5th District Appellate Court Rules Pro SE Motion to Suppress on Illegal Search of Home Should Have Been Granted.

In this case, the defendant allegedly committed the offense of disorderly conduct for loud noises from his trailer. Officers came and a neighbor was willing to sign a complaint. The defendant would not come out, but eventually opened his door. The officers asked him to come out to the porch area. The defendant refused but opened the door when an officer lied to him and said “we are not here to arrest you.”

The officer tried to grab the defendant, the defendant retreated into his home, and officers pursued him. The defendant was tased, and methampetamine was found in the home. He was charged with possession of methamphetamine as well as disorderly conduct.

The defendant wrote his appointed lawyer and asked him/told him to file a motion to suppress. His lawyer did not. The defendant then filed a pro se motion to suppress. The judge asked his lawyer if he would adopt the pro se motion, and the lawyer refused. The defendant asked for a new lawyer, and when that was denied, he fired his lawyer and represented himself. His motion was denied, and he was subsequently found guilty by a jury and sentenced to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The appellate court ruled that the motion should have been granted. He was not arrested in a public place, was arrested without a warrant, and there was no exigency to permit a hot pursuit/exigent circumstances exception to apply.

The case is People v. Lenard Smock, 2018 IL App (5th) 140449.


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