People v. Geiler, 2016 IL 119095 (July). (Episode 208 Duration 8:00)
Pro Se speeding ticket guy loses at the Supreme Court; Rule 552 Violations probably will never lead to dismissal.
Were They Wrong?
No. They're the Illinois Supreme Court.
So Why Was I Wrong?
I can trace it down to my personal belief that cops should be held to the same or higher standard than the rest us.
The court said that their precedent clearly holds that a charge may not be dismissed based on the violation of a directory rule absent a showing of prejudice to the defendant from the violation. People v. Ziobro, 242 Ill. 2d 34, 44-45 (2011) (deals with Rule 504 which sets the first court appearance timeline); People v. Delvillar, 235 Ill. 2d 507, 522 (2009); People v. Robinson, 217 Ill. 2d 43, 57 (2005).
Defendant's case, People v. Hanna, 185 Ill. App. 3d 404 (1989) was only an appellate decision (5th Dist.).
The mandatory-directory distinction denotes whether the failure to comply with a particular procedural step will or will not have the effect of invalidating a governmental action.
Generally, the presumption that procedural commands to governmental officials are directory.
Defeating Directory Label
The presumption is overcome and a provision is mandatory only if:
(1) negative language in the statute or rule prohibits further action in the case of noncompliance or
(2) the right the statute or rule is designed to protect would generally be injured under a directory reading.
Rule 552 is designed to ensure judicial efficiency and uniformity in processing citations.
The Court held that a violation of Rule 552 will not generally impede the trial court in processing citations or prejudice a defendant’s rights and, therefore, it does not require an exception to the rule that procedural commands to governmental officials are directory.
Rule 552 is, therefore, directory and no specific consequence is triggered by noncompliance.
Defendant must demonstrate prejudice in order to be entitled to relief.
The court finished by saying that this was not a case of deliberate noncompliance. If they were to confront a case involving deliberate, ongoing violations of Rule 552, the facts may support amending the rule to provide an appropriate response.
We did not address the issue here, however, because the facts of this case did not involve either deliberate or ongoing violations. (Note: I don't think it actually matters.)
General note, this also applies to 504 violations which deals with how fast the first court appearance must be set.