Are Only Fundamentally Proper Proceedings Subject to Harmless Error Analysis ?
In People v. Pearson, 345 Ill. App. 3d 191, 802 N.E.2d 386, 280 Ill. Dec. 461 (2003), the court observed that the "process of judicial review of a petition under the Act--without comment by either party--is a significant and unusual departure from the adversary process.
The legislature has mandated that departure in the specific context of the Post-Conviction Hearing Act.
We see no possible basis for importing such an unusual procedure into matters governed by the Code of Civil Procedure. " Pearson, 345 Ill. App. 3d at 194, 802 N.E.2d at 389.
The Pearson court rejected the State's request to conduct a harmless error analysis of the summary dismissal of a section 2-1401 petition, reasoning that only fundamentally proper proceedings are subject to a harmless error analysis. Pearson, 345 Ill. App. 3d at 196, 802 N.E.2d at 390.