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

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Court Upholds Hearing Officer's Decision on Eminent Domain Relocation Expenses

In Alan Josephsen Co. Inc. v. Village of Mundelein, an Illinois Appellate Court upheld the decision of a Village’s hearing officer that found, among other things, that the Village had properly denied certain requested reimbursement claims made by a recycling company relating to an eminent domain action.

In 2019, the Village of Mundelein brought an eminent domain action to obtain title to property that had been  operated as a recycling business by Alan Josephsen Co. Inc. (AJC). After AJC relocated its business, it sought reimbursement from the Village for its generated expenses pursuant to the “self-move” provision of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 (URA). The first two claims submitted by AJC were paid in full, as requested. With respect to the third and fourth claims, the Village sought its own estimates for these costs and paid the lower estimate for each claim. The fifth claim requested 11 separate expense items, and the Village paid 7 of the 11 items based on estimates the Village had obtained, and denied the requests for the other 4 items.

AJC appealed the Village's decisions on its third and fifth claims through the administrative process with the Village. The Village's hearing officer found in favor of the Village on the third claim. As to the fifth claim, the hearing officer determined that one of the items denied by the Village should have been paid by the Village but upheld the Village's decision on the other items. AJC then appealed the administrative decision to the circuit court which affirmed the hearing officer's decision.

On appeal to the Appellate Court, AJC argued four points: (1) that the Village's hearing officer misapplied the law by accepting the estimates obtained by the Village rather than the ones AJC provided; (2) that the hearing officer was biased because he previously served as an attorney for the Village and that he should have recused himself; (3) that AJC's due process rights were violated when the hearing officer denied its request for additional discovery and failed to hold a hearing before issuing his decision; and (4) that the hearing abused his discretion by upholding the Village’s relocation payment decisions when they were based on separate estimates rather than comprehensive ones.

The court rejected all four of AJC's arguments, holding that (1) its argument was based on an incorrect interpretation of the statute; (2) there was insufficient support for a bias claim; (3) AJC was not owed additional discovery or an evidentiary hearing as the administrative appeal process satisfied the requirements of the statute; and (4) the hearing officer's decision was based on valid information and nothing in the statute required comprehensive estimates.

Post Authored by Madeline Tankersley & Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


Post a Comment