Government

As has been widely reported by local news, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) office of the Attorney General recently issued an opinion finding the City of Chicago City Council in violation of the Open Meetings Act for allegedly conducting phone meetings with a majority of a quorum of the Council outside of a noticed meeting. 2020 PAC 62918 ProPublica Illinois filed a request for review with the PAC claiming that the City Council had held a number of meetings by phone without complying with the OMA. The City responded that the calls were informal briefings about pandemic-related issues and did…
The Illinois Supreme Court recently held that the trial court properly dismissed a class action lawsuit against the City of Chicago that had claimed that the City’s water main replacement program increased the risk of harm to the plaintiffs of lead poisoning. Specifically, the Supreme Court determined that the plaintiffs did not establish that they suffered any bodily harm by any alleged negligence by the City, and that plaintiffs could not recover solely on their claim that the City’s project increased their risk of harm. The Court also dismissed the plaintiffs inverse condemnation claims finding that the plaintiffs did not…
Illinoisans have not yet received official guidance from the State of Illinois on Halloween activities and events. However, yesterday the CDC posted guidance about Halloween activities and other fall holidays on its website that may be of interest to readers. The CDC has assigned various levels of risk to Halloween-related activities. For those wondering how traditional trick-or-treating will be categorized (or its close cousin, “trunk-or-treat”), the CDC has assigned these activities to its “high risk” category. Hayrides, indoor costume parties, and indoor haunted houses are similarly assigned to the high risk category of activities. The CDC notes that traditional costume…
Ancel Glink’s employment law blog, The Workplace Report with Ancel Glink, recently reported on updated EEOC guidance to employers regarding COVID-19. We’ve reprinted the post below but we also encourage you to visit and subscribe to The Workplace Report here. EEOC UPDATES ITS CORONAVIRUS GUIDANCE Throughout the pandemic, the EEOC has maintained a list of frequently asked questions for employers regarding Coronavirus-related issues. The FAQs are informative, and we suggest that employers take a look at them, which they can do by clicking here. Last week the EEOC updated some of its FAQs, and we have highlighted a…
We’ve previously reported on a few cases involving challenges to municipal impound and towing charges. Recently, an Illinois appellate court considered a challenge to a City of O’Fallon ordinance that imposes a $500 charge on a driver whose vehicle is impounded for a DUI offense. Saladrigas v. City of O’Fallon The Village ordinance imposes the $500 charge in addition to other fees imposed for towing and storage of the vehicle and penalties imposed for the DUI offense. A driver who was assessed this $500 charge challenged the ordinance, claiming it was an unconstitutional administrative fee as it was not reasonably…
Election season is rapidly approaching. Candidates for the April 2021 election can start circulating nominating petitions on September 22, 2020.  Candidates should carefully check compliance with the rules and deadlines: Monday, December 14, 2020. The first day for candidates to file their nominating petitions, statement of candidacy and receipt of filing of Statement of Economic Interests. Monday, December 21, 2020. Last day for candidates to file. Names are placed on the ballot in the order in which the nominating papers are received.  However, for those who file within the first hour and last hour of the filing period, a lottery is held…
An Illinois Appellate Court recently issued a ruling in favor of a Sanitary District, the City of Champaign, and other government bodies in a challenge to invalidate an intergovernmental agreement and other ordinances that affected the development of the plaintiff’s property. I-57 & Curtis, LLC v. Urbana & Champaign Sanitary District. The challenged IGA and ordinances allowed the plaintiff to annex its property to the Sanitary District (and connect to the Sanitary District’s sewer system) only if the plaintiff entered into an annexation agreement with the City of Champaign to annex the property to the City. The plaintiff objected…
It’s been awhile since we have reported on social media activities that result in an employee’s termination.  An Illinois municipality recently fired its police chief for posting a meme on his personal Facebook page that showed people looting from a store, with the following caption: Looting….when free housing, free food, and free education just aren’t enough The village issued a press release about the termination: We hold all of our public officials to the highest standards in their personal and professional lives in Orland Hills. This social media post is in incredibly poor taste. It does not reflect the values…
Protect Our Parks, Inc. and Maria Valencia filed a lawsuit against the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District to try stop construction of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago’s Jackson Park. The plaintiffs claimed that the Obama Presidential Center project does not serve the public interest but rather the private interest of its sponsor, the Barack Obama Foundation. Specifically, they argue that the defendants violated Illinois’ Public Trust Doctrine by transferring control of public parkland to the Obama Foundation for a purely private purpose. They also argue that the defendants acted beyond their legal authority when they entered…
As we reported last week, Ancel Glink’s Quorum Forum Podcast went “live” to discuss a new court decision about emails and texts on government officials’ and employees’ personal accounts. We also explained what qualified immunity is for local governments in the ongoing national conversation about claims against police.  If you missed this episode when it went “live,” no problem – you can tune into the audio recording on our Quorum Forum Podcast website here. You can also watch it on YouTube or Facebook.        …
There have been a number of legal challenges to Governor Pritzker’s COVID-19 related executive orders, many of which we have reported about on Municipal Minute. Recently, one of those challenges made its way to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (a federal appeals court). In Republican Party of Illinois v. Pritzker, the 7th Circuit upheld Governor Pritzker’s restrictions on gatherings against a challenge that the gathering restrictions were unconstitutional because they favored the free exercise of religion over political speech. The Republican Party argued that the Governor’s gathering restrictions in various executive orders are illegal because they allow larger…
On September 3, 2011, I started Municipal Minute as a way to share new cases, recently enacted legislation, and other legal updates that might be of interest to local government officials and employees. Nine years (and 1799 blog posts) later, we are still reporting on new developments in the area of local government law. We have shared hundreds of PAC opinions on FOIA and OMA issues, numerous case summaries and legislative updates, and provided our readers with more COVID-related developments than we can count. It has been my pleasure to share my nerd-love for local government law with all of…
Join us for a live recording of the latest episode of Ancel Glink’s Quorum Forum podcast at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 3, 2020. Julie Tappendorf will join us to review a recent Illinois appellate court decision finding communications pertaining to public business in public officials’ personal text messages and e-mail accounts are public records subject to FOIA. Then, Kathy Kunkle explains what qualified immunity means for local governments in the ongoing national conversation about claims against police. Just visit www.youtube.com/ancelglink on Thursday at noon to listen and share your questions with us! Quorum Forum · 43: Public Records On
Quorum Forum 43: Public Records on Personal Accounts – LIVE! Join us for a live recording of the latest episode of Ancel Glink’s Quorum Forum podcast at 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 3, 2020. Julie Tappendorf will join us to review a recent Illinois appellate court decision finding communications pertaining to public business in public officials’ personal text messages and e-mail accounts are public records subject to FOIA. Then, Kathy Kunkle explains what qualified immunity means for local governments in the ongoing national conversation about claims against police. Just visit www.youtube.com/ancelglink on Thursday at noon to listen and share your…
Consolidated Election First Tuesday in April April 6, 2021 As the April 2021 election fast approaches, many clerks and local election officials will be responsible for accepting nomination petitions. Generally, a receipt upon the filing of a petition is provided but are they aware that they are also required to provide a “Notice of Obligation”? The official with whom nomination papers are filed must provide to each candidate at the time they file nomination papers a Notice of Obligation to comply with the Illinois Campaign Financing Act. The notice will state that the manual of instructions and forms for statements required…
Since June 26, 2020, the State of Illinois has been in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois COVID-19 plan established by the Governor’s office. As we reported previously, the Governor had modified the Restore Illinois plan on July 15th to divide up the state into 11 regions to would allow the State to address resurgences of COVID-19 on a more individualized basis. In the last week, the Governor issued two orders that issued new mitigation requirements for Regions 4 and 7. Region 4 (Metro East) On August 18, 2020, Governor Pritzker issued EO 2020-51 instituting new mitigation and health…