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Recent Court Decisions

Recent court and agency decisions involving board work

IASB's Office of General Counsel prepares summaries chosen from the Illinois Supreme and Appellate courts, federal court, agencies, the Illinois Public Access Counselor, and other tribunals issuing interesting decisions. Information in the summaries is limited to a brief synopsis and is not intended for purposes of legal advice. For the complete text of any case cited in this section, go to the Illinois state courts, Illinois Attorney General, or Federal courts finder links.

To search by the names of the plaintiff or defendant or other keyword, use the site search box located at the top of this website. Then filter results by Court Decision.

Questions regarding Recent Court and Agency Decisions should be directed to Kimberly Small, ext. 1226, or by email ksmall@iasb.com.


Court decisions are listed in order of the date posted, with the most recent shown first.
  • Freedom of Information Act - FOIA
    Duty to Respond to FOIA Requests
    Case: Public Access Opinion 19-006
    Decision Date: Thursday, July 25, 2019

    The Village of Dolton (Village) violated FOIA by failing to comply with, deny in whole or in part, or otherwise appropriately respond to a FOIA request. On April 9, 2019, the Requestor submitted a FOIA request for various records pertaining to collective bargaining between the Village and unions over various years. Receiving no response by May 21, 2019, the Requestor contacted the PAC. The PAC sent a letter to the Village on May 28, 2019 but received no response. The PAC then left a voicemail message for the Village’s FOIA officer on July 25, 2019. The FOIA officer returned the call, verified that the Village had received the FOIA request, but stated it could not provide a timeframe for responding to the FOIA request due to the volume of records involved. As of July 25, 2019, the PAC had not received a written response from the Village nor confirmation from the Requestor that he had receive a response to his April FOIA request from the Village.

    The PAC held that the Village violated Section 3(d) of FOIA by failing, within five business days after receiving the April 9, 2019 FOIA request, to provide the requested records, extend the time for its response pursuant to Section 3(e) of FOIA, or deny the request in whole or in part. The PAC ordered the Village to provide the Requestor with all records responsive to his FOIA request.

    This opinion is binding only to the parties involved and may be appealed pursuant to State law.

  • Freedom of Information Act - FOIA
    Disclosure of Police Department’s Calendar
    Case: Public Access Opinion 19-005
    Decision Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

    The Chicago Police Department (Department) violated FOIA by improperly denying a request for a copy of one of the Department’s work schedule calendars.

    On January 28, 2019, the Petitioner (an individual) requested a copy of “2019 Extradition Calendar Unit 166 – January 2019” – a work schedule for employees in the Department’s extradition section. On February 11, 2019, the Department denied the request, stating that “extradition monthly calendars contain recommendations regarding assignments and are not an official CPD document” and so it was being withheld as predecisional or draft material under FOIA Section 7(1)(f). The Petitioner then submitted a Request for Review to the PAC.

    The PAC reviewed Section 7(1)(f) of FOIA, which exempts from disclosure “preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, memoranda and other records in which opinions are expressed, or policies or actions are formulated.” The PAC noted that while this exemption is intended to protect the communications process and encourage frank and open discussion among agency employees before a final decision is made, it does not exempt purely factual material from disclosure unless the factual material is inextricably intertwined with predecisional and deliberative communications. The Department asserted that the extradition calendar is predecisional because it is constantly updated and entries frequently change. It also asserted the calendar is deliberative because it forms the basis for a final decision by the sergeant. After reviewing the extradition calendar itself, the PAC found that even if the calendar is subject to revision and is used to make final decisions, the calendar does not provide insight into the Department’s deliberative process or inhibit candid communications concerning the formulation of any policy. Plus, the PAC added, the January 2019 calendar would have been finalized by the time the Department needed to respond to the FOIA request. As a result, the PAC ordered the Department to disclose the extradition calendar to the Petitioner.

    This opinion is binding only to the parties involved and may be appealed pursuant to State law.

  • Freedom of Information Act - FOIA
    Disclosure of Police Department’s Calendar
    Case: Public Access Opinion 19-005
    Decision Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

    The Chicago Police Department (Department) violated FOIA by improperly denying a request for a copy of one of the Department’s work schedule calendars.

    On January 28, 2019, the Petitioner (an individual) requested a copy of “2019 Extradition Calendar Unit 166 – January 2019” – a work schedule for employees in the Department’s extradition section. On February 11, 2019, the Department denied the request, stating that “extradition monthly calendars contain recommendations regarding assignments and are not an official CPD document” and so it was being withheld as predecisional or draft material under FOIA Section 7(1)(f). The Petitioner then submitted a Request for Review to the PAC.

    The PAC reviewed Section 7(1)(f) of FOIA, which exempts from disclosure “preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, memoranda and other records in which opinions are expressed, or policies or actions are formulated.” The PAC noted that while this exemption is intended to protect the communications process and encourage frank and open discussion among agency employees before a final decision is made, it does not exempt purely factual material from disclosure unless the factual material is inextricably intertwined with predecisional and deliberative communications. The Department asserted that the extradition calendar is predecisional because it is constantly updated and entries frequently change. It also asserted the calendar is deliberative because it forms the basis for a final decision by the sergeant. After reviewing the extradition calendar itself, the PAC found that even if the calendar is subject to revision and is used to make final decisions, the calendar does not provide insight into the Department’s deliberative process or inhibit candid communications concerning the formulation of any policy. Plus, the PAC added, the January 2019 calendar would have been finalized by the time the Department needed to respond to the FOIA request. As a result, the PAC ordered the Department to disclose the extradition calendar to the Petitioner.

    This opinion is binding only to the parties involved and may be appealed pursuant to State law.

  • Open Meetings Act - OMA
    Public Recital Requirement
    Case: Public Access Opinion 19-004
    Decision Date: Friday, May 17, 2019
    A school board (Board) violated the public recital requirement in Section 2.06(e) of OMA during its January 28, 2019 meeting, when it failed to identify a teacher by name before issuing the teacher a disciplinary action called a notice to remedy. Section 2(e) of OMA requires a public body to make a “public recital of the nature of the matter being considered and other information that will inform the public of the business being conducted” before it takes final action on the matter. 5 ILCS 120/2(e). In the case of Board of Education of Springfield School District No. 186 v. Attorney General, 77 N.E.3d 625 (Ill. 2017), the Illinois Supreme Court, in interpreting the meaning of Section 2(e), held that “the recital must announce the nature of the matter under consideration, with sufficient detail to identify the particular transaction or issue, but need not provide an explanation of its terms or its significance.” Relying on the interpretation from the Springfield case, the Public Access Counselor (PAC) found that the board’s mere public recital of the title of the resolution authorizing the notice to remedy, without identifying the teacher that was the subject of the discipline, did not give enough information to identify the particular transaction. As a result, the PAC ordered the Board to re-vote on the notice to remedy resolution and before voting, to provide a public recital of the matter that included reciting the teacher’s name. This opinion is binding only to the parties involved and may be appealed pursuant to State law.
  • Freedom of Information Act - FOIA
    Duty to Respond to FOIA Requests
    Case: Public Access Opinion 19-003
    Decision Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019

    The Village of Ringwood (Village) violated FOIA by failing to comply with, deny in whole or in part, or otherwise appropriately respond to a FOIA request. On October 30, 2018, the Requestor submitted a FOIA request for records concerning public meetings of the Village Board of Trustees from April 2016 through October 2018. Receiving no response by November 8, 2018, the Requestor contacted the PAC. The PAC sent two letters to the Village but received no response. The PAC then left a voicemail message for the Village Clerk, but again received no response. As of February 19, 2019, the Village had not responded to the PAC.

    The PAC held that the Village violated Section 3(d) of FOIA by failing, within five business days after receiving the October 30, 2018 FOIA request, to provide the requested records, extend the time for its response pursuant to Section 3(e) of FOIA, or deny the request in whole or in part. The PAC ordered the Village to provide the Requestor with all records responsive to her FOIA request.

    This opinion is binding only to the parties involved and may be appealed pursuant to State law.