Massive federal memorandum of law proving that Attorney General's & Judges lack immunity – liable for malicious prosecution.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
LINDA SHELTON v. ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN et al.
Case Number 06 C 4259
before Honorable Judge Joan H. Lefkow
MEMORANDUM OF LAW – JURISDICTION
Defendant, Pro Se, respectfully presents to this Honorable Court the following memorandum of law concerning statutes and case law regarding total and complete lack of prosecutorial and judicial jurisdiction of sham prosecutors and judges in this case.
Judges and prosecutors have absolute immunity unless they totally lack subject-matter or personal jurisdiction in the case. A judge acting without subject-matter jurisdiction is acting without judicial authority. Cohens v. Virginia, 19 U.S. (6 Wheat) 264, 404, 5 L.Ed 257 (1821) The U.S. Supreme Court, in Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 94 S.Ct. 1683, 1687 (1974) stated that "when a state officer acts under a state law in a manner violative of the Federal Constitution”, he "comes into conflict with the superior authority of that Constitution, and he is in that case stripped of his official or representative character and is subjected in his person to the consequences of his individual conduct. The State has no power to impart to him any immunity from responsibility to the supreme authority of the United States." [Emphasis supplied in original].
State officials may be sued as individuals in § 1983 actions. Brokaw v. Mercer County, 235 F.3d 1000 (7th Cir. 2000).
Plaintiff alleges that the prosecutors and judges sued in this case totally lacked subject matter jurisdiction and therefore pursued this prosecution and presided over this prosecution without any legal authority as individuals and trespassers of the Constitution of the United States. The sham prosecutors had no constitutional or statutory authority or jurisdiction to bring the Medicaid vendor fraud charge. The court had no subject matter jurisdiction because the indictment was legally insufficient and failed to state a charge, the charges were void as a violation of the Supremacy clause, the charges were void due to vagueness, and therefore there was a total and complete failure to charge a crime.
INDICTMENT LEGALLY INSUFFICIENT SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION OF THE COURT
A Judge may not claim jurisdiction by fiat. All orders or judgments issued by a judge in a court of limited jurisdiction must contain the findings of the court showing that the court has subject-matter jurisdiction, not allegations that the court has jurisdiction. “. . . in a special statutory proceeding an order must contain the jurisdictional findings prescribed by statute.” In re Jennings, 68 Ill.2d 125, 368 N.E.2d 864 (1977) A judge’s allegation that he has subject-matter jurisdiction is only an allegation. Lombard v. Elmore, 134 Ill.App.3d 898, 480 N.E.2d 1329 (1st Dist. 1985), Hill v. Daily, 28 Ill.App.3d 202, 204, 328 N.E.2d 142 (1975). Inspection of the record of the case is the controlling factor. If the record of the case does not support subject-matter jurisdiction, then the judge has acted without subject-matter jurisdiction. “If it could not legally hear the matter upon the jurisdictional paper presented, its finding that it had the power can add nothing to its authority, – it had no authority to make that finding.” The People v. Brewer, 328 Ill. 472, 483 (1928) Without the specific finding of jurisdiction by the court in an order or judgment, the order or judgment does not comply with the law and is void. The finding can not be merely an unsupported allegation.
The law is well-settled that a void order or judgment is void even before reversal. “Courts are constituted by authority and they cannot go beyond that power delegated to them. If they act beyond that authority, and certainly in contravention of it, their judgments and orders are regarded as nullities. They are not voidable, but simply void, and this even prior to reversal.” Vallely v. Northern Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 254 U.S. 348, 41 S.Ct. 116 (1920)
A court has no jurisdiction where the public policy of the State of Illinois is violated [a crime must be alleged and state ALL the elements of the offense for the complaint to be valid], People v. Meyers, 158 Ill.2d 46, 51 (1994); Martin-Tregona v. Roderick, 29 Ill.App.3d 553, 331 N.E.2d 100 (1st Dist. 1975).
Courts may not attempt to resolve controversies which are not properly presented to them for, if they should do so, it would violate not only the precepts of Constitutional due process, but would fly in the face of the American tradition of adversary litigation. In Re Custody of Ayala, 344 Ill.3d 574, 800 N.E.2d 524, 534-35 (1st Dis. 2003); Ligon v. Williams, 264 Ill.App.3d 701, 637 N.E.2d 633, 639 (1st Dis. 1994); In re Estate of Rice, 77 Ill.App.3d 641, 656-57, 396 N.E.2d 298, 310 (1979)
The Constitutional source of a circuit court’s jurisdiction does not carry with it a license to act in ways inconsistent with controlling statutory law. In re D.W. (People v. Lisa M.), 214 Ill.2d 289, 827 N.E.2d 466, 480 (Ill. 2005); In re Lawrence M., 172 Ill. 2d 523, 529, 670 N.E.2d 710, (Ill. 1996), citing In re M.M., 156 Ill. 2d 53, 75, 619 N.E.2d 702, (Ill. 1993) (Miller, C.J., concurring, joined by Bilandic, J.)
A void judgment, order, or decree is one in which the rendering court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction, lacked personnel jurisdiction, lacked the inherent power or authority to make or enter or enforce the particular order involved. In re D.W. (People v. Lisa M.), 214 Ill.2d 289, 827 N.E.2d 466, 480 (Ill. 2005); People v. Thompson, 209 Ill.2d 19, 23, 805 N.E.2d 1200, 1203 (Ill. 2004); Sarkissian v. Chicago Board of Education, 201 Ill.2d 95, 103, 776 N.E.2d 195, (Ill. 2002), quoting Barnard v. Michael, 392 Ill. 130, 135, 63 N.E.2d 858 (1945). A judge should not proceed in any action in which the judge does not have subject-matter jurisdiction, since she has no lawful authority to act. Any acts made without jurisdiction are void.
FRAUD UPON THE COURT BY PROSECUTOR OR COMPLAINANT INVALIDATES ALL ORDERS OF COURT
Fraud upon the court in obtaining a complaint, information, or indictment invalidates all orders of the court and causes the case to be null and void ab initio. “Fraud upon the court” has been defined by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to “embrace that species of fraud which does, or attempts to, defile the court itself, or is a fraud perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery can not perform in the usual manner its impartial task of adjudging cases that are presented for adjudication.” Kenner v. C.I.R., 387 F.3d 689 (1968); 7 Moore’s Federal Practice, 2d ed., p. 512, ¶ 60.23. The 7th Circuit further stated “a decision produced by fraud upon the court is not in essence a decision at all, and never becomes final.”
It is also clear and well-settled Illinois law that any attempt to commit “fraud upon the court” vitiates the entire proceeding. People v. Sterling, 357 Ill. 354; 192 N.E. 229 (1934) (“The maxim that fraud vitiates every transaction into which it enters applies to judgments as well as to contracts and other transactions.”); Moore v. Sievers, 336 Ill. 316; 168 N.E. 259 (1929) (“The maxim that fraud vitiates every transaction into which it enters …”); In re Village of Willowbrook, 37 Ill.App.2d 393 (1962) (“It is axiomatic that fraud vitiates everything.”); Dunham v. Dunham, 57 Ill.App. 475 (1894), affirmed 162 Ill. 589 (1896); Skelly Oil Co. v. Universal Oil Products Co., 338 Ill.App. 79, 86 N.E.2d 875, 883-4 (1949); Stasel v. The American Home Security Corporation, 362 Ill. 350; 199 N.E. 798 (1935).
Under Illinois and Federal law, when any officer of the court has committed “fraud upon the court”, the orders and judgment resulting from such fraud on that court are void, of no legal force or effect.
In this case the fraud consisted of the Illinois Attorney General fraudulently claiming to have the authority to prosecute vendor fraud without the at least minimal participation and knowledge of the States Attorney of Cook County, the State fraudulently presenting the law to the court and ignoring the Supremacy clause as well as the State Codes and Rules, the State fraudulently claiming Defendant had committed a crime, the State fraudulently claiming that the indictment was legally sufficient, the State fraudulently claiming that the statute of limitations had not run out, the State fraudulently agreeing with the court that Federal Medicaid Code was not applicable in this case of Medicaid vendor fraud,
JUDICIAL TRESPASSERS OF THE LAW
The Illinois Supreme Court has held that "if the magistrate has not such jurisdiction, then he and those who advise and act with him, or execute his process, are trespassers." Von Kettler et.al. v. Johnson, 57 Ill. 109 (1870)
Under Federal law which is applicable to all states, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that if a court is "without authority, its judgments and orders are regarded as nullities. They are not voidable, but simply void; and form no bar to a recovery sought, even prior to a reversal in opposition to them. They constitute no justification; and all persons concerned in executing such judgments or sentences, are considered, in law, as trespassers." Elliot v. Piersol, 1 Pet. 328, 340, 26 U.S. 328, 340 (1828)
The Illinois Supreme Court held that if a court "could not hear the matter upon the jurisdictional paper presented, its finding that it had the power can add nothing to its authority, - it had no authority to make that finding." The People v. Brewer, 128 Ill. 472, 483 (1928). The judges listed below had no legal authority (jurisdiction) to hear or rule on certain matters before them. They acted without any jurisdiction.
When judges act when they do not have jurisdiction to act, or they enforce a void order (an order issued by a judge without jurisdiction), they become trespassers of the law,and are engaged in treason (see below).
The Court in Yates v. Village of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, 209 F.Supp. 757 (N.D. Ill. 1962) held that "not every action by a judge is in exercise of his judicial function. ... it is not a judicial function for a judge to commit an intentional tort even though the tort occurs in the courthouse."
When a judge acts as a trespasser of the law, when a judge does not follow the law, the judge loses subject-matter jurisdiction and the judge’s orders are void, of no legal force or effect.
By law, a judge is a state officer. The judge then acts not as a judge, but as a private individual (in his person).
VIOLATION OF JUDGE’S OATH OF OFFICE
In Illinois, 705 ILCS 205/4 states "Every person admitted to practice as an attorney and counselor at law shall, before his name is entered upon the roll to be kept as hereinafter provided, take and subscribe an oath, substantially in the following form:
'I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be), that I will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Illinois, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of attorney and counselor at law to the best of my ability.'"
In Illinois, a judge must take a second oath of office. Under 705 ILCS 35/2 states, in part, that "The several judges of the circuit courts of this State, before entering upon the duties of their office, shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation, which shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State:
'I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the State of Illinois, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of judge of ______ court, according to the best of my ability.'"
Further, if the judge had enlisted in the U.S. military, then he has taken a third oath. Under Title 10 U.S.C. Section 502 the judge had subscribed to a lifetime oath, in pertinent part, as follows: "I, __________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; ...".
The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that "No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it.". Cooper v. Aaron, 358 U.S. 1, 78 S.Ct. 1401 (1958).
Any judge who does not comply with his oath to the Constitution of the United States wars against that Constitution and engages in acts in violation of the Supreme Law of the Land. The judge is engaged in acts of treason.
Having taken at least two, if not three, oaths of office to support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Illinois, any judge who has acted in violation of the Constitution is engaged in an act or acts of treason (see below).
If a judge does not fully comply with the Constitution, then his orders are void, In re Sawyer, 124 U.S. 200 (1888), he/she is without jurisdiction, and he/she has engaged in an act or acts of treason.
TREASON BY A JUDGE
Whenever a judge acts where he/she does not have jurisdiction to act, the judge is engaged in an act or acts of treason. U.S. v. Will, 449 U.S. 200, 216, 101 S.Ct. 471, 66 L.Ed.2d 392, 406 (1980); Cohens v. Virginia, 19 U.S. (6 Wheat) 264, 404, 5 L.Ed 257 (1821)
The Supreme Court has also held that if a judge wars against the Constitution, or if he acts without jurisdiction, he has engaged in treason to the Constitution. If a judge acts after he has been automatically disqualified by law, then he is acting without jurisdiction, and that suggest that he is then engaging in criminal acts of treason, and may be engaged in extortion and the interference with interstate commerce.
Courts have repeatedly ruled that judges have no immunity for their criminal acts. Since both treason and the interference with interstate commerce are criminal acts, no judge has immunity to engage in such acts.
ATTORNEY GENERAL WITHOUT ANY JURISDICTION TO INDEPENDENTLY PROSECUTE VENDOR FRAUD
Statutes and case law regarding constitutional and statutory authority of Illinois Attorney General do not allow the Illinois Attorney General to prosecute Medicaid Vendor Fraud without the invitation, consent, or participation of the Cook County State’s Attorney.
The Illinois Constitution, Article V, Section 15 states: “The Attorney General shall be the legal officer of the State, and shall have the duties and powers that may be prescribed by law.”
15 ILCS 205/4 (from Ch. 14, par. 4) states:
“The duties of the Attorney General shall be:
Fourth – To consult with and advise the several State’s Attorneys in matters relating to the duties of their office; and when, in his judgment, the interest of the people of the State requires it, he shall attend the trial of any party accused of crime, and assist in the prosecution…
Fifth – To investigate alleged violations of the statutes which the Attorney General has a duty to enforce and to conduct other investigations in connection with assisting in the prosecution of a criminal offense at the request of a State’s Attorney…”
People v. Massarella, 53 Ill. App. 3d 774 (1977)” states:
“Although a court may request that the Attorney General act in place of the State’s Attorney if he is sick, absent, uninterested, or unable to attend, Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch. 14, para. 6 (1973), in the absence of such circumstances, even the court may not substitute one official for the other. Moreover, since the State’s Attorney has the duty to take charge and prosecute all criminal offenses in his county, the attorney general has no power to interfere while that duty is being honestly, intelligently, and carefully discharged.
Nowhere in the Illinois Statutes does it state that an Attorney General may initiate and pursue a prosecution, independent of the State’s attorney, in a category of crimes not specifically assigned to the Attorney General by Statute, but which falls under the duties of the State’s attorney according to the following Statute:
55 ILCS 5/3-9005(a) states:
“The duty of each State’s attorney shall be: (1) To commence and prosecute all actions, suits, indictments and prosecutions, civil and criminal, in the circuit court for his county…”
The Illinois Supreme Court in People v. Massarella, 72 Ill.2d 531, 382 N.E.2d 262 (1978), held that the Illinois Attorney General has authority to prosecute any crime with acquiescence of and absent of objection by State’s Attorney. The key is that the state’s attorney had knowledge of the case and actively acquiesced or failed to make an objection. It also held that the Illinois Attorney General has authority to appear before the grand jury without prior approval of the State’s Attorney.
In People v. Buffalo Confectionery Co., 78 Ill.2d 447, 36 Ill.Dec. 705, 401 N.E.2d 546 (1980) the Illinois Supreme Court, under common law, found that “duties of the Attorney General…include the initiation and prosecution of litigation on behalf of the people.” They state that this power “may be exercised concurrently with the power of the State’s Attorney to initiate and prosecute all actions, suits, indictments, and prosecutions in his county as conferred by statute.”
However, they also ruled that the State’s Attorney is the only official whom by statute can initiate and prosecute criminal charges in that county (Ill.Rev.Stat. 1973, ch. 14, § 5) and that the Illinois Constitution gives the Attorney General only the “duties and powers that may be prescribed by law.” They also ruled that the statutes prescribe the Attorney General’s duties to include to “attend…and assist in the prosecution.” (Ill.Rev.Stat.1973, ch. 14 § 4). Therefore, the Illinois Supreme Court concluded that:
As we have previously stated, the aforementioned duties and powers of the two officers are concurrent. Thus, the Attorney General lacks the power to take exclusive charge of the prosecution of those cases over which the State’s Attorney shares authority. (People v. Flynn (1941), 375 Ill. 366, 368, 31 N.E.2d 591.) However, where the statute so provides, the Attorney General has exclusive authority to institute and prosecute. See, e.g., Ill.Rev.Stat. 1977, ch. 120 par. 453.16 (Cigarette Tax Act prosecution); Ill.Rev.Stat. 1977, ch 38, par. 60-6 (Illinois Antitrust Act prosecution). [They explained that since Illinois Revenue Laws do NOT give the Illinois Attorney General exclusive authority to prosecute violation of revenue laws, the Illinois Attorney General may NOT prosecute these violations without the acquiescence of the State’s Attorney – in the revenue violation case in Buffalo Confectionery Co., the State’s Attorney was deemed to have acquiesced because he had been named to the grand jury, he had signed the indictments, he had attended the arraignments and he had filed certain pretrial discovery motions.)
They also found that an indictment is not invalidated because the Illinois Attorney General appears before the grand jury without approval of the State’s Attorney.
The court then stated that there was no statute prescribing the duties of the Attorney General to include prosecuting revenue claims to the exclusion of the State’s Attorney. (People v. Buffalo Confectionery, Co., Ibid at page 549 .) Analogously, in the above captioned case, there is no state statute that grants the Attorney General exclusive authority to prosecute cases of CRIMINAL vendor fraud. The statutes do however, proscribe the duties of the Attorney General to include exclusive prosecution of CIVIL vendor fraud. (305 ILCS 5/8A-7I.)
In Buffalo Confectionery, Co. (Ibid at page 548) the court noted that in that case the Assistant Attorney General (AAG) told the grand jury that he had obtained permission of a named Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA) to prosecute the case. The named ASA was present at the arraignment and filed a motion for pretrial discovery. The signature of the Cook County State’s Attorney appeared on the indictment. In the case at bar the AAG told the grand jury he had permission of the State’s Attorney, but does not name any such person. The ASA has not appeared at any hearing or before the grand jury in this case and has filed no motions. A signature stamp for SA Richard Divine on the indictment is the only documentation of involvement of the state’s attorney. This signature stamp does not verify that ANY person from the State’s Attorney’s office ever was consulted about this case, was shown evidence about this case, decided what charges should be filed, and consented to the prosecution of this case by the Attorney General with exclusion of ANY involvement of the State’s Attorney in this case.
In Buffalo Confectionery, Co. (Ibid at page 548 and 550) the court noted that there was an “obvious acquiescence by the State’s Attorney”, who was present at the arraignment and made a motion for pretrial discovery. In that case, it was clear that the State’s Attorney had considered the case and had decided to allow the AAG to proceed with prosecution without the ASA.
In, Shelton v. Brown, 126 S.Ct. 51, 163 L.Ed.2d 472, certiorari denied by the United States Supreme Court and the Illinois Supreme Court, the Illinois Appellate Court agreed with Cook County State’s Attorney Dick Devine stated in his Illinois Appellate Court response brief page 12,
“It is clear that in Illinois, even the Attorney General, a constitutionally created prosecuting office, cannot invade the exclusive jurisdiction of the State’s Attorney to bring charges absent some evidence of abuse by the state’s attorney, or a conflict of interest.
This issue in this case was whether or not citizens can file criminal complaints with the court clerk, without the approval or signature of police or the state’s attorney. The clerk had refused to accept criminal complaints by Shelton against corrupt State and County officials, including the State’s Attorney and police. The Appellate Court ruled that this refusal was proper and that citizens had no standing to file such complaints. The reasoning agreed with Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Divine who opined that the Attorney General has no statutory authority to indict and prosecute a person absent consent and participation of the State’s Attorney. This is binding precedent, so much so that any criminal prosecution of vendor fraud by the AG is null and void if the AG did not have the invitation, consent, and participation or acquiescence of the SA.
This position was later re-iterated in People v Dosaky, 303 Ill.App.3d 986, 709 N.E.2d 635 Ill.App. 1 Dist., 1999, where the court ruled:
"Attorney General lacks the power to take exclusive charge of the prosecution of those cases over which the State’s Attorney shares authority, but is authorized to consult with and advise the several State’s Attorneys and attend the trial of any party accused of a crime and assist in the prosecution."
Illinois statutes and case law are explicit in that an Attorney General, in Illinois, can only initiate and prosecute a criminal offense if they are invited to do so by the states attorney and the states attorney participates at hearings and at trial, if the State’s Attorney has reviewed the facts of the case, taken some initial steps towards prosecution and acquiesces to the Illinois Attorney General prosecuting without the State’s Attorney’s participation, or if statutory authority is granted, as it is in CIVIL prosecution of vendor fraud (after approval by OIG-DHHS), in certain environmental crimes or in certain cases involving drug crimes and other statutorily specified crimes.
Medicaid vendor fraud is not such a special statutory category subject to independent and exclusive prosecution by the Attorney General and cannot be criminally prosecuted by the Illinois Attorney General without the written approval of the OIG-DHHS and the request, and at least initial participation of the States Attorney, after the State’s Attorney has evaluated the evidence and determined which offense with which offender should be charged.
More recently, in People v. Knippenberg, 325 Ill.App.3d 251, 757 N.E.2d 667 Ill. App. 3 Dist., 2001, the Illinois Appellate Court ruled that the “Attorney General has exclusive authority to initiate and prosecute cases only when a statute so provides.”
The court in People v. Mitchell, 1971, 131 Ill.App.2d 347, 268 N.E.2d 232 states:
It is the responsibility of State’s attorney of county to appraise evidence against accused and determine offense with which he should be charged.
The court in People v Rhodes, 1967, 38 Ill.2d 389, 231 N.E.2d 400 states:
State’s attorney as a representative of the people has responsibility of evaluating evidence and other pertinent factors and determining what offense can properly and should properly be charged.
Therefore, without a specific statute giving the Illinois Attorney General authority to exclusively prosecute criminal Medicaid vendor fraud, the Illinois Attorney General may not prosecute anyone including Defendant in case at bar if there has been no review of evidence by the State’s Attorney, no determination of the charges by the State’s Attorney, no initial participation by the State’s Attorney, and no acquiescence by the State’s Attorney.
Without the authority of the Attorney General to prosecute the charges, the charges were not properly before the court and the case was void ab initio.
PROSECUTORS ACTING OUTSIDE THE SCOPE OF THEIR PROSECUTORIAL DUTIES DO NOT ENJOY ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY.
The Eight Circuit Court of Appeals in McGhee v. Pottawattamie Co., 547 F.3d 922 (2008) ruled that malicious and willful acts to fabricate probable cause are substantive due process violations and subject the prosecutor who fabricated probable cause to liability under § 1983. This is because the United States Supreme Court in Burns v. Reed, 500 U.S. 478 (1991) took a functional approach as to the role of a prosecutor. If his acts were not intimately tied to the prosecution of the case, but were tied to the investigation, the prosecutor was not immune. This is consistent with Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 428, 430 (1971) where the court held that prosecutors are absolutely immune for acts intimately tied to the prosecution.
In this case prosecutorial absolute immunity does not attach to a prosecutor who never had statutory or constitutional authority to prosecute the alleged crime; does not attach to an Illinois Police investigator prior to the charging of the crime; does not attach to Illinois Medicaid Office of Inspector General nurses serving as investigators; does not attach to Defendant AAG Murray who served as an investigator gathering evidence and later joined the prosecution team; and does not attach to an Attorney General or her staff who willingly and intentionally ignore Illinois Code and Rules as well as Federal Medicaid Code in order to bring false charges to whistle blowers, who are witnesses to their corruption, as is Defendant and the persons the Illinois Attorney General have prosecuted for Medicaid Vendor fraud using virtually identical fraudulent indictments, using the same investigator and witnesses (Inv. Reibel and Lovett), and fraudulently presenting the same false information about the law to the multiple grand juries. These persons have included Dr. Maisha Hamilton Bennett, Vernon Glass, M.S., and Naomi Jennings R.N., as well as Plaintiff.
Therefore, the Illinois Attorney General, her staff, and her investigators are not immune from liability.
VOID FOR VAGUENESS DOCTRINE
It is impermissible to prosecute a person, per due process requirements, for a crime if it relies on a vague, ambiguous, or conflicting legal requirement. As the Seventh Circuit Court recently emphasized in Gresham v. Peterson, 225 F.3d 899 (7th Cir. 2000), criminal penalties require a “high degree of clarity.” Id. at 908. A year earlier, the Seventh Circuit Court also held:
The vagueness doctrine holds that a person cannot be held liable for conduct he could not reasonably have been expected to know was a violation of law. It is well-settled that, as a matter of due process, a criminal statute that fails to give a person of ordinary intelligence fair notice that his contemplated conduct is forbidden by the statute, or is so indefinite that it encourages arbitrary and erratic arrests and convictions is void for vagueness. [United States v. Brierton, 165 F.3d 1133, 1138-39 (7th Cir. 1999) (as amended)]
The Supreme Court has emphasized this same principle on numerous occasions. In United States v. Harriss, 347 U.S. 612 (1954), the Court held that:
The constitutional requirements of definiteness is violated by a criminal statute that fails to give a person of ordinary intelligence fair notice that his contemplated conduct is forbidden by the statute. The underlying principle is that no man shall be held criminally responsible for conduct which he could not reasonable understand to be proscribed. [Id.at 617 (citations omitted)]
See also Dowling v. United States, 473 U.S. 207, 229 (1985) (reversing a conviction because “Congress has not spoken with the requisite clarity” and affirming the “‘time-honored interpretive guideline’ that ‘ambiguity concerning the ambit of criminal statutes should be resolved in favor of lenity’”) (quoting Liparota v. United States, 471 U.S. 419, 427 (1985) and United States v. Hudson, 7 Cranch 32 (1812), inner quotations omitted.)
Even if the Illinois regulation per the Administrative Code is upheld to deny reimbursement for these counseling services to the poor, all defendants in any similar vendor fraud cases indictments and prosecutions cannot be sustained amid the uncertainty and vagueness created by the federal-state conflict. Indictment and prosecution of any defendant under a similar theory to this case of substitute billing run afoul of the Seventh Circuit Court’s holdings in Gresham and Brierton, and the Supreme Court precedents following Harriss.