The following cases were heard on September 29th, 2023:
Andrew Calvert: Parties present by counsel. 402 conference conducted. Defendant present with Public Defender and State's Attorney present. By agreement, pretrial hearing continued to 12/15/23 at 10 a.m.
David Crutcher: Defendant present in custody and in person. State's Attorney present. Case called for hearing on pending motions.The State filed a petition for detention under 725 ILCS 5/110-6.1. Defendant filed a motion to strike the State's motion. Defendant filed a motion to remove monetary conditions of bail pursuant to 725 ILCS 5/110-7.5(b) and 725 ILCS 5/110-5(e).
Regarding the motion to strike the motion for pretrial detention, 725 ILCS 5/110-6.1(c)(1) requires the State to file a detention petition at the time of the first appearance before a judge if the defendant has been detained or within 21 days of arrest and release if the defendant has not been detained. Since the defendant is in custody and already made a first appearance before a judge, defendant argues the State is precluded from seeking detention.
The legislature passed a trailer bill adding 725 ILCS 5/110-7.5 to address retroactive application of the Pretrial Fairness Act to defendants who were in custody and had not posted cash bond when the law took effect on September 18, 2023. Section 110-7.5(a) states [t]his Section shall not limit the State's Attorney's ability to file a verified petition for detention under Section 110-6.1 or a petition for revocation or sanctions under Section 110-6. The State argues this language permits it to file detention or sanction petitions even though defendant has already appeared before a judge and has not been released from custody. The plain language of these statutes read together clearly permits
the State to file a petition for detention if it complies with 725 ILCS 5/110-6.1. Since Defendant has already appeared before a judge, the State's petition for detention is not timely. Defendant's motion to strike the petition for detention is granted.
Regarding Defendant's motion motion to remove monetary conditions of bail pursuant to 725 ILCS 5/110-7.5(b) and 725 ILCS 5/110-5(e), Defendant focuses on paragraph one of section 7.5(b) which states [o]n or after January 1, 2023, any person who remains in pretrial detention after having been ordered released with pretrial conditions, including the condition of depositing security, shall be entitled to a hearing under subsection (e) of Section 110-5. Section 110-5(e) entitles defendant to a hearing within 48 hours of the filing of a petition to reconsider pretrial release conditions and requires the court to remove any release conditions a defendant cannot satisfy for financial reasons which would include posting cash bond.
Essentially, Defendant claims he cannot afford to post cash bond and therefore, pursuant to section 110-5(e), the Court must release him from custody after a hearing within 48 hours of filing the motion to reconsider. Further, since Defendant's motion to strike the detention petition was granted, Defendant claims he must be released without the possibility of further detention. The crux of Defendant's position is then that within 48 hours of the filing of a petition to reconsider pretrial release conditions, all defendants in custody with a cash bond on September 18, 2023, must be released from custody regardless of whether the offense is detainable under the PFA. Paragraph 2 of section 110-7.5(b) provides in pertinent part that [o]n or after January 1, 2023, any person, not subject to subsection (b), who remains in pretrial detention and is eligible for detention under Section 110-6.1 shall be entitled to a hearing according to the following schedule . . . (emphasis added). The schedule grants defendant a hearing within: 90 days of the filing of a motion for reconsideration of pretrial release conditions if charged with an offense under paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (a) of Section 110-6.1; 60 days of the filing of a motion for reconsideration of pretrial release conditions if charged with an offense under paragraph (8) of subsection (a) of Section 110-6.1; and 7 days all other offenses not listed in subsection (a) of Section 110-6.1.
Defendant claims paragraph 2 of section 110-7.5 does not apply because defendant is subject to subsection (b), paragraph one, and is therefore, entitled to a hearing within 48 hours of the filing of a motion for reconsideration of pretrial release conditions. The Court must construe section 110-7.5 to determine the legislative intent regarding application of the PFA to defendants in custody with cash bonds on September 18, 2023.
The cardinal rule in interpreting a statute is to give effect to the intent of the legislature. The language of the statute is the best and most reliable indicator of the legislature's intent. Where the language is plain and unambiguous, this Court must not read into it exceptions, limitations, or other conditions. However, where the statutory language is ambiguous, the Court may look beyond the language and resort to further aids of statutory construction. People v. Fort, 2017 IL 118966, 20, 88 N.E.3d 718, 72324. In addition to examining the statutory language, the Court may discern legislative intent by considering the purpose and necessity for the law, the evils sought to be remedied, and goals to be achieved. People ex rel. Sherman v. Cryns, 203 Ill.2d 264, 280, 271 Ill.Dec. 881, 786 N.E.2d 139 (2003). Legislative intent can be ascertained from a consideration of the entire Act, its nature, its object and the consequences that would result from construing it one way or the other.' Fumarolo v. Chicago Board of Education, 142 Ill.2d 54, 96, 153 Ill.Dec. 177, 566 N.E.2d 1283 (1990)). Throughout this process, this Court presumes that the legislature did not intend absurdity, inconvenience, or injustice. Id. People v. Fort, 2017 IL 118966, 20, 88 N.E.3d 718, 72324.
The Court determines section 110-7.5(b) is not plain and unambiguous, and therefore, this Court can consider other aids of statutory construction beyond the statutory language. Paragraph 2 of section 110-7.5(b) is clearly ambiguous, as it only purports to apply to defendants that are not subject to subsection (b). Yet, that language is also part of subsection (b). Construing section 110-7.5(b) as Defendant argues would essentially render paragraph 2 of section 110-7.5(b) meaningless, as it would only apply to defendants being held without bond. If that was the legislative intent, why create a schedule for hearing motions to reconsider conditions of pretrial release based upon the type of offense and whether is was detainable? The Court cannot fathom a scenario where a defendant charged with a non-detainable offense would ever be held without bond.
Considering the purpose and necessity for the law, the evils sought to be remedied, and goals to be achieved it is clear the legislature intended to set a schedule to hear these motions to reconsider based upon whether the offense charged was detainable or not. The overall goal of the PFA was to detain defendants who pose a danger to the community or others or who are a danger of willful flight from prosecution and release those who did not meet those criteria.
Reading this section as defendant argues would frustrate the legislative intent and effectively release all defendants in custody who could not afford to post bond within 48 hours of the filing of a motion to reconsider pretrial release conditions regardless of the seriousness of the offense and whether the defendant was subject to detention.
Such an interpretation would produce absurd and unjust results and would further violate the legislative goal of protecting the community. For example, if a defendant was charged with murder on September 17, 2023, and was granted pretrial release subject to the posting of cash bond, and the defendant filed a motion to reconsider pretrial release conditions on September 18, 2023, the Court would have to hold a hearing on that motion by September 20, 2023, and if the defendant proved he was financially unable to post bond, the Court would be obligated to release the defendant from custody without even being subject to a detention petition. Whereas a defendant charged with murder on September 18, 2023, would be subject to a detention petition, and if detained could not be released before being in custody for at least 90 days. Clearly, the legislature did not intend such an absurd result.
The Court's interpretation is also more in line with the legislative intent as expressed in 725 ILCS 5/110-6.1(i) which requires all detained defendants to be brought to trial within 90 days of the
entry of the detention order or they would have to be released from detention. The Court's interpretation would require defendants in custody who are subject to section 110-7.5 to be tried within 90 days of the filing of the motion to modify pretrial release conditions or be released from custody.
In summary, the Court determines that 725 ILCS 5/110-7.5(b) requires the court to hold a hearing on defendant's motion to modify pretrial release conditions in accordance with the schedule set forth in paragraph 2 of that section. Since defendant is being held on a detainable offense, he is not entitled to a hearing on his pending motion to remove monetary conditions of bail within 48 hours. Instead, such hearing must be held within 90 days of the filing of the motion. Accordingly, this Court sets the motion for hearing on 12-11-23 at 10 a.m. Pretrial hearing set 11/17/23 at 10 a.m.
Vanessa Esparza: Defendant present with counsel and State's Attorney present. By agreement, preliminary hearing scheduled for 11/16/23 at 10 a.m.
Charles Peterson: Defendant present with Public Defender and Stat'e sAttorney present. By agreement, pretrial hearing continued to 10/6/23 at 10 a.m. TC referral pending and Defendant has completed all evaluations.
Kameron Townsend: Defendant present pro se and State's Attorney present. Defendant admonished regarding charges, penalties, and rights. By agreement, Public Defender appointed to represent Defendant. First appearance with counsel scheduled for 11/21/23 at 10 a.m.
Lester Ward: Parties present by counsel. Status of furlough scheduled for 10/6/23 at 10 a.m.
Dennis Wilcutt: Defendant present in person in custody with Assistant Public Defender Grigsby, was appointed o represent him. State's Attorney present. Defenant admonished regarding charges and possible penalties, including extended term sentencing eligibility, even though that is not referenced in the information. Proffer made. Probable cause found for the arrest of Defendant. Preliminary hearing scheduled for 10/5/23 at 10 a.m.