Updates on cases, laws, and other topics of interest to local governments

Subscribe by Email

Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a Reader

Follow Municipal Minute on Twitter


Blog comments do not reflect the views or opinions of the Author or Ancel Glink. Some of the content may be considered attorney advertising material under the applicable rules of certain states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Please read our full disclaimer

Monday, December 11, 2017

City's Administrative Hearing Practice Upheld

Stone Street Partners (SSP) sued the City of Chicago more than 5 years ago to challenge certain practices of the City's Department of Administrative Hearings relating to citations for ordinance violations. SSP was successful in overturning certain citations earlier this year, but the remaining claims continued. Recently, the Illinois appellate court upheld the City's citations against SSP and its administrative hearing process. Stone Street Partners v. City of Chicago, 2017 IL App (1st) 133159. 

Chicago had cited SSP for violating a City ordinance that prohibited overflowing refuse containers. After being found in violation at an administrative hearing and fined for the violation, SSP challenged the entire proceeding in court, claiming that the City was engaging in the unauthorized practice of law because no attorney appeared for the City at the hearing. SSP also claimed that its due process rights were violated. The trial court dismissed most of the claims, and SSP appealed.

On appeal, the appellate court first determined that the City administrative law judge was not engaging in the unauthorized practice of law by overseeing the City's administrative hearings. The court also rejected SSP's argument that SSP's due process rights were violated because the administrative law judge allegedly served as the judge and prosecutor, finding that there was no evidence that the judge was predisposed against SSP. Finally, the court ruled against SSP on its argument that the City's practice of imposing the minimum fine for "plea bargains" but a higher fine for those who chose to move forward with the hearing amounted to a "trial tax." 

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


Post a Comment