Successful Due Process Challenge to SSS

Case NamePeople v. Miklos (.pdf)

Court: Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District

Date Decision Filed: 7/17/09

In this case, the defendant successfully challenged his statutory summary suspension on due process grounds.  Ordinarily, once a defendant files a petition challenging his summary suspension, the hearing must be held within thirty days or on the defendant’s first court appearance on his citation.   Here, the trial court held the defendant’s hearing on his first court appearance, however, the appellate court ruled that this was a due process violation under the circumstances of this case:

In this case, defendant filed a petition to rescind his summary suspension [. . .] 18 days after he was arrested for driving under the influence and 28 days before his summary suspension was to become effective. The State scheduled defendant’s summary suspension hearing for 22 days after defendant filed his petition to rescind. On the date of the scheduled hearing, the prosecutor announced that she was ready to proceed but then changed her mind because the officer was not present. The State then chose to reschedule the hearing for 15 days later, a date that was 36 days after defendant filed his petition and 8 days after the effective date of his summary suspension.

Based on these facts, we find that the State violated defendant’s due process rights. The State required defendant to appear in court for a hearing on a date that the State chose and then informed defendant that the hearing would not proceed because the officer was not available. However, the officer’s presence at the hearing was not required because the State could have presented its case through the officer’s official reports. [ . . .] The State then chose not to hold a hearing prior to defendant’s summary suspension but, rather, received the court’s permission to reschedule defendant’s hearing for over two weeks later and eight days after defendant’s summary suspension began. By refusing to proceed with the summary suspension hearing on the date it was originally scheduled and rescheduling defendant’s hearing for a date well over 30 days after defendant filed his petition and over a week after the effective date of his summary suspension without any justification, the State denied defendant of his “protectible property interest” in his driver’s license and deprived him of his right to a prompt hearing.

Jeremy Richey

Jeremy J. Richey, Attorney at Law
© Jeremy J. Richey and The East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog, 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.