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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fire Protection District Must Pay Alarm Companies $2.1M in Attorneys Fees

For nearly five years, a number of alarm companies have been fighting the Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District in court challenging the district's requirement that all businesses and residents within the boundaries of the district obtain alarm-monitoring services only from the district.  In 2001, a federal district court ruled that the fire protection district exceeded its authority under the Fire Protection District Act when it adopted an ordinance in 2009 requiring exclusive service contracts with the district's provider and declaring existing service contracts with other alarm companies null and void. 

The 2009 ordinance was later replaced in 2012 with an ordinance that allowed property owners to contract with private companies, but required the private companies to transmit the signals to the fire district's station rather than their own facilities.  That ordinance was also challenged in court by alarm companies who argued that requiring transmission to the district's facilities would require replacement of incompatible equipment. That ordinance was also struck down by the district court, and the alarm companies petitioned the court for an award of its attorneys' fees.  

Last week, Judge Shadur of the Northern District of Illinois awarded the alarm companies more than $2.1 million in attorneys' fees as prevailing parties under the Civil Rights Act and under the Clayton Antitrust Act (a reduction from the more than $2.3 million requested by the plaintiffs).  You can read the opinion here:  ADT et al. v. Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District.  

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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