Legal Memorandum: Trial Court’s finding of fact during a bench trial

Issue: Under Illinois law, in a bench trial, how detailed must the trial court’s findings of fact be?

Area of Law: Litigation Practice & Procedure, Litigation Practice and Procedure
Keywords: ; Finding of Fact; Bench Trial
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2016

During a bench trial, the trial court is not required to mention everything-or anything-that contributed to its findings. People v. Curtis, 296 Ill. App. 3d 991, 1000 (1998). "In a bench trial, even though it may be desirable for the trial court to explain its decision, the court’s election not to comment or its failure to specifically mention certain portions of the testimony does not permit a defendant on appeal to claim that those portions not mentioned played no role in the court’s determination." Id. Accordingly, "[i]f the record contains facts which support an affirmance of the trial court’s finding, the reviewing court may take those facts into account even if the trial court did not state it explicitly relied upon them." Id. Regardless of the court’s focus on co-respondent, the record supports affirmance of the trial court’s ruling.

In re Bruce G., No. 1-15-1996  2016.IL.000026 (Ill. App. Dist.1 02/04/2016).

Date: March 1, 2016

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