Supreme Court Summaries
Opinion filed February 6, 2014


People v. Bailey, 2014 IL 115459


Appellate citation: 2012 IL App (2d) 110209.

JUSTICE KILBRIDE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Chief Justice Garman and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Karmeier, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.
In 2007, this Du Page County defendant, then 17, pled guilty to the criminal sexual abuse of his 16-year-old girlfriend. He was sentenced to pay a $100 fine and serve 300 days in the county jail, with credit for time served. When asked whether there should be sex offender registration, the trial judge responded “No.”
Three years later, in 2010, the defendant argued that the trial judge was required to have ordered him to register and that the failure to do so rendered the plea and sentence void. The defendant filed a motion to vacate the plea and sentence as void, but the motion was denied on the merits. He appealed, and the appellate court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. In this decision, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court’s judgment, but modified it.
Generally, a trial court loses jurisdiction 30 days after entry of its judgment if a timely postjudgment motion is not filed. No such timely motion was filed here. The revestment doctrine is a narrow exception to this rule. In this decision, the Illinois Supreme Court clarified the parameters of the revestment doctrine, which permits a court to be revested with jurisdiction even in the absence of a timely postjudgment filing.
      The supreme court declined the State’s invitation to abolish the revestment doctrine entirely and stated that, for it to apply, both parties must, first, actively participate in the current proceedings; second, fail to object on the basis of untimeliness; and third, assert positions which make the current proceedings inconsistent with the merits of the prior judgment, while supporting the setting aside of at least part of it. In the past, the court has found revestment when both parties seek to modify or overturn a prior judgment, and the court has rejected it when one party opposes any setting aside of a prior judgment. Here, the State did not object to the offender’s new motion on the basis of lack of timeliness, and it actively participated in the current proceedings. This met two of the prerequisites to revestment. However, the State actively opposed the setting aside or modification of the defendant’s conviction and sentence, thereby taking a position that was consistent, rather than inconsistent, with the earlier judgment. Thus, the third criterion for application of the revestment doctrine was not met.

The trial court had not been revested with jurisdiction and should have dismissed the defendant’s motion for lack thereof rather than denying it on the merits. The appellate court was correct in recognizing that the circuit court had not reacquired jurisdiction, but the appellate court should not have dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, thereby leaving the trial court’s ruling on the merits intact. Because the circuit court’s ruling on the merits of the motion was void, the appellate court should have vacated it and ordered the defendant’s motion dismisse