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In 2010, a driver was convicted of driving under the
influence of alcohol and appealed, claiming her conviction was “void” because the Village prosecuted
her without the written permission of the County State’s Attorney as required by Section 16-102(c) of the Illinois Vehicle Code. That section provides that “The State’s Attorney of the county in
which the violation occurs shall prosecute all violations [of the Code] except when the violation
occurs within the corporate limits of a municipality, the municipal attorney may prosecute if
written permission to do so is obtained from the State’s Attorney.”
The Appellate Court upheld her conviction
Continue Reading Driver’s DUI Conviction Upheld

Chavez participated in a taser training conducted by a part-time police officer. During the training, the instructor inadvertently tased both Chavez and the spotter who was meant to catch Chavez’s fall. As a result, Chavez fell and was injured. He filed suit against the instructor and the municipality, claiming he was injured because of the
instructor’s failure to conduct the course in a reasonably safe manner and that the
instructor should have placed mats to catch his fall.
The defendants argued they were entitled to discretionary immunity under the Local Governmental
and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (Act). The Act
Continue Reading Instructor and Municipality Had Immunity for Taser Injury

An Illinois Appellate Court recently reversed a trial court order that a firefighter pension fund board of trustees (Pension Board) must hold a new
hearing, finding that the Pension Board had provided sufficient due process to the former deputy chief. Ibrahim
v. Romeoville Firefighters’ Pension Fund

A month before the deputy fire chief retired, the mayor and village board increased the deputy chief’s salary from approximately $125,000 to $150,000. When the deputy chief applied to the Pension Board to receive his pension, the Pension Board approved payouts based on
the chief’s $125,000 salary. The deputy chief filed a request with
Continue Reading Former Deputy Chief Not Entitled to Rehearing on Retirement Pension

In 2022, an inmate submitted a request to a City for a copy of his own letter he had sent to the Mayor
complaining about the conduct of the City’s attorney. The City denied the request, arguing, among other reasons, that the letter
was not a “public record” under FOIA because it was addressed to the Mayor who
did not qualify as a “public body” under FOIA. The requestor sued the City
claiming the City’s denial violated FOIA, and the circuit court ruled in the City’s favor.
On appeal, the Appellate Court upheld the
circuit court’s ruling in Shehadeh
v.

Continue Reading Court Holds that Mayor is Not a "Public Body" Under FOIA

In its second binding opinion for 2024, the Public Access Counselor of the Attorney General’s Office (PAC) found a public body in violation of FOIA for failing to respond to a FOIA request. PAC Op. 2024-02.

With so few binding opinions issued by the PAC each year (about 15 or so each year) and no website posting of the PAC’s advisory opinions, there still isn’t a lot of guidance for public bodies on the unique (or routine, for that matter) questions and issues that come up in their compliance with FOIA and OMA.

 
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Continue Reading PAC (Again) Says Public Body Must Respond to FOIA Request

A firefighter applied for a non-duty disability with his current fire pension fund but was denied because he was not eligible for a pension as he had only been with his current department for a year. He also filed a separate application with his former fire pension fund, which also denied his claim because he was no longer eligible for a pension since he was no longer an employee of the department and had voluntarily left to take a job with another fire department.

The firefighter then sued claiming he was entitled to a pension because he should be allowed
Continue Reading Firefighter Not Entitled to Non-Duty Disability Pension From Former Employer’s Pension Fund

Ancel Glink has posted a new podcast episode on Quorum Forum: Episode 80: Not in My Park! Regulating Controversial Park Activities. 
Park and recreation agencies manage many acres of public
space where controversial activities sometimes take place. What authority does
your organization have to address resident complaints over the location of
pickleball recreational facilities, homeless individuals’ and migrant
populations’ use of public parks, and protests in parks? Find out as Ancel Glink attorneys Tyler
Smith, Katie Nagy, and host Erin Monforti take over Ancel Glink’s Quorum Forum
podcast! 
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Continue Reading Quorum Forum Podcast: Ep. 80 – Not in My Park!

As migrants arrive in the Chicagoland area from the southern border, several questions have arisen regarding the
legal authority for townships to provide financial aid through general
assistance funds. While townships have the authority to provide
financial assistance to migrants under the Public Aid Code, 305 ILCS
5/1-1 et seq., (Code), whether migrants are eligible for general
assistance funds is a bit more complicated .

First, to receive general assistance under the Code, recipients
must either be United States citizens or in a category of eligible
non-citizens. The Code provides definitions of those categories, but a township may need to
Continue Reading Townships and General Assistance for Migrants

An Illinois Appellate Court allowed a group to proceed
with some of its claims in its lawsuit to stop a proposed development of an industrial park. Stop
Northpoint, LLC v. City of Joliet

In October 2020, a group sued a city and
developer to prevent the annexation of over 1000 acres of unincorporated property for the purpose of developing an industrial business park for warehouses and
truck terminals. The city and developer agreed to an annexation and
development agreement and development approvals after conducting multiple public hearings. After amending the lawsuit
several times, the trial court
ultimately considered five claims:
Continue Reading Court Allows Nuisance Claims Regarding Industrial Development to Move Forward

The Illinois Supreme Court recently held that a trial court
had no authority to balance the interests of the parties in determining whether
to enforce compliance with an ordinance. City of Rock Falls v. Aims Industrial Services, LLC.
The City of Rock Falls had an ordinance in place that requires any property within
city limits that is being serviced by a private sewage disposal system to be
converted and redirected to the public sewage disposal system upon the sale of
that property. Aims Industrial Services, LLC (Aims) purchased a
commercial property located within Rock Falls that was being serviced by a
Continue Reading Trial Court Erred in Applying Balancing Test in Ordinance Enforcement Action

After a public body denied a FOIA request for a settlement agreement, the requestor submitted a request for review to the
PAC. In PAC
Op. 24-001
, the PAC found the public body in violation of FOIA for withholding the agreement because (1) settlement agreements are public records expressly subject to disclosure pursuant to section
2.20 of FOIA, and (2) the public body did not claim that any portion of the agreement was
exempt.The public body argued that because the agreement included a mutual non-disparagement clause in the agreement, release of the agreement could expose it to liability because disclosure
Continue Reading PAC Orders Finds Public Body in Violation of FOIA for Withholding Settlement Agreement

Pursuant to P.A. 101-610, the Illinois General Assembly consolidated local police
and firefighter pension fund assets into two statewide pension investment funds,
one for police and the other for firefighters. In February 2021, 36 individual active and retired beneficiary
members from a few suburban and downstate police and firefighter
pension funds filed a lawsuit against the Governor and other state officials. The lawsuit claimed the Act diminishes and impairs their pension
benefits because (1) prior to the Act, the local funds could “exclusively manage
and control their investment expenditures and income”; (2) their “voting power and
thereby an effective say in
Continue Reading Illinois Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Pension Consolidation Act

Recently, we have received a number of questions from public bodies asking if they can conduct a meeting entirely remotely in order to protect members of the public body and members of the public from unsafe weather conditions (below zero temperatures and windchills, snow, ice, etc.) or other circumstances that affect the health and safety of persons attending the meeting (building temperature, broken pipes, etc.). Currently, the OMA does not currently provide a fully remote option for meetings except when the Governor or IDPH has issued a disaster declaration related to public health. The OMA does provide options for certain
Continue Reading Bill Would Expand Remote Meetings Under the OMA

An Illinois Appellate Court permitted a Village to sue and seek reimbursement for over $1M in sales tax revenue that had been erroneously allocated to a different municipality, and held that the Village was not limited to a reimbursement of only the last six months of
misallocated revenue. Village
of Arlington Heights v. City of Rolling Meadows
.

In 2011, a restaurant opened in the Village. The Illinois
Department of Revenue (IDOR) mistakenly located the restaurant in a neighboring
City. As a result, the restaurant’s sales tax revenue that should have gone to the
Village instead was allocated to the
Continue Reading Court Considers Sales Tax Misallocation Case Between Two Municipalities

The Unemployment Insurance Act (Act) requires all Illinois employers, including units of local government, to file a report with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) with certain information about “newly hired employees.” On July 28, 2023, Governor Pritzker signed Public Act 103-0343 into law (effective January 1, 2024) which expanded the Act’s definition of “newly hired employee” to also include an individual under an independent contractor arrangement who (i) has not previously been employed by the employer or (ii) who was previously employed by the employer but has separated from that prior employment for at least 60 consecutive days.
Continue Reading Newly Hired Independent Contractor Reporting Requirements under Unemployment Insurance Act

Recently, a few new bills were introduced in the Illinois
General Assembly, and are awaiting action by the Illinois House or Senate.
House
Bill 4401
was introduced on January 8th. If passed, the bill would amend
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Local Records Act (LRA) to add a definition for “junk mail” to each Act and provide
that the term “public records” for purposes of complying with FOIA or the LRA
does not include junk mail.
House
Bill 4402
was introduced on January 8th. If passed, the bill would amend
the Open Meeting Act (OMA) to replace one of the
Continue Reading FOIA and OMA Bills Introduced in General Assembly