Susan gave birth to a daughter, Hannah, during marriage with James. Two years later, the couple’s marriage was dissolved. They agreed to joint custody of the children born during the course of this marriage, including Hannah.
More than a decade later, Susan filed two separate parentage actions in the circuit court. The second petition asked that Michael be named as the father of Hannah. She also asked that James be removed as the father. The court denied her petitions. Michael was objecting to being named the father.
Four years later, Hannah filed her own petition. She was over 18 years old now. She wanted Michael named as her father. She wanted him to pay expenses as the father.
The court dismissed Hannah’s petition. It said that this issue had already been decided years earlier. When her mother, Susan, had filed for the same thing.
Hannah appealed. The Appellate Court said that you can’t redo issues for two situations. Not for issues that could have been decided in the first action. Or, for those issues that were actually decided. So, did either of these things happen in the case her mother had filed years earlier? Both happened.
The Appellate Court agreed with the Trial Court. The original petitions filed by the mother had been decided years earlier. They were not left open for further action in court.
Michael is not the father of Hannah. James is the father, even though he is not the biological father. This was final years ago. It won’t be analyzed again.
The Appellate Court spent a lot of time analyzing the papers filed in the case. The Court made its decision based on papers that were filed. Some of the papers were not done right. That also made the decision what it was. The original decision stands.
The case may not be over yet. That is why the case has the following language:
NOTICE: THIS OPINION HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED FOR PUBLICATION IN THE PERMANENT LAW REPORTS. UNTIL RELEASED, IT IS SUBJECT TO REVISION OR WITHDRAWAL.
Buchanan v Legan, 2017 IL App (3d) 170037.