We recently reported on a case addressing the authority of a home-rule municipality to hold administrative hearings in the case of overlapping state and municipal traffic laws. Another Illinois Appellate Court recently weighed in on a similar issue in Cammacho, Jr., et al. v. City of Joliet. There, the Appellate Court held that the City’s overweight vehicle ordinance had been improperly enforced through administrative hearing procedures.
The City Code makes it unlawful to operate vehicles over a certain weight on any road within the City that is not designated for such vehicles. After receiving citations for violating the ordinance, several commercial truck drivers contested their tickets at administrative hearings held by the City, but each driver was found liable for violating the ordinance. The drivers then appealed their citations to the circuit court, arguing that the City had no authority to issue tickets or impose fines for this type of vehicle restriction through an administrative adjudication hearing process. The trial court disagreed and upheld the issuance of the tickets.
On appeal, the Appellate Court ruled in favor of the drivers, holding that the City did not have the authority to hold administrative hearings to adjudicate the overweight vehicle tickets issued to the drivers, based on a provision of the Illinois Municipal Code:
Any municipality may provide by ordinance for a system of adjudication of municipal code violations . . . except for . . . (ii) any offense under the Illinois Vehicle Code or a similar offense that is a traffic regulation governing the movement of vehicles and except for any reportable offense under Section 6-204 of the Illinois Vehicle Code. 65 ILCS 5/1-2.1-2 (emphasis added)
The Appellate Court noted that the Illinois Vehicle Code prohibits the movement of overweight vehicles, and that the City Code constitutes a “traffic regulation governing the movement of vehicles.” Because the City Code regulates the movement of vehicles by regulating the weight limits on City streets and because the drivers were cited for a violation while their trucks were moving, rather than while parked or stopped, the City did not have the authority to enforce the tickets issued to the drivers through the City’s administrative adjudication hearing process because of the above-referenced exception in the Illinois Municipal Code.
Post Authored by Erin Monforti & Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink