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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bill Would Shift Burden of Attorneys Costs to Local Governments

The Illinois Municipal League recently reported on proposed Senate Bill 2829 that would award attorneys’ fees and costs to plaintiffs who win an administrative review appeal against a unit of local government.  The bill also authorizes a court award to the plaintiff of  all reasonable costs associated with the entire case dating back to the inception of the administrative proceeding if the court finds that the decision by the unit of local government was clearly erroneous or that the plaintiff's rights to due process were violated.

This proposed legislation is unfavorable to local governments for a number of reasons, most importantly the potential financial implication of having to reimburse a plaintiff for his or her costs in suing the government. This legislation also runs contrary to the traditional "American Rule" that parties in litigation are responsible for their own attorneys' fees and other costs of litigation. The IML is asking communities to contact their legislators to oppose this legislation.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


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