SPRINGFIELD – Christopher Geiler corrected a deficiency in
the Troy police department and impressed the Illinois Supreme Court with his
challenge to a speeding ticket, but his ticket still stands.
On July 8, the Justices reversed lower court decisions that
would have torn up his ticket and more than 25 tickets of other drivers.
The Justices excused Troy police for not knowing they needed
to follow Rule 552, requiring delivery of tickets to Madison County courthouse
in 48 hours.
Justice James Kilbride wrote that Geiler “apparently alerted
the Troy police department to the existence of the rule.”
“At oral argument, the state assured this court that the
Troy police department is now in strict compliance with Rule 552,” Kilbride
“We note that defendant, appearing pro se, performed well in
presenting his argument, both in his brief to this court and in his oral
“His argument nevertheless must be rejected given this
court’s established precedent holding that a charge may not be dismissed based
on the violation of a directory rule absent a showing of prejudice to the
defendant from the violation.”
Police stopped Geiler on May 5, 2014, and charged him with
doing 80 in a 65 zone.
The ticket reached the courthouse on May 9.
Geiler moved to dismiss it, and brought a stack of tardy
tickets to a hearing before associate judge Elizabeth Levy.
Troy detective Todd Hays testified that a supervisor
delivered tickets to the courthouse on Mondays and Fridays.
He said it wasn’t physically possible to transport them
Levy dismissed the ticket, finding “clear and consistent
violation of Rule 552 and not an inadvertent action.”
Fifth District appellate judges in Mount Vernon affirmed the
The Supreme Court found they took the rule too seriously.
“Rule 552 simply provides that the arresting officer shall
complete the form or ticket and transmit it to the circuit court clerk within
48 hours after the arrest,” Kilbride wrote.
“The rule does not specify any consequence for a violation
of the timing requirement or contain any negative language prohibiting
prosecution or further action in the case of noncompliance.”
He wrote that the facts didn’t involve deliberate or ongoing
State’s attorney Thomas Gibbons represented the state, along
with appellate prosecutors Patrick Delfino, Stephen Norris and Patrick Daly.