The Illinois Supreme Court Overrules McFadden in a Termination of Parental Rights Case.

The Illinois Supreme Court just breathed life into a number of cases at the trial, appellate, and post-conviction levels by overruling People v. McFadden in a termination of parental rights case.

The respondent here was a father who DCFS filed a Petition against to terminate his parental rights. As a last ditch effort to terminate his rights quickly, they filed a petition claiming that he was depraved because he had three felony convictions. The trial court terminated his rights despite the fact that one of his three convictions was unconstitutional and void in light of Aguilar.

DCFS took the position that since the respondent father never sought to vacate the conviction, they could still use it based on McFadden. The majority here looked at some U.S. Supreme Court cases and decided that McFadden could not be reconciled with them and overruled McFadden. Defendants no longer bear the sole burden of clearing their records of unconstitutional convictions and void judgments.

The case is In Re N.G. 2018 IL 121939

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