Quo warranto proceeding to remove board member
The following case is binding in the jurisdiction of the Illinois Appellate Court Third Circuit. Its content may be of interest to school officials in Illinois. It involves a “quo warranto” action. “Quo warranto” actions used to challenge another's right to public office. For more information on quo warranto actions, see the last paragraph below.
Parker, a candidate for the school board, had two felony convictions and filed his papers to become a candidate for his local school board. The State’s Attorney sought a court order to remove Parker’s name from the ballot and stop him from running for the school board. The basis for the request was that Parker was not eligible to run because his felony convictions disqualified him from holding public office pursuant to section 29-15 of the Election Code (10 ILCS 5/29-15). The trial court granted the State's quo warranto motion and barred General Parker from placing his name on the ballot. On appeal, the appellate court upheld the order barring General Parker from placing his name on the ballot.
Quo warranto cases are generally only brought by the Attorney General or the appropriate State's Attorney. If neither of them brings the suit, it may be brought by any citizen after s/he has requested the AG and State's Attorney to bring the same, they fail to do so, and the circuit court grants permission for the citizen to file it. After receiving permission to bring the suit, the citizen must post a bond when filing the proceeding because, if s/he is unsuccessful, s/he must pay the defendant’s attorney fees and costs. Depending upon the alleged violation, the law allows the court to impose a $25,000 fine or remove the board member from office.
A copy of this case is available at the following location: