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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Law Making Licensee Complaints Confidential Not Retroactive

In a recent case decided by the Illinois Supreme Court, the Court determined that a new law that provided that complaints filed with the Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (Department) against licensees are confidential and protected from disclosure should not be retroactively applied to a FOIA request. Perry v. Department of Financial and Professional Regulations, 2018 IL 122349

Plaintiffs filed requests with the Department for copies of complaints filed with the Department against licensees. The Department denied the FOIA requests, citing various exceptions including P.A. 98-911 which protects from release complaints filed against certain licensees. Plaintiffs sued, claiming that their requests were filed before the new law became effective, and the law should not be applied retroactively. The circuit court agreed with plaintiffs, but the appellate court reversed. On appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court, the Court reversed the appellate court, finding that the new law that would protect the requested records from release should not be retroactively applied. The Court then remanded the case back to the circuit court to make a determination on an award of attorneys fees and to hold a hearing on civil penalties.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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