A small group effected in cook county average 16,000 divorces in that county alone this is not a limited #?

January 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

Supreme Court Summaries
Opinions filed January 23, 2015

In re Marriage of Eckersall 2015 IL 117922

Appellate citation: 2014 IL App (1st) 132223

JUSTICE FREEMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Chief Justice Garman and Justices Thomas, Kilbride, Karmeier, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.

Marriage dissolution proceedings in Cook County were initiated in 2013 by the husband here, who sought joint custody of the couple’s three minor children. The dissolution was finalized in 2014, superseding an earlier order concerning the children which had been entered while the case was pending. That order had restricted the parties’ dealings and communications with the children during the proceedings. While the matter was pending, the wife had claimed that the order infringed on her right to parent and communicate with her children, and sought appellate review under the Supreme Court Rule which allows an interlocutory order to be appealed if there is an injunction. The order used the language “restrain” and “enjoin”. The appellate court, however, found that the challenged interim order was not an injunction, and, thus, was not appealable. Without considering substantive issues, it dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The wife was GRANTED leave to appeal by the Illinois Supreme Court.
The parties agree that the case is now moot, because the wife cannot be GRANTED any relief from the prior order, which is no longer in effect. However, the wife asked the supreme court to address the merits of her appeal under the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine, claiming the importance of “issues involving minors.” As amicus, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers urged the supreme court to reach the question of whether the interim order was appealable as an injunction.
The interim order ENTERED HERE was on a “form” that is generally used only in dissolution proceedings in Cook County and only when the parties cannot agree on the terms and conditions of visitation. This type of order has a limited application to a small group of people and does not significantly affect the public as a whole. There are no conflicting precedents on this issue which would call for an authoritative determination, nor is there any indication that this problem will recur.
In this decision, the supreme court found no reason to apply the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine. It found the question presented on appeal to be moot. The court said that the petition for leave to appeal had been improvidently GRANTED. The appeal was dismissed.

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