on Facebook. It is the account of a man arrested by St. Louis Police for a victimless political transgression (I will not deem to even call it a crime or offense). It is laughable, if not so serious, the incompetence, pettiness, indifference, and inefficiency of a so-called criminal justice system. When I read this, it called to mind the story of Henry David Thoreau when he was arrested and jailed overnight for refusing to pay a poll tax. Contrasting the comparative differences between Thoreau’s time and today, the latter presumably more enlightened and evolved, speak to a decreasing disrespect for our fellow-man.

The images painted by the writer, Robert Vroman, are disconcerting to say the least. How man can consciencelessly‎ serve such a machine is nauseating. They must be men devoid of compassion, conscience, and reason. The notion is sickening.

I sent a personal message to Mayor Francis Slay’s Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/mayorslay?fref=ts, which of course went unanswered, as well as sending a copy of the article to Chris Nagus of KMOV https://www.facebook.com/chrisnagusKMOV

Will anything be done? Probably not. We all reasonably understand the eroding infrastructure of civilized society and government is merely a garbage collector rounding up the dregs and processing them for cataloging and easy disposal at a later date. It is not that mankind is incapable of autonomy and self-governance, but it is the mindset that government will step in and meliorate every society ill, so why bother? We are the mass of dependents portrayed in New Orleans, huddled on the ground of the Super Dome as the waters rise and we look for somebody from government to save us, while dry paths still lie before us, and we too lazy to take the first step to our own salvation.

Of course, the system tends to prey on the poor and ignorant. I could not help but to think how I, possessing this information, would not take proactive measures to defend myself from the sundry of illegal and brutish tactics. I think I would be inclined to either flee or stand my ground. That is easy to say from the safety of my keyboard, but the slope is not only slippery, it is steep and recovering any semblance of liberty in this country may require more personal battles. I’ll cease the pontificating and present you with the article. I wish you luck, Mr. Vroman.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/robert-vroman/53-hours-with-kafka-in-st-louis/601102316644553

I spent the two worst nights of my life in the St. Louis City Justice Center. I did not experience nor witness any physical violence, not even credible threats. What I got was plenty of apathetic incompetence, banal sadism, and agonizing obtuseness. The vast majority of people dragged through this institution are poor and black, though plenty were educated. Their complaints are evidently easily and frequently ignored. I hope to convince people outside that demographic the City Jail really is run absurdly poorly.

I run a small real estate business specializing in North St. Louis City. This winter ravaged my bottom line. Repair costs are running five times over this time last year. I was quickly reduced to a 24 hour cash cycle, so when I got two traffic tickets in the city, and summons for unpaid vacancy code fine in Florissant, I was forced to choose between paying arbitrary fees to the government, or keeping my tenants homes operational. Many of these people are behind on their rent, yet when its 5 degrees out, I still fixed water heaters and roofs every time, with no breathing room left over for my own problems. Thats the decision I made, wise or not, which got me multiple warrants. I was finally pulled over noon Tuesday 2-18-14, at Grand and Shaw for expired plates.

I was politely cooperative, immediately informed cop I have CCW and a pistol. My permission is not asked, but my vehicle is searched. He finds a google route map of every Bank of America in the city. I collect rent in cash in places like Fairground Park. I need to know the closest bank wherever I happen to be. A sergeant arrives and uses this very flimsy evidence to charge me as an “armed fugitive”. This seems pretty farfetched, so I am still mainly concerned about a wasted evening. My passenger was also arrested with no charges or warrants.

An FBI agent arrives to interrogate me at 2nd District station, about what he has been told is a possible bank robbery conspiracy. I talk about my business 10 minutes and he leaves, and person riding with me is released. I hope the sergeant who felt it necessary to bring this matter to the Federal government’s attention is at least embarrassed. I wait in the 2nd Dist holding cell for several hours, with Lovelle Robinson, 26yo Benton Park resident, who by the end of this ordeal, I’d consider a friend. He’s trapped in a vicious cycle of fines he can’t afford which cost his license, and inevitable jail time, which costs his job, six times, and half his demographic is in this snare. What good is providing a transportation network for your citizens, but enforcing rules so draconian –allegedly for their safety– that they are pauperized out of using the system at all?

The sergeant informs me he has graciously dropped the weapons charges and I am being shipped downtown for the traffic warrants. My gun is mailed to Jeff City for a ballistics tests. Allegedly I get it back in 4-6 weeks, assuming I haven’t shot anyone.

4p, we are handcuffed together en route to the Justice Center. We arrive on the loading dock of this monolithic cube, with 15′ ceilings, and are detail searched. Routine processing questions are answered. And now I am expecting some kind of briefing of what are my options and how long until the next step. Instead my questions are deferred to “later” and I am uncuffed and placed in one of four 10’x20’ cells, standing room only, with 25 other prisoners. The door is plexiglass, naturally lots of shouting, very difficult to hear guards.

And the hours begin to pass.

I am hearing from several different repeat visitors that we are waiting to go up “upstairs”, presumably to smaller cells. I am not hearing how and when you can pay money to get out of here. At 6pm we are given a dinner of single slice of bologna on two slices of bread and six very stale tortilla chips.

By 8pm I was eager to make a deal. The atmosphere in the cell was convivial, but grumpy to the say the least. And yet still absolutely no communication of substance from anyone in authority. The blue shirts refer you to the burgundy shirts, who refer you to the white shirts, who say they don’t have your file. And you get one sentence in passing every ten minutes.

Around 11pm we are marched en masse upstairs. And placed in an identical cell, on an identical laid out floor. Two hours pass. Its 1am and dawns on us, this is it, there are no bunks coming. The people who designed this system expect 25 adults to sleep shoulder to shoulder on the concrete floor of a 60degree, urine rank cattle car, regardless of what they came in here wearing, or committing. Some percentage of these people will be found not guilty.

I have a leather coat, and resign myself to optimizing for some pathetic local maximum of comfort. I’ve got to choose between a terrible pillow, or a terrible blanket, nuzzled against total strangers stuck here against their will. I’m not fearful of them, but holy hell, doesn’t mean I’d invite them over to snuggle. Every 45-90 minutes prisoners are swapped for unclear reasons. Its impossible to relax, the anticipation of the next door opening, that my existence will be acknowledged, and I will be given a glimmer of an opportunity to bargain for release, or at least some kind of ETA.

Ambient noise is extremely disruptive, even as most prisoners try to fall asleep. I am very hungry. I doze shallowly until about 4a. I sit up, look around at this tight row of poor wretches, and just jawdrop that this is a normal night here. Every single night our city makes 70-90 citizens submit to this, a majority of them for inconsequential violations, and many of them innocent. I thought this was my night. The second was worse.

At 5a Wednesday, I receive another meager snack and people are starting to be called to court. The entire morning goes by no further updates. 11a at last I hear my name again and I am marched to videocourt, a term I never heard before this incident. I am taken to a camera booth, and an old man glancing over from a flickery monitor. Well isn’t this charmingly Orwellian. Judge Headroom tells me court date is 3-13-14, I owe $50. “Ok” says me. That is the entirety of information I receive about my case. Back to cells. As lunch arrives we enjoy 2hr window only 10 people in the cell. Spirits are lifted as presumably this is the last stop for us in the Justice Center and we’re being stamped for export, either to free world or another facility.

No. By 2pm, cell has filled back up to the 25 headcount which covered the entire squarefootage of floorspace the night before. Now we are getting antsy. Some are supposed to be cut loose, some people going to various County jails like me, or more serious offenders waiting for the Hall Street workhouse, or Bonne Terre.

But nothing happens. Except more prisoners. They are constantly badgering the guards re: pickups, or even where they are wanted. All inquiries totally rebuffed. After dinner Wednesday, headcount hits 29 and stays there for the night. This forces two people to sleep immediately adjacent to the toilet, and two to sit upright all night; all others 4-6 inches apart on their backs on raw concrete. As the evening wears on, I am again dismayed. I can’t believe this is how this place is run, that I am sleeping like this another night. Ironically I had planned to attend a Lewis Reed fundraiser this evening, and now I really have something to talk to him about.

The slightest change in routine is a minor hope that some crack will form in this mindfuck wall of silence. A new batch of guards every 8 hours, means someone might let slip what the hell is going on behind the curtain.

I am struck with how sympathetic this crowd is to each other, its about 80:20 black:white, and there’s an effort to accommodate each other as much as possible in the circumstances. I got along fine with every inmate I met, some of them were fascinating conversation subjects.

The stories I am hearing from them over and over drive home what a paralyzing force the police exert in many Northside and state street neighborhoods. The aggressive tactics, and senseless spillover economic consequences, give powerful vibe of an uncaring occupation, not protective servants.

Around 1a Thursday its beyond shadow of a doubt no more pickups for the night, frustrations get more vocal. An Elliot Davis fan demands an investigation and lawsuit. Our collective action is thwarted by mere lack of a contraband pen. No means to record a contact list among a group that will never naturally convene again.

My opinion on the plan is sought, as the token capitalist present at the birth of the movement. I give a quick lecture on how lobbying works. Have your people blow up your alderman’s phone,  state rep, mayor, sheriff, stake out their office. Demand meetings, call Town Halls. Don’t waste your time waving a sign in his parking lot. Make sure every elected official directly hears this every day.

I unsettle in under unyielding fluorescents. I go fetal in front corner of cell, and just try to endure semi-consciousness. I smell exactly like you’d expect. Around 9a shuffled around the bowels of this monstrosity, and finally loaded into Florissant’s custody about noon.

The contrast is simple but stark. Florissant has a whiteboard listing everyone locked up here, what they did, what they owe, where they’re going next, and when that pick up is. Wow, that is so easy to give a foothold of peace of mind. When I finally got a lumpy plastic mattress and blanket and more than coffin sized personal space, I was so relieved it was almost as good as being free. Having to openly strip naked to change into jumpsuit didn’t even phase me at this point.

My bizarre 53 hour episode concludes around 5p Thursday.

If you were in the Justice Center with me between 2-18-14 and 2-20-14, I would like to hear from you.

If you are responsible for how that place is run, I challenge you to justify yourself.

 

I am the Missouri Republican 5th District committeeman.

I am running for MO 79th State Representative.

Please vote August 5th.

 

Robert Vroman

314-600-0608

vromanrobert@gmail.com

www.votevroman.com

Infamy

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Media Blacks Out New Snowden Interview

I am simply reposting from the story I saw here http://benswann.com/media-blacks-out-new-snowden-interview-the-government-doesnt-want-you-to-see/

The US Intelligence industry can to go hell. Thank you, Edward Snowden, for exposing the lies, abuses, and terrorism of the NSA and its ilk. I just want people to see this interview and become rightfully outraged. In the interview, Snowden actually discusses threats against his life and how the vermin serving that agency would take perverted pleasure in killing him. ‘Murica! Yeah, right.

For whatever political aberration the United States has become, the government thereof has clearly grown outside its Constitutional mandate and limitations. An unconstitutional government is no government, but rather a consortium of thugs and brutes collaborating with bankers and corporations to financially exsanguinate the people and instill fear through the Munchausen Terror Paradigm and its ever-watchful, collaborative police state. I would prefer the Agency be reduced to ashes and provisions instituted to ensure it never again reared its ugly head. Should it keep directing its eyes towards the inhabitants of the land of which it supposedly is protecting, then it will soon be met with a stick.

Mr. Snowden, you are a hero, possess temerity, and inspire others. I will not diminish your deeds by calling them patriotic, but rather honor you for risking your life to expose villainy. Thank you.

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Government Regulators Target 11-year Old's Cupcake Business

This story http://www.bnd.com/2014/01/26/3021370/troy-11-year-old-turns-cupcakes.html about an industrious, entrapreunorial youngster caught the attention of the Madison County Health Department, inspiring the synaptic-challenged, bureaucratic buffoonery of nanny-state nincompoops to rear its empty head and threaten the child with a sundry of penalties if she does not procure proper permits, licenses, and pay corresponding fees. The story referencing the state-sponsored terrorist threats against a child of insufficient age, to understand legalese or comprehend the law, is here http://www.bnd.com/2014/01/27/3026205/stir-crazy-young-baker-needs-help.html

The story was encapsulated by this brilliant political cartoon, the artist-of-which, I must say, shares some of my DNA. Aside from the over-the-top bullying by the State, this is primarily a litmus test to see how far they can push us, in this case, tugging at our heart strings with an 11 year old girl who has beckoned the ire of the State.

Madison County Cupcake Regulatory Dipshits

A perusal of the county website,http://www.madisonchd.org/index.shtml, shows the chief administrator as:

Toni Corona, B.S., L.E.H.P.
Public Health Administrator
tmcorona@co.madison.il.us
(618) 296-6065

The Board of Health Members roster is here: http://www.madisonchd.org/board-of-health.shtml

Of course, the government does this all under the pretense that they are watching out for our safety; and such regulations are intended to prevent the spread of disease and injury from businesses who fail, or refuse, to implement prudent and reasonable precautions. This power, called the “police power” (which has nothing go do with police as we commonly refer to them) is regarded as in inherent power of the State to provide for the protection of the public health, safety, welfare, and morals. The police power is undefined, broad, and unlimited. It does not derive from any constitution. It’s powers are limited by the constitution, meaning it cannot cause you to be arrested or searched without constitutional limitations applying, but the scope of its legislation is so encompassing that it does need a constitution to bestow it. It is the inherent power of the State.

The purpose of this article is not to provide an in-depth analysis of the police power because first, the discussion on the validity of the State, sovereignty, natural rights, and consent, would need to be analysed. This article is a diatribe against a county regulatory board which has capriciously and zealously targeted a harmless 11 year-old girl with precocious baking abilities, and painting her as a threat to the public health in-need of governmental oversight in order to secure the confidence and soothe the minds of the fearful masses from contracting life-threatening pathogens or disease from the pre-pubescent, dough-flinging wench.

As with most bureaucratic buffoonery, the regulators will allege a violation, yet fail or refuse to cite which specific law is being broken. They will claim that you need a permit or license, or that you can’t do something, but never articulate the specifics supporting their claims. If we are to believe the Health Department’s claim, we need to find the law they refuse to cite. I found 3 possible laws/regulations which could possibly apply. The result of my research revealed the Cottage Food Preparation Act, which addressed ONLY food sold at farmer’s markets.

The first source would be the Madison County Zoning Ordinance – http://www.co.madison.il.us/planning/PDF/ZoningOrdinance.pdf

This would address the use of the home, as zoned, for baking.

The second source would be the Illinois Food Preparation Act – http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1584&ChapterID=35

And the third would be the Illinois Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act. – http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1578&ChapterID=35

The most applicable and plausible regulation is the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act (410 ILCS 625/4), which allows for “Cottage food operation”.

If you want to understand legislation, there is no better resource than the House or Senate debates as to the intent and application of that Legislation. I researched what the County failed to define and found some very telling information. It is my contention that the law does NOT apply to Chloe, and others like her who are not corporate entities or otherwise dealing with hazardous foodstuffs being sold to the public.

My research and findings follow. In the mean-time, If I were Chloe, I would continue to do what I do and wait for the paper tiger to bare its fangs and let the chips fall where they may. I seriously doubt there would be any fines or penalties in her case.

Madison County Zoning Ordinance

http://www.co.madison.il.us/planning/PDF/ZoningOrdinance.pdf

PUBLIC HEALTH (410 ILCS 650/) Sanitary Food Preparation Act. ~ http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1584&ChapterID=35

PUBLIC HEALTH (410 ILCS 625/) Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act. ~ http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1578&ChapterID=35

Cottage Food Preparation added by Public Act 097-0393 http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/fulltext.asp?Name=097-0393&GA=97

SB0840 Enrolled  LRB097 04584 KTG 44623 b

Senate Transcripts

http://www.ilga.gov/search/LISGSApage.asp?target=SB0840&submit1=Go&scope=sentran97

5/3/2011 @ Page 47 This bill relates to food sold at Farmer’s Markets ~ http://www.ilga.gov/senate/transcripts/strans97/09700035.pdf

5/27/2011 @ Page 13 Voting on the Bill ~ http://www.ilga.gov/senate/transcripts/strans97/09700054.pdf

House Transcripts

5/23/2011 @ Page 34 through Page 43 Addresses food sold at Farmer’s Markets and discusses how home bakers are affected. THIS is the important discussion you want to read. In the discussion it states that the Amish are already allowed to sell bake goods, and the Bill does not affect them. On Page 37, it discusses specifically bake sales held by groups or churches and the determination is that it does not affect what they do, it just adds the definition of what a farmer’s market is. At the top of Page 38, Representative Dugan says, “We think… I think, Representative (speaking to Representative Eddy) they’re currently exempt under current law.” ~ http://www.ilga.gov/house/transcripts/htrans97/09700062.pdf

TEXT OF THE ILLINOIS COTTAGE FOOD PREPARATION PROVISION

(410 ILCS 625/4)
Sec. 4. Cottage food operation.
(a) For the purpose of this Section:
“Cottage food operation” means a person who produces or packages non-potentially hazardous food in a kitchen of that person’s primary domestic residence for direct sale by the owner or a family member, stored in the residence where the food is made.
“Farmers’ market” means a common facility or area where farmers gather to sell a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and other locally produced farm and food products directly to consumers.
“Potentially hazardous food” means a food that is potentially hazardous according to the Federal Food and Drug Administration 2009 Food Code (FDA 2009 Food Code) or any subsequent amendments to the FDA 2009 Food Code. Potentially hazardous food (PHF) in general means a food that requires time and temperature control for safety (TCS) to limit pathogenic microorganism growth or toxin formation. In accordance with the FDA 2009 Food Code, potentially hazardous food does not include a food item that because of its pH or Aw value, or interaction of Aw and pH values, is designated as a non-PHF/non-TCS food in Table A or B of the FDA 2009 Food Code’s potentially hazardous food definition.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) of this Section, neither the Department of Public Health nor the Department of Agriculture nor the health department of a unit of local government may regulate the service of food by a cottage food operation providing that all of the following conditions are met:
(1) The food is not a potentially hazardous baked
good, jam, jelly, preserve, fruit butter, dry herb, dry herb blend, or dry tea blend and is intended for end-use only. The following provisions shall apply:

(A) The following jams, jellies and preserves are
allowed: apple, apricot, grape, peach, plum, quince, orange, nectarine, tangerine, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, cranberry, strawberry, red currants, or a combination of these fruits. Rhubarb, tomato, and pepper jellies or jams are not allowed. Any other jams, jellies, or preserves not listed may be produced by a cottage food operation provided their recipe has been tested and documented by a commercial laboratory, at the expense of the cottage food operation, as being not potentially hazardous, containing a pH equilibrium of less than 4.6.

(B) The following fruit butters are allowed:
apple, apricot, grape, peach, plum, quince, and prune. Pumpkin butter, banana butter, and pear butter are not allowed. Fruit butters not listed may be produced by a cottage food operation provided their recipe has been tested and documented by a commercial laboratory, at the expense of the cottage food operation, as being not potentially hazardous, containing a pH equilibrium of less than 4.6.

(C) Baked goods, such as, but not limited to,
breads, cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries are allowed. Only high-acid fruit pies that use the following fruits are allowed: apple, apricot, grape, peach, plum, quince, orange, nectarine, tangerine, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, cranberry, strawberry, red currants or a combination of these fruits. Fruit pies not listed may be produced by a cottage food operation provided their recipe has been tested and documented by a commercial laboratory, at the expense of the cottage food operation, as being not potentially hazardous, containing a pH equilibrium of less than 4.6. The following are potentially hazardous and prohibited from production and sale by a cottage food operation: pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, cheesecake, custard pies, creme pies, and pastries with potentially hazardous fillings or toppings.

(2) The food is to be sold at a farmers’ market.
(3) Gross receipts from the sale of food exempted
under this Section do not exceed $25,000 in a calendar year.

(4) The food packaging conforms to the labeling
requirements of the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and includes the following information on the label of each of its products:

(A) the name and address of the cottage food
operation;

(B) the common or usual name of the food product;
(C) all ingredients of the food product,
including any colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives, listed in descending order by predominance of weight shown with common or usual names;

(D) the following phrase: “This product was
produced in a home kitchen not subject to public health inspection that may also process common food allergens.”;

(E) the date the product was processed; and
(F) allergen labeling as specified in federal
labeling requirements.

(5) The name and residence of the person preparing
and selling products as a cottage food operation is registered with the health department of a unit of local government where the cottage food operation resides. No fees shall be charged for registration.

(6) The person preparing and selling products as a
cottage food operation has a Department of Public Health approved Food Service Sanitation Management Certificate.

(7) At the point of sale a placard is displayed in a
prominent location that states the following: “This product was produced in a home kitchen not subject to public health inspection that may also process common food allergens.”.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this Section, if the Department of Public Health or the health department of a unit of local government has received a consumer complaint or has reason to believe that an imminent health hazard exists or that a cottage food operation’s product has been found to be misbranded, adulterated, or not in compliance with the exception for cottage food operations pursuant to this Section, then it may invoke cessation of sales until it deems that the situation has been addressed to the satisfaction of the Department.
(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this Section, a State-certified local public health department may, upon providing a written statement to the Department of Public Health, regulate the service of food by a cottage food operation. The regulation by a State-certified local public health department may include all of the following requirements:
(1) That the cottage food operation (A) register with
the State-certified local public health department, which may include a reasonable fee set by the State-certified local public health department notwithstanding paragraph (5) of subsection (b) of this Section and (B) agree in writing at the time of registration to grant access to the State-certified local public health department to conduct an inspection of the cottage food operation’s primary domestic residence in the event of a consumer complaint or foodborne illness outbreak.

(2) That in the event of a consumer complaint or
foodborne illness outbreak the State-certified local public health department is allowed to (A) inspect the premises of the cottage food operation in question and (B) set a reasonable fee for that inspection.

(Source: P.A. 97-393, eff. 1-1-12.)

 

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Arrests and Complaints

If you have been issued a traffic ticket or charged with a misdemeanor in Illinois and appeared in court or failed to appear and had a bench warrant issued, chances are you have not been charged with an offense and have no duty to appear in court to answer the charges. If you have pleaded or were found guilty for a traffic infraction or misdemeanor then you probably pleaded to a nonexistent charge. If either is the case, I recommend you contact me. There may be a way to get your judgment voided since the court did not have jurisdiction in the first place. I have seen hundreds of traffic tickets, as well as a fair share of complaints and informations. I have yet to see a warrant issued by a judge and supported by affidavit, or an information signed and swore to by the State’s Attorney. Traffic tickets are not complaints and you have no obligation to appear in court for a traffic ticket.

I have written numerous times on the issue of defective charges issued by police and prosecutors in Illinois, particularly St. Clair County. I will walk through the lawful requirements for charging an offense and how the State either willfully or ignorantly files insufficient and unlawful charges against individuals. For there to be a lawful charge, there must first be jurisdiction. This article will deal with Constitutional issues as well as statutory requirements and appellate court opinions on the subject. I think you will find that if you have been charged with a traffic or misdemeanor offense, maybe even a felony, you have not been lawfully charged with an offense and have voluntarily appeared to answer for non-existent charges.

Before we even get to what the ‚“law‚ says, we must understand the basic protections afforded by the Constitutions. Let’s begin with the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and noWarrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (This means NO warrants, including bench warrants, traffic warrants, etc.)

Now we move on to Article I, Section 6 of the Illinois Constitution (Bill of Rights):

SECTION 6. SEARCHES, SEIZURES, PRIVACY AND INTERCEPTIONS

The people shall have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and other possessions against unreasonable searches, seizures, invasions of privacy or interceptions of communications by eavesdropping devices or other means.‚ Nowarrant shall issue without probable cause,‚ supported by affidavit particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. (This is substantially a recitation of the Fourth Amendment, except it specifies an affidavit as opposed to an oath. This may be a fine distinction, but an oath is given orally and affidavit is in writing. The Fourth Amendment provides for both whereas Illinois limits warrants to being supported by a written affidavit.

There are generally 3 ways to charge an offense; by complaint, information, and indictment. This is not to say that you cannot be arrested without them. It has been held that if a criminal offense is committed in the presence of a police officer or a private citizen they may make an arrest. Either a police officer or private citizen may make an arrest with a warrant. Only a police officer can make an arrest based on probable cause. Here is what the courts have said regarding these options in relation to the protections of the Constitutions:

This section of the Constitution has been many times construed by this court, and it has been uniformly held that‚ noperson may be arrested and held to answer a charge of crime other than on asworn complaint before a judge or justice of the peace, or an indictment returned by a grand jury duly sworn and impaneled, or by presentment of not less than two members of such grand jury, or by verified information of the state’s attorney or Attorney General in certain cases.People ex rel. v. Leinecke, 290 Ill. 560, 125 N.E. 513;People v. Clark, 280 Ill. 160, 117 N.E. 432;Housh v. People, 75 Ill. 487; also, Smith-Hurd Rev.St.1931, c. 38, ss 662, 664, 711, 721. The only exceptions to these requirements arise in cases where the arrest or seizure is‚ made by an officer in whose presence the crime is committed or who has reasonable ground for believing that the person arrested was implicated in the commission of a crime. (‚ People v. Caruso, 339 Ill. 258, 171 N.E. 128;People v. Swift, 319 Ill. 359, 150 N.E. 263;Lynn v. People, 170 Ill. 527, 48 N.E. 964;North v. People, 139 Ill. 81, 28 N.E. 966),

A Citizen has the power of arrest reflected in the Illinois Compiled Statutes:

(725 ILCS 5/107‚”˜3) (from Ch. 38, par. 107‚”˜3) Sec. 107‚”˜3. Arrest by private person. ‚ Any person may arrest another when he has reasonable grounds to believe that an offense other than an ordinance violation is being committed.‚ (Source: Laws 1963, p. 2836.)

(725 ILCS 5/107‚”˜9) (from Ch. 38, par. 107‚”˜9)‚  Sec. 107‚”˜9. Issuance of arrest warrant upon complaint. (e) The warrant shall be directed to all peace officers in the State. It shall be executed by the peace officer, or by a private person specially named therein, at any location within the geographic limitation for execution placed on the warrant. If no geographic limitation is placed on the warrant, then it may be executed anywhere in the State.

To this point, it is clear that both the US Constitution and Illinois Constitution state, as supported by the courts, that no arrest can be made without a warrant, and for there to be a warrant there must be a sworn complaint; except in cases where a police officer personally witnesses the crime or has probable cause, or when a private person reasonably believes an offense other than an ordinance violation is being committed. Pay attention to ‚“is being committed‚. This means the offense must be in progress and not a thing of the past or future. A private person cannot arrest someone because of what they did or are about to do. That is the extent of the power of arrest possessed by the State. Illinois takes this one step further, which is where I believe arrests by so-called “bench warrants” come into play. The statutes say:

(725 ILCS 5/107‚”˜2) (from Ch. 38, par. 107‚”˜2) Sec. 107‚”˜2. (1) Arrest by Peace Officer. A peace officer may arrest a person when: ‚ (a) He has a warrant commanding that such person be arrested; or(b) He has reasonable grounds to believe that a warrant for the person’s arrest has been issued in this State or in another jurisdiction;

Police do not know the law. They only do what they are told. If a police officer is handed a bench warrant he does not question whether the warrant has been lawfully issued pursuant to the Constitution. If he checks his computer and sees a notice about a bench warrant he does not review the warrant for conformity with the law. He does not review the warrant for the judge’s signature or whether there is a corresponding affidavit. He is operating on “reasonable grounds” that a warrant has been issued because of the bench warrant. This can be dangerous, because without a warrant there is no arrest, regardless of the police officer’s belief. People have a right to be secure in their persons, papers, and possessions and if unlawfully assaulted in this respect have a natural right to defend themselves and their property, even from police. I expound on this premise in‚ this article and will not revisit the specifics here.

Before going further, we must ask this question. If the law provides for arrests, are there any who are exempt from arrests? I know many believe police are exempt from arrests when in the performance of their duties, but are they? Let’s visit the statutes again where we find some guidance.

(725 ILCS 5/107‚”˜7) (from Ch. 38, par. 107‚”˜7) Sec. 107‚”˜7. Persons exempt from arrest. (a)‚ Electors shall, in all cases except treason, felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at election, and in going to and returning from the same. (b)‚ Senators and representatives shall, in all cases, except treason, felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the General Assembly, and in going to and returning from the same. (c)‚ The militia shall in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at musters and elections, and in going to and returning from the same. (d)‚ Judges, attorneys, clerks, sheriffs, and other court officers shall be privileged from arrest while attending court and while going to and returning from court.‚ (Source: Laws 1963, p. 2836.)

I fail to find anywhere in that section an exemption for police officers. It does specifically mention sheriffs, but police officers are municipal or state ‚ employees and not officers of the court. The statute even alludes to sheriffs being not exempt if they are not attending court or going to and from court. This means that if a police officer commits a crime in the presence of a private individual they may make an arrest of that police officer. This would include the police officer using excessive force or other crime committed under the pretense of effecting an arrest.

So now we know there can be no arrest without a warrant or unless a crime is committed in the presence of a police officer or other individual, or in cases where police have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been, is being, or will be committed. If there is a warrant, it must be sworn to and in writing.

The only other instance where an arrest or seizure is at all justifiable is where an offense is committed in the presence of the officer or person making the arrest, And in such case there must be a sworn complaint or indictment before trial to set the machinery of the law in motion.’ (Emphasis supplied.)‚ 280 Ill. at 166, 117 N.E. at 434.

The only exceptions to these requirements arise in cases where the arrest or seizure is made by an officer in whose presence the crime is committed or who has reasonable ground for believing that the person arrested was implicated in the commission of a crime. (‚ People v. Caruso, 339 Ill. 258, 171 N.E. 128;People v. Swift, 319 Ill. 359, 150 N.E. 263;Lynn v. People, 170 Ill. 527, 48 N.E. 964;North v. People, 139 Ill. 81, 28 N.E. 966), And even then‚ a sworn complaint or indictment must follow before the court can take jurisdiction.’

Arrest by warrant is‚ unlawful until complaint charging crime has been filed.‚ Housh v. People, 1874, 75 Ill. 487.

By the common law, and according to the holdings in many of the states, a private person may justify an arrest by showing that a felony had been actually committed and that he had reasonable grounds to suspect that the person arrested committed the felony. 2 Am. & Eng. Ency. of Law (2d Ed.) 885; 3 Cyc. 885, and authorities therein cited. By section 4 of division 6 of our Criminal Code (Hurd’s Rev. St. 1903, c. 38, ‚§ 342, p. 677), it is provided: ‚An arrest may be made by an officer or by a private person without warrant, for a criminal offense committed or attempted in his presence, and by an officer, when a criminal offense has in fact been committed and he has reasonable ground for believing that the person to be arrested has committed it.’ From the reading of this statute it would seem that there is pointed out a distinction between the power of a citizen to make an arrest and that of an officer. A citizen may arrest when an offense is committed or attempted to be committed in his presence. So, too, may an officer under the same circumstances. But an officer may also arrest where the criminal offense has in fact been committed and he has reasonable grounds for believing the person arrested has committed it. But this latter power is not extended to a citizen by the statute.‚ Enright v. Gibson, 219 Ill. 550, 76 N.E.689

There are, no doubt, cases which hold that private individuals may arrest on probable cause; but there are authorities which hold the contrary rule, and in the conflict of authority we are left free to adopt the rule which seems to be most consonant with reason and the public interest; and to prevent breaches of the peace, and even bloodshed, we think that a private individual should not be justified unless a crime had been committed and the person arrested shall be shown to be the guilty party.’ We think this case a clear announcement of the rule in this state that, before a private citizen can justify an arrest made by him, he must show not only that a crime has in fact been committed, but that the person arrested is guilty of the crime.‚ Enright v. Gibson, 219 Ill. 550, 76 N.E.689

Fact that complaint itself may not have stated facts supporting probable cause did not make arrest warrant invalid, where trial court examined complainant under oath and determined that probable cause existed. People v. Hayes, 1990, 151 Ill.Dec.348, 139 Ill.2d 89, 564 N.E.2d 803, certiorari denied 111 S.Ct. 1601, 449 U.S. 967, 113 L.Ed.2d 664. Criminal Law211(1); Criminal Law212

The court is saying that even if the complaint itself does not contain information to support probable cause, by the court examining the complainant under oath, it determined that probable cause was sufficient for the issuance of an arrest warrant. This illustrates the importance of the court examining the complainant or witness. It is not the written complaint which is ‚ important, but that there is a flesh-and-blood individual before the court swearing under oath and penalty of perjury that there has been a crime committed, and the complaint serves as the written instrument for the record which the court will refer to in prosecuting the crime.

Officer seeking arrest warrant is not required to present issuing judge any and all circumstances which may affect finding of probable cause. People v. Hothersall, App. 2 Dist.1981, 58 Ill.Dec. 891, 103 Ill.App.3d 183, 430 N.E.2d 1142. Criminal Law 211(3)

Complaints for arrest warrants, which complaints contained names of accused, offense charged, time and place of offense, and signature and oath of complainant, were sufficient under this paragraph. People v. Collins, App. 1 Dist.1979, 26 Ill.Dec.165, 70 Ill.App.3d 413, 387 N.E.2d 995. Criminal Law211(1)

Probable cause necessary for issuance of arrest warrant cannot be made out by mere conclusory statements in affidavit in support of warrant that probable cause exists. People v. Davis, App. 1 Dist.1974, 20 Ill.App.3d 948, 314 N.E.2d 723.Criminal Law 211(1)

Where arrest warrant was issued on basis of a complaint which merely stated that police officer had just and reasonable grounds to believe that defendant had sold a narcotic drug, warrant was defective under Const. 1870, Art. 2, ‚§ 6 (see, now, Const. Art. 1, ‚§ 6), and evidence obtained as a result of defendant’s arrest was inadmissible. People v. Waitts, 1967, 36 Ill.2d 467, 224 N.E.2d 257. Criminal Law 211(3); Criminal Law394.4(9)

Complaint which charged offense of disorderly conduct and which was verified before notary public and presented to court by complainant, who was thereupon examined under oath by court, was sufficient as basis for issuance of warrant of arrest. Village of Willowbrook v. Miller, ‚ App.1966, 72 Ill.App.2d 30, 217 N.E.2d 809. Criminal Law 211(1)

A complaint in writing subscribed and sworn to, containing a concise statement of the offense charged, the name of the person accused, and averring that the complainant has just and reasonable grounds to believe that the accused committed the offense, is sufficient. People v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co.,1925, 238 Ill.App. 112.

Illinois courts may issue an arrest warrant only if complaint shows that probable cause exists to believe proposed arrestee has committed crime in question. Keefer v. Leach, 1979, 597 P.2d 203, 198 Colo. 101. Criminal Law 217

This paragraph did not require that complaint or warrant articulate probable cause for arrest but rather that court, in making determination of probable cause for issuance of arrest warrant, examine complainant or any witness under oath. People v. Hooper, 1989, 142 Ill.Dec. 93, 133 Ill.2d 469, 552 N.E.2d 684, certiorari denied 111 S.Ct. 284, 498 U.S. 911, 112 L.Ed.2d 239. Criminal Law211(1); Criminal Law 212

For there to be a lawful arrest there must first be an arrest warrant supported by a sworn complaint, information, or indictment; or a police officer must have reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed or he or a private individual must have witnessed the crime personally. For there to be a complaint or information, there must be a supporting affidavit or oath. Even if arrested by a police officer witnessing the offense there must be a sworn complaint or indictment supported by affidavit or oath. Regardless, in ALL CASES, there MUST BE A SWORN COMPLAINT SUPPORTED BY AFFIDAVIT OR OATH. If either of these is missing from a charge the court has NO jurisdiction and the charge cannot stand.

CHARGING AN OFFENSE

We also need to examine the ways an offense can be charged. These are complaint, information, and indictment. Let’s examine the requirements for each.

(725 ILCS 5/Art. 111 heading)

ARTICLE 111. CHARGING AN OFFENSE

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072500050HTit%2E+IV&ActID=1966&ChapterID=54&SeqStart=19700000&SeqEnd=25100000

(725 ILCS 5/111‚”˜1) (from Ch. 38, par. 111‚”˜1)

Sec. 111‚”˜1. Methods of prosecution.

When authorized by law a prosecution may be commenced by:

(a) A complaint; [1]

(b) An information; [2]

(c) An indictment. [3]

(725 ILCS 5/111‚”˜2) (from Ch. 38, par. 111‚”˜2)

Sec. 111‚”˜2. Commencement of prosecutions.

(a) All prosecutions of felonies shall be by information or by indictment. No prosecution may be pursued by information unless a preliminary hearing has been held or waived in accordance with Section 109‚”˜3 and at that hearing probable cause to believe the defendant committed an offense was found, and the provisions of Section 109‚”˜3.1 of this Code have been complied with.

(b) All other prosecutions may be by indictment, information or complaint.

(d) Upon the filing of an information or indictment in open court, the court shall immediately issue a warrant for the arrest of each person charged with an offense directed to a peace officer or some other person specifically named commanding him to arrest such person.

(f) Where the prosecution of a felony is by information or complaint after preliminary hearing, or after a waiver of preliminary hearing in accordance with paragraph (a) of this Section, such prosecution may be for all offenses, arising from the same transaction or conduct of a defendant even though the complaint or complaints filed at the preliminary hearing charged only one or some of the offenses arising from that transaction or conduct.

(Source: P.A. 90‚”˜590, eff. 1‚”˜1‚”˜99.)

(725 ILCS 5/111‚”˜3) (from Ch. 38, par. 111‚”˜3)

Sec. 111‚”˜3. Form of charge.

(b) An indictment shall be signed by the foreman of the Grand Jury and an information shall be signed by the State’s Attorney and sworn to by him or another [4].

A complaint shall be sworn to and signed by the complainant [5];

provided, that when a peace officer observes the commission of a misdemeanor and is the complaining witness, the signing of the complaint by the peace officer is sufficient to charge the defendant with the commission of the offense [6],

and the complaint need not be sworn to if the officer signing the complaint certifies[7]

that the statements set forth in the complaint are true and correct and are subject to the penalties provided by law for false certification [8]

under Section 1‚”˜109 of the Code of Civil Procedure and perjury under Section 32‚”˜2 of the Criminal Code of 1961; [9]

and further provided , however, that when a citation is issued on a Uniform Traffic Ticket or Uniform Conservation Ticket (in a form prescribed by the Conference of Chief Circuit Judges and filed with the Supreme Court), the copy of such Uniform Ticket which is filed with the circuit court constitutes a complaint to which the defendant may plead [10],

unless he specifically requests that a verified complaint be filed [11].

[1]Complaint – 725 ILCS 5/102 9 “Complaint” means a verifiedwritten statement other than an information or an indictment, presented to a court, which charges the commission of an offense.

[2]Information – 725 ILCS 5/102 12 “Information” means a verifiedwritten statement signed by a State’s Attorney, and presented to a court, which charges the commission of an offense.

[3]Indictment – 725 ILCS 5/102 11 “Indictment” means a written statement, presented by the Grand Jury to a court, which charges the commission of an offense.‚

[4]There is a little confusion on this as to whether anyone can swear to an information signed by the State’s Attorney. I have seen informations sworn to by the police officer, but does ‚“another‚ mean ‚“anyone else‚? In this sense, ‚“another‚ means someone else in the State’s Attorney’s office, such as an Assistant State’s Attorney. Looking at footnote [5] you will see that for a complaint, the lowest form of charge there is, it must be signed and sworn to by the complainant. Why would a complaint not be signed by the complainant and sworn to by ‚“another‚? Because the person making the charge is the one subject to the penalties of perjury so they must sign and swear. With the State’s Attorney’s office, they are working under the same oath of office and extensions of the State’s Attorney. Therefore, duly appointed deputies of the State’s Attorney, Assistant State’s Attorneys, can swear as though it were the State’s Attorney himself. For other guidance on this, we look at another State, Florida, and its requirements. http://www.joffelaw.com/state-rules/3-140.html

(g) Signature, Oath, and Certification; Information. An information charging the commission of a felony shall be signed by the state attorney, or a designated assistant state attorney, under oath stating his or her good faith in instituting the prosecution and certifying that he or she has received testimony under oath from the material witness or witnesses for the offense. An information charging the commission of a misdemeanor shall be signed by the state attorney, or a designated assistant state attorney, under oath stating his or her good faith in instituting the prosecution. No objection to an information on the ground that it was not signed or verified, as herein provided, shall be entertained after the defendant pleads to the merits.

[5]As distinguished from an information, the complaint must be signed and sworn to by the complainant. There is no provision for a complaint being signed by the complainant and sworn to by another individual.

[6]Notice that it specifies the ‚“commission of a misdemeanor‚ and not a felony. It is saying that if the police officer is the complaining witness and directly observes the commission of a misdemeanor, his signature on the complaint is sufficient to charge the defendant with the commission of the offense. However, remember that a complaint must be sworn to. This statement is misleading, as it is referring to misdemeanors which are civil in nature, and not criminal. Read on.

[7]It goes on to say the complaint need not be sworn to if the officer certifies, which is not the same as verification. Certification is a method used in civil proceedings to show notice was served to parties. It is different from verification. ‚“Although statute provided that, whenever the Code of Civil Procedure requires a document to be sworn to or verified under oath, then verification under penalty of perjury is an acceptable substitute, the verification provided by statute was not a substitute for the affidavit required by ‚“date of mailing‚ rule, providing that service is proved, in case of service by mail, by certificate of the attorney, or affidavit of a person other than the attorney, who deposited the paper in the mail; statute allowed for verification by certification unless otherwise expressly provided by rule of the Supreme Court. People v. Tlatenchi, App. 1 Dist.2009, 330 Ill.Dec. 485, 391 Ill.App.3d 705, 909 N.E.2d 198, rehearing denied , appeal denied 336 Ill.Dec. 489, 234 Ill.2d 547, 920 N.E.2d 1079.‚

‚“By its express terms, statute governing verification by certification provides that, whenever the Code of Civil Procedure requires a document to be sworn to or verified under oath, then verification under penalty of perjury is an acceptable substitute, but statute does not indicate that such verification is an acceptable substitute when a statute, other than the Code of Civil Procedure, requires a document to be sworn to or verified under oath. People v. Tlatenchi, App. 1 Dist.2009, 330 Ill.Dec. 485, 391 Ill.App.3d 705, 909 N.E.2d 198, rehearing denied , appeal denied 336 Ill.Dec. 489, 234 Ill.2d 547, 920 N.E.2d 1079.‚

Notice how it refers to the Code of Civil Procedure. In the case cited last, it says that certification is not acceptable when a document is required to sworn to or verified under oath, as with a criminal complaint. Certification and verification are two different things, certification belonging to civil proceedings and verification being a requisite for criminal charges.

[8]Again, it is talking a false certification, which applies to civil matters.

[9]Section 1-109 of the Code of Civil Procedure found here http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=073500050HArt%2E+I&ActID=2017&ChapterID=56&SeqStart=100000&SeqEnd=1100000

states ‚“(735 ILCS 5/1‚”˜109) (from Ch. 110, par. 1‚”˜109)

Sec. 1‚”˜109. Verification by certification. Unless otherwise expressly provided by rule of the Supreme Court, whenever in this Code any complaint, petition, answer, reply, bill of particulars, answer to interrogatories, affidavit, return or proof of service, or other document or pleading filed in any court of this State is required or permitted to be verified, or made, sworn to or verified under oath, such requirement or permission is hereby defined to include a certification of such pleading, affidavit or other document under penalty of perjury as provided in this Section.

Whenever any such pleading, affidavit or other document is so certified, the several matters stated shall be stated positively or upon information and belief only, according to the fact. The person or persons having knowledge of the matters stated in a pleading, affidavit or other document certified in accordance with this Section shall subscribe to a certification in substantially the following form: Under penalties as provided by law pursuant to Section 1‚”˜109 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the undersigned certifies that the statements set forth in this instrument are true and correct, except as to matters therein stated to be on information and belief and as to such matters the undersigned certifies as aforesaid that he verily believes the same to be true.

Any pleading, affidavit or other document certified in accordance with this Section may be used in the same manner and with the same force and effect as though subscribed and sworn to under oath.

Any person who makes a false statement, material to the issue or point in question, which he does not believe to be true, in any pleading, affidavit or other document certified by such person in accordance with this Section shall be guilty of a Class 3 felony.

(Source: P.A. 83‚”˜916.)‚

All that Section 1-109 does is lay down the use of certification in civil matters. It is the rule by which certification may be used, and only in accordance with Civil Procedure. Section 32-2 of the Criminal Code goes on to define what perjury is and the penalties for committing. It is found here http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+32&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=74000000&SeqEnd=77100000

and states ‚“(720 ILCS 5/32‚”˜2) (from Ch. 38, par. 32‚”˜2)

Sec. 32‚”˜2. Perjury.

(a) A person commits perjury when, under oath or affirmation, in a proceeding or in any other matter where by law such oath or affirmation is required, he makes a false statement, material to the issue or point in question, which he does not believe to be true.

(b) Proof of Falsity.

An indictment or information for perjury alleging that the offender, under oath, has made contradictory statements, material to the issue or point in question, in the same or in different proceedings, where such oath or affirmation is required, need not specify which statement is false. At the trial, the prosecution need not establish which statement is false.

(c) Admission of Falsity.

Where the contradictory statements are made in the same continuous trial, an admission by the offender in that same continuous trial of the falsity of a contradictory statement shall bar prosecution therefor under any provisions of this Code.

(d) A person shall be exempt from prosecution under subsection (a) of this Section if he is a peace officer who uses a false or fictitious name in the enforcement of the criminal laws, and such use is approved in writing as provided in Section 10‚”˜1 of “The Liquor Control Act of 1934”, as amended, Section 5 of “An Act in relation to the use of an assumed name in the conduct or transaction of business in this State”, approved July 17, 1941, as amended, or Section 2605‚”˜200 of the Department of State Police Law (20 ILCS 2605/2605‚”˜200). However, this exemption shall not apply to testimony in judicial proceedings where the identity of the peace officer is material to the issue, and he is ordered by the court to disclose his identity.

(e) Sentence.

Perjury is a Class 3 felony.

(Source: P.A. 91‚”˜239, eff. 1‚”˜1‚”˜00.)‚

[10]This statement deals with traffic and conservation offenses, which are not crimes, but rather administrative or civil offenses. The form of the traffic or conservation offense is determined by the Illinois Supreme Court and the Conference of Chief Circuit Judges. For the purposes of this discussion, the applicability of this statement pertains to notice and charging of an offense. The Illinois Supreme Court website where this is discussed is here http://www.state.il.us/court/SupremeCourt/Rules/Art_V/ArtV.htm#Rule%20552

Under ‚“Notice to Appear‚ it states ‚“(e) Notice to Appear. In all cases in which a defendant is issued a Notice to Appear under section 107‚”œ12 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, as amended (725 ILCS 5/107‚”œ12), and fails to appear on the date set for appearance, or any date to which the case may be continued, the court may enter an ex parte judgment of conviction against an accused charged with an offense punishable by a fine only and in so doing shall assess fines, penalties and costs in an amount not to exceed equal to the cash bail required by this article. Payment received for fines, penalties, and costs assessed following the entry of an ex parte judgment shall be disbursed by the clerk pursuant to Rule 529. The clerk of the court shall notify the Secretary of State of the conviction pursuant to Rule 552 and of the unsatisfied judgment pursuant to section 6‚”œ306.6(a) of the Illinois Vehicle Code, as amended (625 ILCS 5/6‚”œ306.6(a)). In lieu of the foregoing procedure, a summons or warrant of arrest may be issued.

Committee Comments

(December 5, 2003)

Supreme Court Rule 556 (“Procedure if Defendant Fails to Appear”) delineates several procedures if the defendant fails to appear after depositing a driver’s license in lieu of bond, executes a written promise to comply, posts bond or issued a notice to appear.

The rule provided that the court may “enter an ex parte judgment of conviction against any accused charged with an offense punishable by a fine only and in so doing shall assess fines, penalties and costs in an amount not to exceed the cash bail required by this article.” Rule 556 does not detail the specific costs and penalties, or their amounts, in the entry of ex parte judgments. The clerk is then left with deciding which costs, fees and additional penalties (and their amounts) should be applied. This is currently being determined on a county by county basis.‚

Notice how this rule, pertaining to traffic and conservation offenses, deal with Civil Procedure. Nothing in this rule addresses criminal matters, and deals with offenses punishable by ‚“fine only‚, which is considered a ‚“petty offense‚. Also, notice the last few words of this section state that such a complaint constitutes a complaint to which the defendant may plead. This means the defendant, if willing to voluntarily plead to this type of complaint, waives all his rights to having a sworn complaint filed. Read carefully the next excerpt from an Illinois Appellate case where this very issue is addressed by the court.

‚“The charge against the defendant was initiated by an unverified ‚Illinois Uniform Traffic Ticket and Com-plaint.‘ It was in the form prescribed by Supreme Court Rule, par. C, relating to ‚Procedures in Traffic Cases, Quasi-Criminal Cases and Certain Misdemeanors.’ (S.H.A. ch. 110, par. 102.1; also see: Ill.Rev.Stat.1965, ch. 16, pars. 81-85 incl.) The defendant contends that the judgment should be reversed in that he had a right to be tried upon a verified complaint, and further, that the complaint was fatally defective since it did not adequately charge the offense of ‚drag racing.’

 

No pretrial motion was made by the defendant. He proceeded to trial without objection to the form of the complaint. After judgment, he filed a motion in arrest of judgment, asserting, among other things, that the complaint was not verified and that it failed to state a criminal or quasi-criminal offense within the statute under which he was charged.

 

It is readily apparent that the Supreme Court Rule governing procedures in traffic cases, quasi-criminal cases and certain misdemeanors, does not contemplate that the Illinois Uniform Traffic Ticket and Complaint be verified. The court, in People v. Harding, 34 Ill.2d 475, 216 N.E.2d 147 (1966), made an exhaustive analysis of its Rule and the statutes pertaining to the same subject matter. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1965, ch. 16, pars. 81-85 incl.; ch. 38, pars. 107-9, 107-11, 107-12 and par. 111-3(a)(b).) The court there pointed out that there is no constitutional provision requiring verification of the complaint which follows an arrest without a warrant. So far as the relevant constitutional provisions are concerned, they may require a sworn complaint as a prerequisite to the issuance of an arrest warrant, but they do not purport to lay down any jurisdictional prerequisites governing the institution of a criminal prosecution. The court stated at pages 482 and 483, 216 N.E.2d at pages 151 and 152

 

‚The Code of Criminal Procedure, enacted in 1963, retains the substance of the former statutory provi-sions with respect to the issuance of arrest warrants upon complaints and informations. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1965, chap. 38, par. 107-9.) But it also provides for the use of a summons, or a notice to appear, as ‚procedures for getting persons into court without the necessity and inconvenience of an immediate arrest.‘ (S.H.A., chap. 38, pars. 107-11; 107-12, Committee Comments.) Although, as we have held, there is no constitutional requirement that a complaint must be verified in order to sustain a criminal prosecution, the Code continues the statutory requirement of a sworn complaint. Ill.Rev.Stat.1965, chap. 38, par. 111-3(b).

 

‚In many decisions it has been held that a complaint, defective because it was not verified, or verified upon information and belief, did not affect the jurisdiction of the court and that the right to be charged by a properly verified information can be waived. (Citations.) So far as the objection of want of verification is concerned, therefore, the unverified traffic ticket complaint used in this case would have sufficed to give the court jurisdiction if the defendant had waived the objection by going to trial without raising it, or by a plea of guilty.

 

‚The adoption by this court of the rule which authorized the use of the unverified form of Illinois Uniform Traffic Ticket and Complaint was not intended to dispense with the statutory requirement of a verified complaint, and we hold that a defendant who does not waive, by plea of guilty or by proceeding to trial without objection, the defective verification of a complaint, is entitled to be prosecuted upon a com-plaint which states upon the oath of the complainant the facts constituting the offense charged.

 

The most that can be said for the requirement of verification of a traffic ticket and complaint, such as that before us, is that the Code of Criminal Procedure continues the requirement that a complaint be verified in order to sustain a criminal prosecution. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1965, ch. 38, par. 111-3(b).) The lack of verification, however, does not affect the jurisdiction of the court. The right to be charged by a properly verified complaint can be waived and, in fact, is waived unless the accused pleads guilty or proceeds to trial without an appropriate pretrial motion or objection.‚ ‚  People v. Harding, supra, 482, 483, 216 N.E.2d 147; Village of Willowbrook v. Miller, 72 Ill.App.2d 30, 34, 217 N.E.2d 809 (1966). The want of verification was not appropriately raised in the case at bar, and accordingly, we hold that the defendant has waived any right to object to the lack of verification.‚

That is pretty conclusive. There need not be a verified complaint for the court to have jurisdiction or to commence a prosecution because you may waive all your rights to a verified complaint and therefore submit to the jurisdiction. However, you have a right to demand a verified complaint, and if so, the court must have one before it can sustain a prosecution. Notice the statement in bold where the court says the traffic ticket is a procedure for getting persons into court without the necessity and inconvenience of an immediate arrest. They use the defective traffic ticket to get you into court and submit to jurisdiction without the necessity and inconvenience of there being a sworn criminal complaint.

[11]This statement summarized the discussion on complaints, particularly traffic and conservation offenses, where you may plead to the defective complaint unless you demand that a verified complaint be filed. This means that the court will have to require the complainant to swear to a complaint and have an arrest warrant issues, something they are not likely to do. This would require the police officer who issued the ticket to come before a judge with a written complaint that has been sworn to before someone authorized to administer oaths. This is what the court referred to as the ‚“necessity and inconvenience‚.

Notice how all but indictment requires a verified written statement. That is because the Grand Jury is sworn in when empaneled and all of their indictments derive from that oath, therefore, they do not need to issue a verified statement since they are already sworn in. However, both a complaint and an information must be supported by written sworn statements. Let’s look at what “verification” means.

‚“Verification‚, has been held by Courts of this State to mean‚ a written statement made under oath or affirmation before any officer empowered to administer oaths and which, for any willfully false or misleading statement made thereof, subjects the affiant to pains and penalty of perjury. Village of Willowbrook v. Miller, App.1966, 72 Ill.App.2d 30, 217 N.E.2d 809, People v. Siex, App.1942, 39 N.E.2d 84, 312 Ill.App. 657.

Now, what is this “officer empowered to administer oaths”? Fortunately, the answer is readily available for that as well.

The power to administer oaths derives from the Legislature and codified at 5 ILCS 5/255 et. seq. (Oaths and Affirmations Act)

While we’re digging, let’s look at who the Oaths and Affirmations Act embraces as an “officer empowered to administer oaths”.

(5 ILCS 255/2) (from Ch. 101, par. 2)‚ ‚ ‚  ‚ Sec. 2. Affidavits and depositions. All courts, and judges, and the clerks thereof, the county clerk, deputy county clerk, the Secretary of State, notaries public, and persons certified under the Illinois Certified Shorthand Reporters Act of 1984 may, in their respective districts, circuits, counties or jurisdictions, administer all oaths of office and all other oaths authorized or required of any officer or other person, and take affidavits and depositions concerning any matter or thing, process or proceeding commenced or to be commenced, or pending in any court or before them, or on any occasion wherein any affidavit or deposition is authorized or required by law to be taken.

Before we go on, the statute goes on to even define a judge:

(5 ILCS 255/7)‚ ‚ ‚  ‚ Sec. 7. Definition of judge. For the purposes of this Act, “judge” means (i) an incumbent judge of the Illinois Supreme, Appellate, or Circuit Court, whether elected or appointed, (ii) a retired judge of the Illinois Supreme, Appellate, or Circuit Court, and (iii) an incumbent or retired associate judge of the Illinois Circuit Court. The term “judge” does not include a judge who has been convicted of a felony or who has been removed from office by the Illinois Courts Commission.‚ (Source: P.A. 95‚”˜498, eff. 1‚”˜1‚”˜08.)

This does not include municipal judges, administrative law judges, or circuit court judges.

So, what is the significance of “verification”? Let’s look:

(5 ILCS 255/5) (from Ch. 101, par. 5)‚ ‚ ‚  ‚ Sec. 5. All oaths, affirmations, affidavits and depositions, administered or taken as provided in this act, shall subject any person who shall so swear or affirm willfully and falsely, in matter material to any issue or point in question, to the like pains and penalties as are inflicted by law on persons convicted of willful and corrupt perjury.‚ (Source: R.S. 1874, p. 725.)

Verification is required because if the person so swearing does so falsely they will be held to answer for willful and corrupt perjury. I believe this is why State’s Attorneys do not issue proper informations in many cases‚ because the charges are fraudulent to begin with. I believe most of them know the law either does not apply to most people in most cases, or they know they do not have knowledge of facts sufficient to charge an offense and therefore cannot swear to them. They rely upon people’s ignorance of the law and the intimidation of them being assailed by a system that relies upon imprisonment and threats for its survival.

Now I will examine the various types of ways an offense is charged and the legal requirements and defects as they are used today.

What is a charge?

(725 ILCS 5/102‚”˜8) (from Ch. 38, par. 102‚”˜8)‚ ‚ ‚  ‚ Sec. 102‚”˜8. “Charge”. ‚ “Charge” means a written statement presented to a court accusing a person of the commission of an offense and includes complaint, information and indictment.‚ (Source: Laws 1963, p. 2836.)

So a charge is a written statement in the form of a complaint, information, or indictment which charges an offense. Let’s examine what an “offense” is.

(725 ILCS 5/102‚”˜15) (from Ch. 38, par. 102‚”˜15) ‚ Sec. 102‚”˜15. “Offense”. “Offense” means a violation of any penal statute of this State.‚ (Source: P.A. 76‚”˜1796.)

Well, that seems clear enough, but what do they mean by “penal statute”? I do not find a definition for penal statute. There are various types of offenses, generally speaking. These include ordinance violation, petty offense, misdemeanor, and felony. What I do find is a definition for “penal institution”, which may shed light on what a penal statute is, since violators of penal statutes would be sentenced to a penal institution.

(720 ILCS 5/2‚”˜14) (from Ch. 38, par. 2‚”˜14) ‚ Sec. 2‚”˜14. “Penal institution”. ‚ “Penal institution” means a penitentiary, state farm, reformatory, prison, jail, house of correction, or other institution for the incarceration or custody of persons under sentence for offenses or awaiting trial or sentence for offenses.‚ (Source: Laws 1961, p. 1983.)

So it would appear that offenses only apply to those which include the possibility of someone being sentenced to serve time in some sort of jail or other form of confinement. For a good layman’s breakdown of the different types and their corresponding punishment I found the Illinois State Bar Association to be very helpful:

In Illinois, most traffic charges are categorized as either “petty” or “misdemeanor” offenses.

Petty offenses are those punishable by fine only. They include stop sign and red light violations, most speeding tickets, lane change violations and driving without insurance. Fines range from $1.00 to $1,000. Fines are either payable on the day assessed or on such later date as the court may direct.

Misdemeanors are divided into three (3) classes, referred to as Class A, B and C.

Class A is the most serious. It includes violations such as driving under the influence, speeding 40 or more miles over the posted speed limit, driving while license suspended or revoked, reckless driving or leaving the scene of an accident. The possible penalties for Class A misdemeanors are up to 364 days in jail and/or fines up to $2,500. Day for day good time credit applies to most misdemeanor jail sentences.

Class B misdemeanors, such as selling or providing a fraudulent driver’s license or permit, carry a possible penalty of up to six (6) months in jail and/or fines up to $1500.

Class C misdemeanors, such as drag racing, are punishable by jail up to thirty (30) days and/or fines up to $1,000.

Examining the above, it appears that those items listed under “petty offense” and which have a punishment by fine only are not really offenses. A penal institution is for receiving those who are subject to confinement for violating a penal statute and petty offenses are not included in that category. While on this subject, we need to also look at ordinance violations. Those are particularly interesting because they have been deemed to be “quasi-criminal” in nature.

While regarding‚ ordinance-violation proceedings as civil in form, this Court has traditionally characterized them‚ as quasi-criminal. City of Danville vs. Hartshorn, 53 Ill.2d 399, 292 N.E.2d 382 (1973)

Civil cases are of two kinds, those purely civil and those quasi criminal. A‚ quasi criminal case is not a criminal case but is a civil case, somewhat resembling in its nature a criminal case. That a quasi criminal offense is not a criminal offense as defined by the criminal code is, under the authorities, clear. Wiggins v. City, 78 Ill. 375, Tully v. Northfield, 6 Ill.App. 358

Quasi-Criminal Nature (See also Quasi and see the title Penalties) – The constitution of Illinois conferred upon a certain court jurisdiction in cases of a quasi-criminal nature. It was held that the phrase “quasi-criminal nature” was intended to embrace all offenses not crimes or misdemeanors, but which are in the nature of crimes, and which are punished, not by indictment, but by forfeitures and penalties. It includes all qui tam actions, prosecutions for bastardy, informations in the nature of quo warranto, and suits for the violations of ordinances. Wiggins v. Chicago, 68 Ill. 372

Quasi-Criminal Cases – The violation of an‚ ordinance is embraced in the phrase “of a quasi-criminal nature.” Wiggins v. Chicago, 68 Ill. 372

I do not mean to digress from the theme of this piece, but we are determining how the State charges offenses and in order to do that we must understand what offenses are. So, if the criminal code, criminal procedure…etc. apply only to “offenses” which are a violation of a “penal statute”. Therefore, to wrap up this discussion on ordinances we find:

Police can only arrest you with a warrant, if they witness a crime, or have reasonable grounds to believe an‚ offense is being, or has been, committed.

725 ILCS 5/107-2. Arrest by Peace Officer Arrest by Peace Officer. (1) A peace officer may arrest a person when:(c) He has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is committing or has committed anoffense.

Offenses are violations of the State’s penal statutes.

725 ILCS 5/102-15. ‚“Offense‚ ‚“Offense.‚ ‚“Offense‚ means a violation of any penal statute of this State.

Municipal ordinance violations are not offenses.

Municipal‚ ordinance violations do not fall within the definition of an ‚“offense‚ under either the Criminal Code or the Code of Criminal Procedure. City of Champaign v. Torres, 214 Ill.2d 234, 824 N.E.2d 624 (2005)

Therefore, you cannot be arrested for violating an ordinance without a warrant. Period. If you may only be arrested without a warrant for an offense, and ordinances are not offenses, you cannot be arrested for violating an ordinance without a warrant, even if in the presence of a police officer. However, there are procedures in place for prosecuting ordinance violations, and those are outlined next. There must be a summons or a warrant supported by affidavit, which means it must be sworn to by the person‚ alleging‚ the violation. If you are served notice by mail it must be done by certified mail, return receipt requested. The police may serve summons for an ordinance violation, but again, there must be a sworn affidavit before the summons can be issued.

65 ILCS 5/1-2-9. Summons or warrant; trial without delay⤠1-2-9. Except as provided in Section 1-2-9.1 of this Act, in all actions for the violation of any municipal ordinance, the first process shall be a summons or a warrant. A warrant for the arrest of an accused person may issue upon the affidavit of any person that an ordinance has been violated, and that the person making the complaint has reasonable grounds to believe that the party charged is guilty thereof. Every person arrested upon a warrant, without unnecessary delay, shall be taken before the proper officer for trial.

65 ILCS 5/1-2-9.1. Service by certified mail⤠1-2-9.1. Service by certified mail. In all actions for violation of any municipal ordinance where the fine would not be in excess of $750 and no jail term could be imposed, service of summons may be made by the city clerk by certified mail, return receipt requested, whether service is to be within or without the State.People ex rel Devine v. $30,700 U.S. Currency, 199 Ill. 2d 142, 766 N. E. 2d 1084 (2002)

65 ILCS 5/1-2-11. Sheriff; service of process; arrest; housing authority police(b) Police officers may serve summons for violations of ordinances occurring within their municipalities.725 ILCS 5/107-11.

When summons may be issued(c) The summons may be served in the same manner as the summons in a civil action, except that police officers may serve summons for violations of ordinances occurring within their municipalities.

65 ILCS 5/1-2-9. Summons or warrant; trial without delay⤠1-2-9. Except as provided in Section 1-2-9.1 of this Act, in all actions for the violation of any municipal ordinance, the first process shall be a summons or a warrant. A warrant for the arrest of an accused person may issue upon the affidavit of any person that an ordinance has been violated, and that the person making the complaint has reasonable grounds to believe that the party charged is guilty thereof. Every person arrested upon a warrant, without unnecessary delay, shall be taken before the proper officer for trial.

To close the book on ordinances, they are not complaints, informations, or indictments. For an illustrative case, read City of Danville v. Hartshorn.

While I am making fine legal distinctions, we need to examine some things that are not complaints, informations, or indictments. For instance, many people believe that traffic offenses are criminal offenses. Most of the preceding definitions come from the Illinois Criminal Code of 1963 and the Code of Criminal Procedure. However, traffic or vehicle offenses are not criminal ‚ nature, but civil or administrative infractions. The jurisdictions of each are different. Of course, we all believe we are in Illinois and Illinois is considered a State. However, the law goes on to define what a State is for the purposes of different parts of the statute. We are primarily dealing with criminal law in this article, but the courts often intermingle traffic offenses which make people believe they face criminal penalties. Depending on where you are in relation to “this State”, which may or may not mean Illinois, the jurisdiction or right of the State to even bring charges against someone, may differ. First we’ll look at the definition of “State” as it is used in the criminal code:

Quoting the Criminal Code of 1961 -‚ (720 ILCS 5/2‚”˜21) (from Ch. 38, par. 2‚”˜21) ‚ Sec. 2‚”˜21. “State”. ‚ “State” or “this State” means the State of Illinois, and all land and water in respect to which the State of Illinois has either exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction, and the air space above such land and water. “Other state” means any state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.‚ (Source: Laws 1961, p. 1983.)

Quoting the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code -‚ (625 ILCS 5/1‚”˜195) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 1‚”˜195) Sec. 1‚”˜195. State. ‚ A state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or a province of the Dominion of Canada.‚ (Source: P.A. 76‚”˜1586.)

Look closely at the two definitions. Do not believe that they are interchangeable. The legislature defined them this way specifically for the statute to which they apply. When you deal with criminal law you are dealing with the actions of people. Crime is committed by individuals against individuals or their property. Corporations are also considered “persons” and can be held criminally responsible for certain act, but crimes are committed by people against people. The State of Illinois is formed by the people who are represented by the legislature. Crimes against people are reflected in the State of‚ Illinois Criminal Code. However, vehicular or traffic infractions cannot apply to the people generally as criminal offenses. The word State does not necessarily mean Illinois. There are commercial offenses which include commerce intrastate and interstate. The US Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate commerce. Therefore, I posit that traffic offenses apply to commercial activities under the regulations promulgated by Congress regarding interstate and intrastate commerce. That authority is reflected in the Vehicle Code as penalties imposed by the State, but not the State of Illinois. State, in that sense, is a commercial jurisdiction that co-exists with the common law jurisdiction of criminal statutes. The definition of State, as used in the Criminal Code actually excludes the definition of State used in the Vehicle Code. Vehicle Code offenses actually occur in the State known as the “other State” defined in the Criminal Code.

Summary of ordinance violations, petty offenses, and traffic violations – An arrest cannot be made for petty offenses or traffic violations. Arrests can be made for ordinance violations only if there is a sworn affidavit filed. Traffic tickets are ‚ not complaints, informations, or indictments since there is not a sworn complaint presented to a court and corresponding arrest warrant. I will touch on this in more detail as I get into the analysis of the various forms used to charge or allege offenses.

Complaint

What it is:‚ (725 ILCS 5/102‚”˜9) (from Ch. 38, par. 102‚”˜9) ‚ Sec. 102‚”˜9. “Complaint”. ‚ “Complaint” means a verified written statement other than an information or an indictment, presented to a court, which charges the commission of an offense.‚ (Source: Laws 1963, p. 2836.)

Next, we’ll look at what the Illinois statutes say about arrest by complaint. I’ll emphasize particular words and phrases in the statute and then post copies of a verified complaint and arrest warrant.

(725 ILCS 5/107‚”˜9) (from Ch. 38, par. 107‚”˜9) ‚ Sec. 107‚”˜9.

Issuance of arrest warrant upon complaint. (a) When a complaint‚ is presented to a court charging that an offense has been committed it‚ shallexamine upon oath or affirmation the complainant or any witnesses.

(b) The complaint shall be in writing and shall:

(1) State the name of the accused if known, and if ‚ not known the accused may be designated by any name or description by which he can be identified with reasonable certainty;

(2) State the offense with which the accused is charged;

(3) State the time and place of the offense as definitely as can be done by the complainant; and

(4) Be subscribed and sworn to by the complainant.

(c) A warrant‚ shall be issued by the court for the arrest of the person complained against if it appears from the contents of the complaint and the examination of the complainant or other witnesses, if any, that the person against whom the complaint was made has committed an offense.

(d) The warrant of arrest‚ shall:

(1) Be in writing;

(2) Specify the name, sex and birth date of the person to be arrested or if his name, sex or birth date is unknown, shall designate such person by any name or description by which he can be identified with reasonable certainty;

(3) Set forth the nature of the offense;

(4) State the date when issued and the municipality or county where issued;

(5)‚ Be signed by the judge of the court with the title of his office;

(6) Command that the person against whom the complaint was made be arrested and brought before the court issuing the warrant or if he is absent or unable to act before the nearest or most accessible court in the same county;

(7) Specify the amount of bail; and

(8) Specify any geographical limitation placed on the execution of the warrant, but such limitation shall not be expressed in mileage.

(e) The warrant shall be directed to all peace officers in the State. It shall be executed by the peace officer, or by a private person specially named therein, at any location within the geographic limitation for execution placed on the warrant. If no geographic limitation is placed on the warrant, then it may be executed anywhere in the State.

(f) The warrant may be issued electronically or electromagnetically by use of a facsimile transmission machine and any such warrant shall have the same validity as a written warrant.‚ (Source: P.A. 86‚”˜298; 87‚”˜523.)

First of all, notice the word “shall”. Shall, is a direction to the court. It is a command. It is not discretionary. The judge or whoever the command is being directed towards must do take that action as a requirement for the statute. A complaint is presented to a court charging an offense. That means something other than a petty offense or ordinance violation, punishable by fine only. Here is something interesting. It also states, “shall examine upon oath or affirmation the complainant or any witnesses.” This means the court must examine the complainant or any witness with them being either orally sworn in. The complaint itself must be in writing and the complainant must also be examined by the judge under oath or affirmation before issuing an arrest warrant.

Although an arrest warrant may be issued only upon a showing of probable cause, it does not necessarily follow that a demonstration of probable cause must be made in complaint upon which arrest warrant is issued; in issuing arrest warrant, judge is not bound by four corners of complaint, but may base a determination of probable cause upon his required examination of complainant or witnesses. People v. Collins,App. 1 Dist.1979, 26 Ill.Dec. 165, 70 Ill.App.3d 413, 387 N.E.2d 995. Criminal Law 217

What is being said here is that probable cause does not rest solely with the complaint. It is required that the judge examine the complainant or witness, and upon that testimony he may find probable cause. This is because not everyone may possess the faculties required to pen a proper complaint and what may be lacking in the complaint is supplemented by the testimony of the complainant.

In compliance with this paragraph, judge issuing arrest warrants properly examined complainant to determine probable cause prior to issuing warrants over his signature. People v. Collins, App. 1 Dist.1979, 26 Ill.Dec. 165, 70 Ill.App.3d 413, 387N.E.2d 995. Criminal Law217

Where complaint was signed by complainant and was acknowledged before notary public, who was not an associate circuit judge or magistrate, and after complaint was signed and sworn to, it was presented to associate circuit judge, who heard no testimony, and solely on basis of examination of complaint, ordered warrant of arrest to issue, warrant was properly quashed because of failure of associate circuit judge to examine complainant or other witnesses as required by this paragraph.People v. Krumery, App.1966, 74 Ill.App.2d 298, 220 N.E.2d 241. Criminal Law217

What is being said here is what illustrates the necessity for the judge to examine the complainant or witness. It is important to keep this in mind when making your complaint because if the judge does not examine the complainant or witness it will prove fatal to your case. I can envision a situation where a judge will sabotage a case by failing to examine the complainant or witness, as in what took place in the above case. I would recommend being adamant about the judge examining you or the witness to ensure no defect in the warrant ensues which would result in a dismissal.

Let’s review an alleged “verified complaint” and ensuing arrest warrant. This complaint is made out by the State’s Attorney and verified or sworn to by the State Police officer. The State’s Attorney does not sign the complaint, but rather stamps it. ‚ The warrant is likewise unlawful. The specified “offense” is “failure to appear or pay charge” when the complaint is for unlicensed driving. The warrant is not supported by the complaint. The defendant in this case was ticketed on July 29, 2010 and the verified complaint was not filed August 25, 2010 upon his filing a demand for a verified complaint. Until a complaint is filed and the complainant examined by a judge there can be no warrant and no jurisdiction. The warrant was not issued until September 14, 2010, and even then it was issued for a non-existent offense.

 

So what we have here is a defective complaint and defective warrant. The complaint has not been verified even though it is sworn to because of two things. It is signed by the State’s Attorney. A complaint is used by a complainant to charge an offense, not the State’s Attorney. The State’s Attorney uses an information. If the police officer signed the complaint then it would be proper, but he didn’t. Second, the affidavit below was sworn to by the officer, not the State’s Attorney. Only the person making the complaint can sign the affidavit. Since they are the one making the charge they also must be the one swearing to it. If you look at the signature if the State’s Attorney, you will also see it is a rubber stamp. There is no telling who actually signed, or stamped, this complaint. I also posit that the judge never examined the complainant as to the facts alleged in order to issue the warrant. The warrant which was issued is for a non-offense, failure to appear. The complaint is for unlicensed driving. How does a judge issue a warrant for an offense that does not appear on the complaint? This is an outright fraud and the court never acquired jurisdiction in this case. This, however, is not uncommon. It happens all the time to many people and they never look at the charging documents for defects like this because they do not know. They appear in court and enter pleas to charges that are not properly filed, thereby submitting to jurisdiction. They are undone by their own ignorance.

Now we’re going to look at an information. The difference between an information and a complaint is that a complaint is presented by someone other than the State, such as you or I. I disagree that police can sign as a complainant since they work for the State. Police should go to the State’s Attorney with the charges and the State’s Attorney then file an information. If a police officer would file a complaint then he must do so in writing and swear to it, as well as present it to a court to then be examined by the judge before issuing a warrant. An information is presented by a State’s Attorney, but it must also be sworn to by him and presented to a court before a warrant can be issued. Remember, without a warrant there is no jurisdiction. There is a distinction between a complaint and an information. What I will show you next is an information that looks remarkably like the previous complaint, only it is titled Information. Same rules apply to both, only the Information is presented by the State’s Attorney. Take a look and see if there is any difference aside from the caption.

I will be concluding this piece with an analysis of traffic tickets and Uniform Traffic Citation and Complaint. This has been discussed in-part above, but examples of requirements and common defects will be included.

The Case for the United States Being Under Martial Law

This is a neat little video that succinctly encapsulates the political and legal climate in the United States at this time. Sure, it is sound bites, some out of context, but regardless, there would be no reasonable justification for some of the statements. The video begs the question, or more appropriately offers the argument for, are we under martial law?

The Constitution lists specific limits on what the government can do with respect to searches and deprivation of liberty. It does not give a detailed process, however, other than to use words or phrases such as “reasonable”, “probable cause”, “due process”… and therefore, the courts and different agencies have been given a pass in defining for themselves what these words mean. In doing so, the penumbra of “terrorism” has been created, precipitated by the events of 9-11, under which guise all activity has been placed in circumventing constitutional protections. It is no longer the rights of individuals which are paramount in justifying a need for government; it is the protection of national security with the individual becoming a bogeyman and danger thereof.

The entity which cloaks itself as a government, but which fails to likewise adhere to limitations which are an inherent part of it, is nothing but a rogue, oppressive, violent, and imperialistic consortium of global interest such as bankers, corporations, and hereditary oligarchy. Families with roots deep in antiquity of modern history along with their counterparts in social control, such as the church, the press, education, and labor hold the reins on much of the power. Having infiltrated government, they now possess the mechanism by which corporations are created and regulated, much to the benefit of the corporation or government themselves, and to the detriment of the people greasing the skids in providing lavish compensation for those at the top cracking the whip and cozying up to government regulators.

“Mr. MkKoy, you are paranoid”, you will say. Where in the annals of history is it recorded that government debates and justifies the killing of its own citizens without constitutional limitations or due process? History is rife with well-documented accounts of tyrannies and despotisms springing forth from what were once prosperous, peaceful nations. Empires collapse, and the United States is no different. Do not be lulled into denial or complacency by the worn relics from a forgotten revolution as being a barrier between power-hungry men and your freedom. Do not think for one moment there exists in the mind of a government official a single synapse recognizing the sanctity of life. Theirs is about preserving and expanding the empire at whatever costs, even to their own. Do not dwell on anachronistic and lofty quotes from noble jurists of a by-gone era to point a finger and say, “See, government servant, the rights of individuals are superior to those of government and natural law reigns supreme!” Do not scramble for your citizens manual or Constitution when met with a battering ram splintering your door followed by laser sites and flash-bang grenades. Do not bemoan the “inconvenience” of a checkpoint when attempting to travel unfettered upon the public rights of way when you need only present papers, blood, or other evidence upon which you may be capriciously and summarily incarcerated.

Even when the machinery of government was new, shortly after the revolution and wet-ink Constitution, the gears uttered squeaks and framework shuddered under the load, often-times at the hands of some of that Constitutions most ardent proponents, as justifications for its violation began to ooze forth; the Whiskey Rebellion and Alien and Sedition Act readily come to mind, two affronts to the platitude of “limited government” from a new-born government exhibiting adolescent petulance towards its fawning parents. When a dissenting voice was raised in opposition citing constitutional protections, the government played dumb and asked, “What does that mean with respect to the Constitution?”, and the answer from the Marbury Court replied, “It means what we say it means.”.

Since that time, Americans have become consumed in hedonistic self-aggrandizement. We revel in the achievements of our predecessors in rebelling against a tyrant and drafting a constitutional house of cards to allay our fears from another tyrant taking power because “We are the People, and this is our Constitution!” We assumed the role of world policeman, arbiter of human rights, judge of atrocities, and judge-jury-executioner of terrorists. We consume on demand, salute without question, and obey out of fear. We are a fattened lamb ready for slaughter, or should I say suicide. We are the world’s bully and a joke to other countries. We are loathed and reviled. I share the sentiment.

I will stop short of calling for the indiscriminate execution of all government officers for the mere fact that it will solve nothing. There are plans afoot to do such things by some groups, to which I will say provide nothing but justifying through self-fulfilling prophecy the government’s need for doing what it does. Blood begets blood, and though fleeting and ephemeral as this existence is, misdirected and wanton taking of life is to emulate and pay homage to the thing we have come to despise; for it is its own milieu. What I will not stop short of calling for is an overt and concerted display of contempt and disobedience for that system. Do not acknowledge any government officer as your friend, compadre’, acquaintance, or representative. Do not stand for the National Anthem. Do not salute the flag. Do not procure licenses, pay taxes, or fill out forms with accurate information. This system is not infallible. As a matter of fact, there is sufficient evidence that it is on the verge of collapse and we are merely seeing its desperate act of self-preservation. Let’s exploit that opportunity to drive the wedge and split it apart. It relies upon, not the captains at the wheel, but the bodies in the galley and engine room to move the machine. Without our help, theirs are but futile commands at the wind.

Disobey, to whatever degree you may. At first, it will seem unsettling and frightening. With regularity it will become liberating and uplifting. Spread disinformation into their databases. Exhibit disrespect and contempt. Resort to your local communities and work within private circles for social issues. Shun people known to be government employees, even in your personal lives. Speak to them about the harm they do and how society considers them pariahs. Urge them to quit or resign, as their days are numbered. Lie, dis-inform, and cause doubt. Their system is only as good as the information we give them to use against us.

We may be under martial law, the United States is a failed experiment and nightmarish blight on mankind, the government may claim the right to kill us indiscriminately… but the system requires people to obey. It requires the sufficient mindset to submit to its edicts. All of this begins with families, children, and an abandonment of reason. When you step back and perceive the system for what it is, a fraud, then you will release your mind from the shackles you willingly placed upon it and see the world as a cosmological respite on a journey we barely have the ability to comprehend. Why spend it in an environment which gnaws at the conscience as being inherently wrong?

Independence Day, July 4, 2013: Ode to a Travesty

Some 237 years ago, a people declared independence from their government, or more appropriately, a monarchy. They declared to be free, not bound to any statute or existing law. Not required to be licensed or regulated. They tossed a gauntlet and taunted a king.

There was no Constitution, no flag, no nation, and no government. There were only colonies of self-determinant people willing to challenge the most powerful country on earth in dissolving their allegiance and obedience.

What do we have today? We have people waving a flag of the government celebrating a state of no governance. We have people procuring permits, possessing licenses, staying within the lines, and scrutinized by uniformed gatekeepers presenting threat of arms for any transgression. What a juxtaposition of circumstances from people fleeing oppression to wallowing in it.

Civil prudence urges me to preface my comments with, “I’m sorry but…”, but I am not sorry for expressing my honest opinion. This should be a day of Anarchy; a dance of unencumbered petulance towards the State. This day should reflect our disdain, commensurate with the state of oppression, where we purge courts of cases, records, and punishments against otherwise peaceful people. On this day we should clog the streets, ingest, inhale, speak, trade, and arm ourselves as we see fit.

Sadly, on this day we crawl from our beds, far removed from the physical boundaries of this cage, believing we are free. Without any coercion, we conform our thinking to that of authority, deviating not one iota, even when outside the scrutinous eye of the punishers. We dutifully encumber ourselves with the trappings of obedience and step into the daylight prepared to celebrate as permitted.

Even though I was not present when those people declared themselves to be independent, I share the sentiment, and live it to the best of my ability. It sickens and saddens me that it has come to this. Despite my being immersed in this element, I sense something is amiss. I sense an imbalance in my nature. It is my duty to resist at whatever cost this self-imposed confinement. Everything we suffer is by our own hand, and I refuse to contribute to my own suffering. For whatever minor inconvenience you may perceive all of this to be, for myself, it is disquieting and intolerable. My liberty is not gauged against your acquiescence to servitude.

For me, there will be no celebration. Every person who crosses my gaze will be met with contempt, notwithstanding an outward hint of angst in sharing my distress. This is probably the loneliest of days, for there are few with whom I may commiserate, being surrounded by “patriots”. I look within, and without, assessing my place in this world. I was born, and determined to be free. I desire no government or rule by man. I am capable of acting peaceably and responsibly. Today, I am a pariah, persona non gratis, reviled, and in some cases hated.

Today, I urge you to not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance or recite that piece of political profanity. I urge you to not salute the flag. I urge you to not sing patriotic hymns. I urge you to shun the colors, red, white, and blue. I urge you to imagine yourself with the chains cast off, no police, no judges, and no jails. Moving past the programmed feeling of fear, realize yourself in control of yourself and beholden to no one. Do not only avoid acknowledging this government, outright disrespect it. It is food for the soul and properly belonging to a free people.

Today, there is no celebration, only dismay and shame. Swell your bellies and fill your guts, ooh and aah at the dazzling lights and thunderous booms. Consume, obey, and conform. Do not venture outside the lines. Love your government, support its wars, wave its flag, obey its laws, but know this; blood is spilled and lives are ruined by its hand. The independence which you perfunctorily celebrate is snuffed bit-by-bit. Look forward to the day when this holiday too will be prohibited for fostering dissent and relegated only to faded memories and unauthorized history books. I will be breaking every law cognizable to my being and with the utmost disrespect for authority.

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Happy "Co-Dependent's Day"!

Happy “Co-Dependent’s Day”!

Wave your star spangled tatter on a stick and contemplate the myriad laws, regulations, policies, and ordinances which control virtually every aspect of your life.

You are incapable of acting autonomously without first looking to your “Sovereign Enabler”, the government, in all its cancerous manifestations to first grant you permission and collect the requisite fee. Fill your pockets with papers and prepare to present upon demand.

Long ago, men spilled blood so you may live your life as you see fit; and unfortunately most, rather than some, fit into the shackles of voluntary servitude.

Today, I will live so freely that the government “ordained” to protect said freedoms may possibly kill me in that exercise because they choose to define “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” through the barrel of a gun and in contradiction to my conscience.

Happy Birthday, America; you old, weathered, tired, raped, beaten, emaciated, demented, and in-need of euthanasia, corporate whore and concubine to bankers.

If my words offend you, remember this; the men and actions you celebrate today make my diatribe appear as a a salubrious salutation since those men violently overthrew their government, killed countrymen, and denied a king. They were traitors, murderers, seditionists, rebels, and terrorists. If you can celebrate them, and defile all they worked for, then you can palate my acerbic dissent. If my passion and conscience finds no favor with your reason, then please un-friend me. If you find yourself in some agreement, look in the mirror and weep, for this old wretch is the dominatrix into whose care you entrust this country’s progeny.

I regret that I am now to die in the belief that the useless sacrifice of themselves, by the generation of ’76. to acquire self government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be that I live not to weep over it. if they would but dispassionately weigh the blessings they will throw away against an abstract principle more likely to be effected by union than by scission, they would pause before they would perpetrate this act of suicide on themselves and of treason against the hopes of the world. – Thomas Jefferson – Monticello Apr. 22. 20

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Ruminations on Natural Law

I was reading some posts on the Internet involving natural law and natural rights.
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I think “Natural Law” is that which is outside the authority or ability of any man to alter, create, or promulgate since it is beyond human intervention. It is law that provides for people to exist on this planet in an individual capacity; to have access to all that nature provides by way of food, resources…etc. Natural law can be interpreted to say that every man is an individual with no subservience or obligation to another. It can be interpreted to say that I have a right to eat, drink, and move my body without interference from another. I have a right to have a mate and have a family without interference from another, and to defend that which is mine.
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Whatever mutual agreements may be forged after that fact between societies apply only to those societies. When those societies begin claiming dominion over tracts of land and exclude other societies not recognized from entering that land they become governments. That is not to say their claims of dominion are legitimate, it merely means there is a collective body of members willing to take up arms and use violence to “protect” that territory.
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When there is mention of a “public agreement” or “social contract” I become suspicious because the only way the public or society can collectively agree on anything in particular is to be threatened with punishment for transgressing whatever edict. They don’t necessarily “agree” or “contract” with the body promulgating the edict, there is again a collective threat of punishment by way of force by those claiming to be endowed with the authority to promulgate such edicts. Likewise, their claims of authority lack any basis in fact, and are merely de facto.
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To live under the rules of a nation or government means to sometimes violate one’s own conscience; and often times even worse, to adopt or support policies and laws that go against human nature itself. I see no justification for one to submit to such contrivances, and I disavow borders and flags while living by my own values with one caveat; to not transgress upon the like and equal rights of others. There is nothing which compels us to submit to arbitrary authority, aside from real or perceived fear of punishment or retaliation from those deeming to act on behalf of that authority.
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I do not see government as a source for making rules under which we all must live, but rather as a protector of our natural rights. Should that system, or government, fail to protect those rights and itself become a violator of rights it must be dismantled or abolished. Different societies or cultures have their own ways of dealing with the world and their circumstances. They evolve over time and should be accepting and tolerant of others who wish to join or leave that culture, but at the same time allow individuals to operate within that society under their own free-will as long as they do not violate other people’s rights.‚ There is no “one size fits all” solution through government.
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It comes down to this, each individual has the right to determine for themselves how best to live their life. Ideas evolve and are either adopted by others or left to the individual, but no collective body should prohibit any individual act based solely on that body’s inability to find value with that act. If we are allowed to first be individuals then we will naturally gravitate towards others and socialize for mutual peace and happiness. Once entities are allowed to exist with special needs or preference over the natural order we find corporations and government who exist to serve their supporters and benefactors, ofter to the detriment of the people.
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Mark McCoy
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In memory of things not forgotten, and thinking of what men have fought and died for….nothing.

To the men and women in uniform on this Memorial Day:

I did not take you, break you, scold you, mold you, garb you, arm you, order you, border you, and send you off to take life in pursuit of some bogeyman, threat, villain, or despot conjured by the words of men whom you do not know, nor are in any way accountable to the whole of mankind; for theirs is a dark art, painting banners of victory with the blood of the vanquished.

I know there are some amongst you who believe you are righteous. I know there are many amongst you who rue your abdication of conscience and now march the lonely trail of perdition. The earth is denser for the bodies deposited beneath the soil filled with shrapnel of hatred or duty.

You did not fight for me. You failed to protect liberty for slaves walk among us. Freedom lives only as an illusion, ever in peril from the imprint of your boot. The evil you pursue drinks from the same cup as those who command you. Your enemy is indistinguishable, save for the flag used to lure you to patriotism or otherwise train your sights upon.

I see no need for an armed, uniformed force who follows a flag. I see no need for liberators, protectors, or guardians. Each man’s life is his to defend. It is the individual invested in his own welfare who takes to the fight. It is not the mercenary cashing his check or drawing a benefit. His interest stops with the compensation. The individual’s welfare stops with his life.

I should thank you, but I can’t. Despite your best efforts, the world is what it is; and to your worst efforts, you less than what you could be. If I am to accept a humanity portrayed by cynical, violent, callous men then I pray you do the inevitable and quickly lay us all to rest. If, by some cosmic brotherhood of unity and common purpose, you feel the pain you cause and deny servitude to other men, then I welcome you to peace and spiritual sobriety.

When you take up arms, you set aside reason. When you see an enemy, you fail to hear possibility. When you bask in glory, you shrink in humanity. Soldiers do what they are told, without question or hesitation, despite qualms of conscience or crisis of morality. How can people who are not themselves, free,  pursue it in the name of others?

Renounce that which has sought to deny your own and reclaim your nature.

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Government….really?

Government….really?

Spring is in the air, as are the promises of a better, safer life if you only vote for pandering politicians to control your life, and those around you. The cyclical cynicism caused by ads where one moral leper eschews the other in seducing your consent to their governance soon fades to our whining, submission, and hopes for an even more-moral leper next election year. Is this the best society has to offer, or what we have merely been groomed to accept?

I get it. People suck. They will steal, kill, lie, and defraud; so the logical approach is to turn to government where we choose polished thieves, killers, liars, and frauds to carve a niche’ for themselves from our consent to keep the stealing, killing, lying, and fraud palatable by labeling them taxation, war, legislation, and justice.

The thing is, I choose with whom from society to associate with. When I identify someone to be less than what I care to engage, I avoid them and prepare my defenses accordingly should they persist. I am not free to choose my government, or so it is believed. Why then, am I free to manage my own affairs in one respect, but must accept the societal rot that is government, especially when it has run so afoul as seen today?

Government has failed, and those courting your vote have designs on one thing; making a better life for themselves at your expense. Government is a society’s mental disorder. Heal thyself.

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