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Monday, April 29, 2013

City Condominium Ordinance Not Preempted by Statute

The Illinois Supreme Court recently upheld a Chicago ordinance allowing condominium owners to inspect condominium association financial records, finding it a valid exercise of the City's home rule powers. Palm v. 2800 Lake Shore Drive Condo Assn., 2013 IL 119505
The central issue in the case was whether the Chicago ordinance was a valid exercise of the City's home rule powers. The defendant, a condominium association, claimed that the ordinance conflicted with the Condominium Property Act and the General Not for Profit Corporation Act of 1986.  Both statutes require an association to produce only 10 years of records and allow an association 30 days to gather and produce the requested records.  Under the Chicago ordinance, however, there was no restriction on the age of the documents, and the documents have to be produced within three business days of the request.  The association claimed that the ordinance exceeded the City's home rule authority because it conflicts with these two statutes and renders them unenforceable. 
The Illinois Supreme Court rejected the association's argument.  The Court determined that the City, as a home rule municipality, has broad powers beyond that granted by statute. Under the Illinois constitution, home rule units may regulate activities even if the state also regulates those same activities.  To restrict the concurrent exercise of home rule power, the legislature must expressly state that home rule authority is limited. Here, there was no express preemptive language in the two statutes pertaining to the financial records of condo associations. Contrary to the condo association's argument, the conflict between the City's ordinance and the two state statutes did not render the ordinance invalid.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


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