Supreme Court Summaries
Opinions filed September 20, 2007
No. 103755 Felzak v. Hruby
Appellate citation: 367 Ill. App. 3d 695.
JUSTICE BURKE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Justices Freeman, Fitzgerald, Kilbride, Garman, and Karmeier concurred in the judgment and
Chief Justice Thomas took no part in the decision.
In this Du Page County case, an agreed order for a grandmother’s visitation with her
granddaughter was entered in 1995 after the grandmother filed a petition under what was then
commonly known as the grandparental visitation statute. In decisions in two other cases, this
statute was held unconstitutional in 2002, but, in 2004, it was also held that this constitutional
defect did not invalidate a preexisting order for grandparental visitation.
Ten years after the agreed order in this case, in 2005, the grandmother sought the order’s
enforcement and was successful. The circuit court refused to grant the parents’ motion to dismiss,
and the parents were held in indirect civil contempt, with the appellate court affirming. However,
by the time the cause reached the Illinois Supreme Court, the minor had attained the age of 18
and was an adult.
The supreme court held that no relief could now be granted to the grandmother as to her
petition to enforce the 1995 order and there was nothing with respect to the contempt order to
review. The issues present here cannot recur. The supreme court also found that the criteria for
the public interest exception to the mootness doctrine were not clearly established.
The appeal was dismissed as moot, the judgments below were vacated, and the cause was
remanded to the circuit court for its dismissal of the grandmother’s petition for a rule to show
cause and the petition to enforce.
http://www.state.il.us/court/Opinions/SupremeCourt/2007/September/Summaries/103755s.htm9/26/2007 9:18:08 AM