Sherer Law Offices

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If you have ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime in Illinois, you may have wondered what options you have to clear your record.  Illinois offers two distinct avenues – expungement and sealing – that may be available to you in these cases. Expungement is a process through which entries on your criminal and arrest record are removed.  Sealing a record does not remove the entries, but rather prevents the public from being able to view these things.  Only individuals or agencies connected to law enforcement or with special permission will be able to view items on a…
Likely most everyone has heard the news at this point that Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act on June 25, 2019, officially legalizing the use of recreational marijuana for anyone over the age of 21. [1] However, the bill also has several other lesser known provisions that you may not have been aware of.  Sherer Law Offices is here to walk you through two of largest side effects of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. First, the new law will allow for approximately 770,000 Illinois residents to have their criminal records expunged of certain marijuana related…
On Tuesday September 3rd the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the lawsuit against the Rams owner, Stan Kroenke, and the NFL must be heard in an open court room and not behind the closed doors of arbitration.[1] The City’s lawsuit alleges that the Rams violated the NFL’s 1984 league guidelines.  The league and Mr. Kroenke have alleged that any disagreement should be aired behind closed doors in arbitration, rather than in open court, pursuant to the 1995 lease agreement.  However, the Missouri Supreme Court disagreed and ordered the suit to proceed in open court. Currently, four suits are pending…
On Friday August 23, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law House Bill 2276, effectively amending the Illinois Vehicle Code and making it illegal for anyone to smoke in a car containing a person under 18 years of age.[1]  Specifically, it will be illegal for anyone to inhale, exhale, burn, or carry a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, weed, plant, regulated narcotic, or other combustible substance while a minor is in the car.  The law applies whether the car is moving or stationary and regardless of whether windows and/or doors are open. The new law went into effect immediately and calls…
On June 19, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit rendered its decision that the city of Chicago violated the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay provision when it continued to hold cars belonging to individuals who had filed for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. [1] This decision was the result of a consolidated appeal of four bankruptcy cases which arose when Chicago refused to return vehicles impounded for failure to pay multiple traffic tickets.  The City argued that in ordered to properly maintain their lien on the debtor’s vehicles and ensure payment of the fines, the City needed to…
Back in 2004, Illinois passed what is known as the Gender Violence Act in an effort to deter violence directed toward women.  Since its inception, the Gender Violence Act has undergone little change. It classified gender-related violence as a form of sex discrimination and allowed a person who had been subjected to gender-related violence to bring a civil action for monetary damages, injunctive relief, or other appropriate relief. [1]  However, on May 17, 2019, the Third District Appellate Court handed down a decision seriously expanding the scope of the Gender Violence Act. In Gasic v Marquette Management, the Court…
On Wednesday August 21st, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law Senate Bill 1090, making Illinois only the second state to prohibit landlords from evicting tenants solely because they are living in the U.S. illegally.[1] The bill also prohibits landlords from reporting or threatening to report a tenant’s immigration status to authorities as a means of intimidation, in retaliation for exercising their rights as tenants, or to force them to agree to move out.  The law does not prevent landlords from enforcing existing terms of the lease or evicting tenants for permissible reasons, only from doing so based on immigration…
Last month New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill officially banning religious exemptions for vaccinations.  The law was passed after states across the U.S. saw the largest measles outbreak since 1992 and since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000. [1] In fact, just this year, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that 1,148 cases of measles have been confirmed in 30 states.  This is up from 372 cases reported in 2018 and 120 reported in 2017.  New York seems to have been hit the hardest by this recent epidemic, reporting 550 confirmed cases…
As of August 6, 2019, Illinois is the first state to require fire protection for pets kept in kennels and other boarding facilities.[1] House Bill 3390 amended the Illinois Animal Welfare Act to require that all kennel operators install a fire alarm monitoring system that triggers notification to local emergency responders, unless the kennel is staffed at all times.  If a kennel is found in violation, they can face a fine of $500 for a first offense, $1,500 for a second offense, and $2,500 and the loss of their license for a third offense. The bill, which passed through…
It is no secret that many individuals consider their companion animals, or pets, a member of their family.  In fact, a recent survey conducted found that over 80% of pet owners consider their pets to be full fledged family members, equivalent to the human members alike. [1] Considering this information, it is unsurprising to learn that when a family is going through a divorce, the argument over who gets custody of the family pet may arise. In 2018, the Illinois legislatures made a number of changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act, one of which was the addition of…
Illinois may be on the path to establishing a statewide registry for individuals convicted of animal abuse.  State Senator Tom Cullerton, who has introduced similar legislation in the past, says that he intends to reintroduce the idea this January when the next legislative session begins.[1]His proposed bill states that anyone convicted of aggravated animal cruelty, violations involving animals for entertainment, dog fighting and similar offenses will be required to register with the county sheriff for 10 years following their conviction.[2]The offenders will be required to provide their name and any aliases, their date of birth, their…
On July 31, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law House Bill 834, effectively amending the Equal Pay Act of 2003 and banning employers from requiring job applicants to disclose their salary history.[1]The new law prohibits employers from requiring that an applicant’s prior wages satisfy minimum or maximum criteria, requesting information about prior wages or salary as part of the application process, or asking questions related to prior benefits or other compensation received. While the new law prohibits employers from requesting prior salary information, it does allow the applicant to disclose their salary and compensation history if they wish.  …
Divorce and custody proceedings can be an emotional and tense time for all individuals involved. In these situations, it is often the children shared by the parties that suffer the most. While both spouses have attorneys representing their own wishes, the children are in the position of relying on their parents to advocate for their best interests. Because of the strong emotions that can surround a separation, the Illinois legislatures have implemented a number of procedures to ensure that the best interest of any children involved are given the highest consideration. THE CHILDREN FIRST PROGRAM If the divorcing couple shares…
Upon filing for divorce, one party may request support from the other party and in the state of Illinois support payments take two forms. If a party is requesting support for themselves to ensure that they are able to adequately provide for their own livelihood, it is considered maintenance (also know as alimony or spousal support). If a party requests support as a contribution to the expenses of caring for children that were a product of the relationship, the court considers this child support. The first step in determining if support will be granted by the court is to calculate…
Establishing paternity for a child can be a stressful, emotional event. Despite the drama portrayed about the situation by afternoon talk shows, the need to establish a legal connection between a father and a child is a common situation. Whether you are the mother of a child seeking to have a father acknowledge his responsibility, or a father seeking to become a part of the life of a child, Illinois offers legal remedies for both situations. The simplest way that paternity can be established is by acquiring consent from both parties. The mutual consent of both parties at the time…
Maintaining good mental health is just as important as maintaining good physical health. Nearly 20% percent of the population struggles with maintaining their mental health, and, until recently many looked down upon an individual for seeking treatment for mental health issues. [1] In recent years, access to treatment for mental health issues has become a growing concern for both the national and the Illinois government. In 2013, the Illinois State Legislature developed a five-year plan to improve access to mental health treatment for all residents. [2] Recent statistics indicate that the plan has been successful, as Illinois was recently ranked…