Ancel Glink Diamond Bush DiCianni & Krafthefer, P.C.

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Latest from Ancel Glink Diamond Bush DiCianni & Krafthefer, P.C.

In a prior post, we wrote about a November 2015 FOIA request to the Chicago Police Department seeking all closed complaint register files (CRs) for all Chicago police officers. After CPD failed to respond to the request, the requester filed a lawsuit seeking an order directing CPD to release the requested files. In response, CPD argued that because a May 2015 injunction entered by another court prohibited CPD from releasing any CR files older than four years from the date of any FOIA request, CPD did not improperly withhold the responsive CR records. That injunction was later vacated in
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Rules in Public Body’s Favor in FOIA Case Involving Lawful Injunction

The Illinois Supreme Court recently issued an opinion in Strauss, et al. v. City of Chicago finding that the City was not liable for money damages based on a discretionary zoning decision. The case made its way to the Illinois Supreme Court after the lower courts both found in favor of the City. The building at issue had been zoned for mixed-use developments since 1974, with commercial uses permitted at street level and residential uses permitted above street level. According to the opinion, in 2012, the alderman for the City ward in which the property was located informed the property
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Finds City and Alderman Immune from Liability for Rezoning

In Page v. Village of Coal City, an Illinois Appellate Court determined that a village was immune from liability for an injury resulting from a village employee’s actions because the village employee had a position with discretion to make decisions.

A motorcyclist was driving on a local road when her motorcycle tires hit a section of loose gravel, and as a result, she lost control and was thrown off the motorcycle. She filed a negligence claim against the village. The trial court found in favor of the village, and the motorcyclist appealed.

The court determined that the liability of
Continue Reading Court Finds Village Had Discretionary Immunity in Motorcycle Accident Case

Earlier this summer, an Illinois Appellate Court issued a decision finding that both the municipality and the developer had materially breached a redevelopment agreement. Because neither party had complied with the terms of the agreement, the Court decided that neither party was entitled to damages for the other’s breach. PML Development LLC v. Village of Hawthorn Woods.
In 2012, the parties entered into a redevelopment agreement that provided, among other things, that the developer would import fill and bring to grade a large piece of property it owned in the Village. The agreement required the developer to pay taxes
Continue Reading Court Reverses Award of Damages to Developer in Case of Mutual Breach of Contract

Recently, an Illinois Appellate Court clarified the authority of a City’s administrative hearing department where there are overlapping state and municipal traffic regulations. In Potek, et al. v. City of Chicago, the Court held that certain local traffic violations were properly heard in City administrative hearings rather than before a court. In 2005, the City amended its traffic code to prohibit all use of cell phones while driving. In 2010, the General Assembly passed a narrower law that only prohibited texting, emailing, or instant messaging while driving. It wasn’t until 2014, that the General Assembly expanded state law to
Continue Reading Court Clarifies Scope of Home-Rule Units’ Administrative Hearing Authority

David Silverman and Dan Bolin are back for a livestream of Ancel Glink’s Quorum Forum podcast to discuss the latest on accessory dwelling units in Illinois and recent constitutional challenges to local ordinances affecting homeless populations. They also review your questions on the latest legal issues affecting local governments. Email us your questions at—Resources—Watch the Quorum Forum 45 Livestream at CDC, [Interim Guidance on Unsheltered Homelessness and COVID-19 for Homeless Service Providers and Local Officials](…d-homelessness.html)—Credits—Producer: Daniel J. BolinAssistant Producers: Matthew T. DiCianniExecutive Producers: Julie Tappendorf, Keri-Lyn KraftheferChair: Daniel J. BolinEngineers: Ricardo Perez, Matt Smith This
Continue Reading Recess: Housing And Homelessness

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision in Bohanon v. City of Indianapolis rejecting a claim that a “gap” in a city policy constituted municipal action to establish city liability for police officer off-duty activities. On August 7, 2013, two off-duty officers in plain clothes were drinking at a bar when another bar patron became loud and combative with bar employees and refused to leave when asked. The off-duty police officers identified themselves as police officers and told the patron to leave. The patron subsequently threw one of the officer’s badges to the ground. According to the
Continue Reading Court Declines to Find City Liable for Police Officer Off-Duty Activities

Short-term rental (STR) uses have been a topic of discussion among local government officials with the popularity of individuals listing their homes for short term stays on platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO. This week, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (which has appellate jurisdiction over federal cases out of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi) invalidating New Orleans’s STR ordinance. Hignell-Stark, et al. v. City of New Orleans.
New Orleans created a licensing regime for STR uses in 2017, allowing property owners to apply for a license to rent their property for a period shorter than 30 days. The initial
Continue Reading Appeals Court Decides Challenge to Short Term Rental Ordinance

A reporter submitted a FOIA request to a police department (PD) seeking certain records relating to a 2018 homicide. In response, the PD disclosed certain redacted records but withheld other records, on the basis that release of certain exempt records would obstruct the PD’s ongoing criminal investigation into the homicide. The reporter then sued the PD claiming the response violated FOIA. The trial court ruled in favor of the PD, finding that it had demonstrated that disclosing the records it had withheld would interfere with its ongoing investigation.
On appeal, the Appellate Court in Ballew v. Chicago Police Department upheld
Continue Reading PD Properly Used Ongoing Criminal Investigation Exemption to Partially Deny FOIA Request

In 2014, a former teacher, filed a pro selawsuit against a Board of Education (Board), alleging various FOIA violations related to the former teacher’s 30 FOIA requests, including that the Board withheld responsive documents and the Board failed to conduct a reasonably diligent search for records. The circuit court ruled in favor of the Board, finding it had properly responded to all 30 of the FOIA requests, provided nonexempt responsive records in its possession and custody, and did not deliberately withheld documents pertaining to the requester’s requests.

On appeal, the Appellate Court in Elmore v. Bd. of Educ.
Continue Reading Court Finds In Favor of Board of Education in FOIA Challenge

An inmate filed a FOIA request to a City seeking certain records pertaining to the inmate. The City provided the requested records but redacted the inmate’s private and personal information, including the inmate’s home address, home telephone number, date of birth, and his mother’s name, home address, and home telephone number, pursuant to FOIA exemptions 7(1)(b)(private information) and 7(1)(c)(disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy). The inmate then filed a request for review with the Public Access Counselor of the Attorney General’s office (PAC) claiming the City’s redactions were improper. The PAC determined that no further inquiry was warranted
Continue Reading Court Upholds Redaction of Requester’s Own Private Information Under FOIA

On August 2, 2022, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion finding no First Amendment violation where three individuals failed to provide their ID to a police officer where there was probable cause to arrest them. Lyberger v. Snider.

Three individuals followed a woman in her vehicle to her home. Once she arrived, the three individuals confronted and video-recorded the woman while she was parked in her driveway. She called 911 and when police arrived, they asked the three individuals for their identification, which they continuously refused.  The officer then placed them under arrest for disorderly conduct
Continue Reading Court Rejects First Amendment Claim Involving Persons’ Failure to Provide ID

Newly-elected and not-so-newly elected officials need to know how to do business at local government meetings. That’s why Ancel Glink’s Steve Mahrt and Eugene Bolotnikov joined the Illinois Association of County Board Members to review parliamentary procedures and other helpful tips for orderly local government meetings. What strategies does your organization use to promote civility at meetings? Email us at!—Resources—Illinois Association of County Board Members, Parliamentary Procedures- Video:– Powerpoint: Glink’s 2021 Newly Elected Official’s Guide: Spring Conference:—Credits—Producer: Daniel J. BolinExecutive Producers: Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, Julie TappendorfChair: Daniel J. BolinEngineers: Ricardo Perez,
Continue Reading Recess: Parliamentary Procedures

The Public Access Counselor of the Illinois Attorney General’s office (PAC) just issued its 11th binding opinion of 2022 finding a public body in violation of FOIA for failing to provide copies of the applications submitted by candidates for appointment to fill a vacant elected office. PAC Op. 22-011,

In April, an individual filed a FOIA request with a village seeking the names and applications of the candidates for a vacancy to the village board. The village denied the request, citing three FOIA exemptions including that the applications were exempt from release as private information, that release of the
Continue Reading PAC Says Resumes of Candidates for Elected Office Are Releaseable Under FOIA

We have reported in the past about the potential implication of the First Amendment when public officials engage on social media. Not all conduct or activities by public officials will trigger First Amendment protections and rights, but when a public official creates a public forum on social media and then takes action that censors protected speech, courts have held that this action violates the First Amendment. Recently, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed this issue in a First Amendment challenge involving two school board members, finding the two officials had violated the First Amendment rights of individuals who they
Continue Reading School Board Members Blocking of Parents on Social Media Violated First Amendment

Recently, an Illinois Appellate Court upheld a circuit court’s ruling in favor of a City’s administrative decision imposing a fine against a parking lot owner for failure to obtain a business license. 895 Wood Dale LLC v. City of Wood Dale.The owner of a commercial parking lot applied for a City business license, but the City refused to issue the license because the parking lot did not comply with the City’s landscaping requirements contained in its zoning code. The City then cited the parking lot owner for operating its business without a business license, and the City’s administrative hearing
Continue Reading City’s Citation for Business License Violation Upheld by Court