In this portion of Illinois criminal law, legislators describe several different crimes, all related to interference with our judicial system: performance of unauthorized acts, simulating legal process, tampering with public records, and tampering with public notice.
The first, performance of unauthorized acts, occurs when a person without authorization conducts a marriage ceremony, executes any official document, or becomes a surety for any party in a civil or criminal proceeding. Similarly, defendants could find themselves facing charges of simulating legal process if they issue or deliver any document that appears to be a court document, even though they knew it was falsified. A violation is a Class B misdemeanor.
Tampering with documents that have been made available to the public is also unlawful under this section of Article 32 of the Illinois Criminal Code. Anyone who knowingly alters or destroys any public records documents or any public notice commits a crime. For public records, a violation is a Class 4 felony, while tampering with a public notice is only a petty offense.
Several other offenses are listed in this portion of Article 32, the text of which is provided below.
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The text below comes from Article 32 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 32
Sec. 32-6. Performance of unauthorized acts.
(720 ILCS 5/32-6)
A person who performs any of the following acts, knowing that his performance is not authorized by law, commits a Class 4 felony:
(a) Conducts a marriage ceremony; or
(b) Acknowledges the execution of any document which by law may be recorded; or
(c) Becomes a surety for any party in any civil or criminal proceeding, before any court or public officer authorized to accept such surety. (Source: P. A. 77-2638)
Sec. 32-7. Simulating legal process.
(720 ILCS 5/32-7)
A person who issues or delivers any document which he knows falsely purports to be or simulates any civil or criminal process commits a Class B misdemeanor. (Source: P. A. 77-2638.)
Sec. 32-8. Tampering with public records.
(720 ILCS 5/32-8)
A person who knowingly and without lawful authority alters, destroys, defaces, removes or conceals any public record commits a Class 4 felony. (Source: P. A. 77-2638.)
Sec. 32-9. Tampering with public notice.
(720 ILCS 5/32-9)
A person who knowingly and without lawful authority alters, destroys, defaces, removes or conceals any public notice, posted according to law, during the time for which the notice was to remain posted, commits a petty offense. (Source: P. A. 77-2638.)
Sec. 32-10. Violation of bail bond.
(720 ILCS 5/32-10)
(a) Whoever, having been admitted to bail for appearance before any court of this State, incurs a forfeiture of the bail and willfully fails to surrender himself within 30 days following the date of such forfeiture, commits, if the bail was given in connection with a charge of felony or pending appeal or certiorari after conviction of any offense, a felony of the next lower Class or a Class A misdemeanor if the underlying offense was a Class 4 felony; or, if the bail was given in connection with a charge of committing a misdemeanor, or for appearance as a witness, commits a misdemeanor of the next lower Class, but not less than a Class C misdemeanor.
(a-5) Any person who violates a condition of bail bond by possessing a firearm in violation of his or her conditions of bail commits a Class 4 felony for a first violation and a Class 3 felony for a second violation.
(b) Whoever, having been admitted to bail for appearance before any court of this State, while charged with a criminal offense in which the victim is a family or household member as defined in Article 112A of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, knowingly violates a condition of that release as set forth in Section 110-10, subsection (d) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, commits a Class A misdemeanor.
(c) Whoever, having been admitted to bail for appearance before any court of this State for a felony, Class A misdemeanor or a criminal offense in which the victim is a family or household member as defined in Article 112A of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, is charged with any other felony, Class A misdemeanor, or a criminal offense in which the victim is a family or household member as defined in Article 112A of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 while on such release, must appear before the court before bail is statutorily set.
(d) Nothing in this Section shall interfere with or prevent the exercise by any court of its power to punishment for contempt. Any sentence imposed for violation of this Section shall be served consecutive to the sentence imposed for the charge for which bail had been granted and with respect to which the defendant has been convicted. (Source: P.A. 91-696, eff. 4-13-00.)
Sec. 32-11. Barratry.
(720 ILCS 5/32-11)
If a person wickedly and willfully excites and stirs up actions or quarrels between the people of this State with a view to promote strife and contention, he or she is guilty of the petty offense of common barratry; and if he or she is an attorney at law, he or she shall be suspended from the practice of his or her profession, for any time not exceeding 6 months. (Source: P.A. 89-234, eff. 1-1-96.)
Sec. 32-12. Maintenance.
(720 ILCS 5/32-12)
If a person officiously intermeddles in an action that in no way belongs to or concerns that person, by maintaining or assisting either party, with money or otherwise, to prosecute or defend the action, with a view to promote litigation, he or she is guilty of maintenance and upon conviction shall be fined and punished as in cases of common barratry. It is not maintenance for a person to maintain the action of his or her relative or servant, or a poor person out of charity. (Source: P.A. 89-234, eff. 1-1-96.)
Sec. 32-13. Unlawful clouding of title.
(720 ILCS 5/32-13)
(a) Any person who intentionally records or files or causes to be recorded or filed any document in the office of the recorder or registrar of titles of any county of this State that is a cloud on the title of land in this State, knowing that the theory upon which the purported cloud on title is based is not recognized as a legitimate legal theory by the courts of this State or of the United States, commits the offense of unlawful clouding of title.
(b) Unlawful clouding of title is a Class A misdemeanor.
(c) In addition to any other sentence that may be imposed, the court shall order any person convicted of a violation of this Section, or placed on supervision for a violation of this Section, to execute a release of the purported cloud on title as may be requested by or on behalf of any person whose property is encumbered or potentially encumbered by the document filed. Irrespective of whether or not a person charged under this Section is convicted of the offense of unlawful clouding of title, when the evidence demonstrates that, as a matter of law, the cloud on title is not a type of cloud recognized or authorized by the courts of this State or the United States, the court shall forthwith direct the recorder or registrar of titles to expunge the cloud.
(c-5) This Section does not apply to an attorney licensed to practice law in this State who in good faith files a lien on behalf of his or her client and who in good faith believes that the validity of the lien is supported by statutory law, by a decision of a court of law, or by a good faith argument for an extension, modification, or reversal of existing court decisions relating to the validity of the lien.
(d) For purposes of this Section, "cloud on title" or "cloud on the title" means an outstanding claim or encumbrance that, if valid, would affect or impair the title of the owner of an estate in land and on its face has that effect, but can be shown by extrinsic proof to be invalid or inapplicable to that estate. (Source: P.A. 89-682, eff. 1-1-97.)
Sec. 32-14. Unlawful manipulation of a judicial sale.
(720 ILCS 5/32-14)
(a) A person commits the offense of unlawful manipulation of a judicial sale when he or she knowingly and by any means makes any contract with or engages in any combination or conspiracy with any other person who is, or but for a prior agreement is, a competitor of such person for the purpose of or with the effect of fixing, controlling, limiting, or otherwise manipulating (1) the participation of any person in, or (2) the making of bids, at any judicial sale. (b) Penalties. Unlawful manipulation of a judicial sale is a Class 3 felony. A mandatory fine shall be imposed for a violation, not to exceed $1,000,000 if the violator is a corporation, or, if the violator is any other person, $100,000. A second or subsequent violation is a Class 2 felony. (c) Injunctive and other relief. The State's Attorney shall bring suit in the circuit court to prevent and restrain violations of subsection (a). In such a proceeding, the court shall determine whether a violation has been committed, and shall enter such judgment as it considers necessary to remove the effects of any violation which it finds, and to prevent such violation from continuing or from being renewed in the future. The court, in its discretion, may exercise all powers necessary for this purpose, including, but not limited to, injunction and divestiture of property. (d) Private right of action. Any person who has been injured by a violation of subsection (a) may maintain an action in the Circuit Court for damages, or for an injunction, or both, against any person who has committed such violation. If, in an action for an injunction, the court issues an injunction, the plaintiff shall be awarded costs and reasonable attorney's fees. In an action for damages, the person injured shall be awarded 3 times the amount of actual damages. This State, counties, municipalities, townships, and any political subdivision organized under the authority of this State, and the United States, are considered a person having standing to bring an action under this subsection. Any action for damages under this subsection is forever barred unless commenced within 4 years after the cause of action accrued. In any action for damages under this subsection, the court may, in its discretion, award reasonable fees to the prevailing defendant upon a finding that the plaintiff acted in bad faith, vexatiously, wantonly, or for oppressive reasons. (e) Exclusion from subsequent judicial sales. Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) or any similar offense of any state or the United States shall be barred for 5 years from the date of conviction from participating as a bidding entity in any judicial sale. No corporation shall be barred from participating in a judicial sale as a result of a conviction under subsection (a) of any employee or agent of such corporation if the employee so convicted is no longer employed by the corporation and: (1) it has been finally adjudicated not guilty or (2) it demonstrates to the circuit court conducting such judicial sale and the court so finds that the commission of the offense was neither authorized, requested, commanded, nor performed by a director, officer or a high managerial agent in behalf of the corporation as provided in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of Section 5-4 of this Code. (f) Definitions. As used in this Section, unless the context otherwise requires: "Judicial sale" means any sale of real or personal property in accordance with a court order, including, but not limited to, judicial sales conducted pursuant to Section 15-1507 of the Code of Civil Procedure, sales ordered to satisfy judgments under Article XII of the Code of Civil Procedure, and enforcements of delinquent property taxes under Article XXI of the Property Tax Code.
"Person" means any natural person, or any corporation, partnership, or association of persons. (Source: P.A. 96-408, eff. 8-13-09.)