"Cases Pending" Highlights Criminal Cases to be Heard During Illinois Supreme Court's November Term

November 06, 2018 7:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The Illinois Supreme Court's November Term begins on Monday, November 12th. The Term will include oral argument in 4 criminal cases and 7 civil cases between November 13th and November 20th. Below is a listing of the 4 criminal cases that will be heard:

Tuesday, November 13, 2018: People v. Daksh Relwani, No. 123385

                                                       People v. Sylwester Gawlak, No. 123182

                                                       Kenin Edwards v. Hon. Michael Atterbery, No. 123370  

Below is a summary of one of the criminal cases to be argued. As always, more information about all pending criminal and civil cases is available in the ALA's Cases Pending newsletter.

People v. Daksh Relwani, No. 123385

After he was arrested for driving while intoxicated, defendant Daksh Relwani filed a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension of his driver's license. He argued that rescission was appropriate because the summary suspension statute applies only to motorists operating vehicles on "public highways," and the location of his arrest -- a parking lot adjacent to a Walgreen's store -- could not be so characterized because it was "private property." The issue is whether the trial court correctly denied defendant's petition to rescind because he failed to make a prima facie showing that the parking lot was not a "public highway."

The appellate court affirmed in a 2-1 decision. According to precedent, a parking lot on private property is a "public highway" for this statute if the lot is (1) open to public vehicular traffic, and (2) is publically maintained. The majority noted that defendant's argument that the lot must be private because it was adjacent to Walgreen's was insufficient under this precedent. The majority declined to address, in the alternative, whether it could infer from defendant's testimony that he had been driving on the public highways just before he arrived in the parking lot. The dissenting justice would have concluded that defendant met his prima facie burden by showing that he was driving his vehicle in a parking lot adjacent to a private business, which would shift the burden to the State to offer proof that the private parking lot is publicly maintained.

Before the Illinois Supreme Court, defendant echoed the position of the dissenting justice. In response, the State offered two grounds for affirmance. First, that defendant drove upon a public highway while intoxicated shortly before his arrest so that the implied consent statute applies even if he was ultimately arrested on private property. And second, defendant failed to make a prima facie showing that he was not on a "public highway" when he was arrested in the parking lot.

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