Topic

Monday, April 27th, 2020

Temporary Holdup for Workers’ Compensation Commission’s Emergency Regulations

While it feels like time at home is passing slowly for many, responses to COVID-19 are changing rapidly. The Workers’ Compensation Commission’s emergency regulations, issued recently to protect first responders and front-line workers exposed to COVID-19, have been challenged as exceeding the Commission’s authority. A Sangamon County judge issued a temporary restraining order to stop the emergency regulations from being implemented and a hearing on the matter has been scheduled.

The emergency regulations were issued on April 15, 2020 by the Workers’ Compensation Commission, not by the Illinois legislature, and stated that any injury or incapacity due to COVID-19 exposure to first responders and front-line workers that happens during the state of emergency “will be rebuttably presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of the petitioner’s COVID-19 First Responder or Front-Line Worker employment and, further, will be rebuttably presumed to be causally connected to the hazards or exposures of the petitioner’s COVID-19 First Responder or Front-Line Worker employment.” See 50 Ill. Adm. Code 9030.70(a)(1) (April 15, 2020). This is a change from the general rule that petitioners bear the burden of proving that contagion to an infectious disease arose out of their employment and directly in the line of their duties while working. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Illinois Manufacturers Association’s lawsuit argues that the Commission exceeded its rulemaking authority and did not follow the statutory requirements relating to changes to rules.

Municipalities face uncertainties during this time with questions as to whom the emergency regulations will apply. While the regulations apply to first responders, what other municipal workers may fall under this presumption? The emergency regulations define “COVID-19 First Responder or Front-Line Worker” to include personnel identified under the Essential Governmental Functions portion of Executive Order 2020-10, which states in relevant part:

For purposes of this Executive Order, all first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, court personnel, law enforcement and corrections personnel, hazardous materials responders, child protection and child welfare personnel, housing and shelter personnel, military, and other governmental employees working for or to support Essential Businesses and Operations are categorically exempt from this Executive Order.

Essential Government Functions means all services provided by the State or any municipal, township, county, subdivision or agency of government and needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies or to provide for or support the health, safety and welfare of the public, and including contractors performing Essential Government Functions. Each government body shall determine its Essential Governmental Functions and identify employees and/or contractors necessary to the performance of those functions.

Illinois Executive Order 2020-10. Without case law to test the emergency regulations, municipalities are left to wonder if the regulations apply only to those employees municipalities identified as performing essential functions, or if the regulations might also include employees who have continued to perform non-essential duties, perhaps even from home. Some insurers and risk management agencies are also questioning whether at-home workers should even be subject to the presumption. Further, we do not yet know if municipal designations of essential and non-essential workers is disputable. While Executive Order

While the Sangamon County court case has halted the emergency regulations for now, how these cases will be handled may take years to answer. In the meantime, and in the face of these uncertainties, municipalities should follow the Center for Disease Control and health departments’ recommendations for businesses and abide by the Governor’s Executive Orders on social distancing and wearing face coverings to help limit potential liability.

Author: Brandy S. Quance

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

New DOL Regulations Address Loose Ends Regarding Federal COVID-19 Benefits

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued temporary rules pertaining to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which addresses, among other items, benefit time through the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA).

A major clarification in the rules addressed the first of the six qualifying reasons for EPSL, which is when an employee “[i]s subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.” The DOL clarified that a statewide shelter in place/stay at home order, such as the Illinois Governor’s Order now extended through April 30 (Order), is an intended quarantine or isolation order. So generally, an employee who is not able to report to work because of the Order can receive EPSL.

The DOL further clarified that eligibility is based on “whether the employee would be able to work or telework ‘but for’ being required to comply with [the Order].” The DOL applies the “but for” test narrowly, holding that the specific reason an employee is not able to work must be that: (a) there is work for the employee to do; (b) the employee cannot legally report to work due to being required to stay at home; and (c) the employee cannot perform the work from home.

The DOL’s interpretation specifically excludes an employee who has no work to perform at their regular job from receiving EPSL, even if the reason for lack of work is COVID-19 related. For example, if a recreation center is closed due to the Order, then an employee who sells concessions at the center is not eligible for EPSL because there are no concessions to sell, regardless of the fact the employee may be subject to the stay at home Order, and regardless of the fact that the recreation center is closed due a COVID-19 reason.

By contrast, an administrative assistant who is deemed to be a nonessential employee by a municipality, would seemingly be eligible for EPSL, if the employee is not able to work from home. This is because there is work for the assistant to do, even if it is not “essential” under the Order, but the assistant is not legally able to report to work because of the stay at home Order. If, however, the assistant is able to work remotely, then the EPSL would not be available because the assistant is not restricted from working.

Another clarification is for the third qualifying reason for EPSL, if the employee “[i]s experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.” The rules state that: “an employee experiencing COVID-19 symptoms may take paid sick leave [] for time spent making, waiting for, or attending an appointment for a test for COVID-19. But the employee may not take paid sick leave to self-quarantine without seeking a medical diagnosis.” The DOL further states that an employee may remain on EPSL while waiting for test results, and that an employee who is not eligible for testing would be eligible under the second qualifying reason if the employee “is advised to self-quarantine” by a health care provider.

The DOL also narrowed a problematic qualification for EPSL if an employee is “caring for an individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order.” Questions arose as to whether an employer would have to pay an employee EPSL to take care of a complete stranger. The rules now require that the previously undefined “individual” must be “an immediate family member, roommate, or a similar person with whom the employee has a relationship that creates an expectation that the employee would care for the person if he or she self-quarantined or was quarantined.”

The DOL’s rules are 124 pages and address several other subjects, such as documentation to substantiate qualified leave, which we will address in a forthcoming issue. As a reminder for local government purposes, the IRS requirements to receive tax credits for paid benefits under EPSL and EFMLEA are not relevant, because public bodies are currently excluded from receiving tax credits.

Lastly, please keep in mind that the legislation and rules related to COVID-19 are rapidly evolving. Even the DOL’s newly issued rules may change significantly, so be aware that any reference materials may become outdated in a matter of weeks or even days.

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Responding to Small Business Concerns

We will soon know more about the details of the federal emergency aid package, but in the meantime, here are some other reminders of help for small business:

Tax Due Date Extended to July 15, 2020: The IRS has announced that the federal income tax filing due date for 2019 taxes has been extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020 for most taxpayers with tax liability under $1 million. Tax payments due on April 15, 2020 from all taxpayers – including corporations and individuals — will also be extended to July 15, 2020 without penalties or interest. This extension is automatic and will not require any filing to obtain unless a taxpayer is seeking an extension beyond the new July 15 deadline. According to the IRS, this extended deadline will also apply to estimated 2020 tax year payments that would ordinarily be due on April 15, 2020. Taxpayers are still urged to file before July 15, and the IRS will continue to issue refunds for eligible taxpayers. They estimate an approximate 21 day wait period to receive a refund.  For more information see: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-day-now-july-15-treasury-irs-extend-filing-deadline-and-federal-tax-payments-regardless-of-amount-owed

Payroll Tax Credits for Small and Midsize Employers:  As previously reported, under the new Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), the Federal government has authorized two new refundable payroll tax credits.  According to the IRS, these are meant “to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees.” This tax credit applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees to encourage them to keep employees on the payroll with paid leave for their own health needs or to care for a family member.  The credit will include health insurance costs.  It also applies to self-employed individuals.  The bill exempts certain small businesses from the child-care leave requirement if it would jeopardize the business’ ability to continue.  The bill is intended to let businesses retain and use funds for these purposes that they would otherwise have paid to the IRS for payroll taxes (including withheld federal income taxes and  eligible amounts of the employer and employees share of  Social Security and Medicare taxes equivalent to the amounts paid in qualified expenses ).    Further guidance on this is expected to be released this week.  The IRS will post additional information about this on its website at:   Coronavirus Tax Relief on IRS.gov.

Other Resources to help small and local businesses respond to the economic challenges posed by this pandemic?  Check out:

The US Chamber of Commerce: https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus?es_p=11251762

MainStreet.org: https://www.mainstreet.org/howwecanhelp/resourcecenter/covid19resources

Ruth Alderman Schlossberg

Author: Ruth A. Schlossberg

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Conducting Remote Meetings During the COVID-19 State of Emergency

Governor’s Pritzker’s March 16 Executive Order 2020-07 that allowed for remote attendance for public meetings raises new questions about how best to comply with the Open Meetings Act when holding remote meetings at which all members are attending remotely.

The Public Access Counselor’s Guidance http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/pdf/OMA_FOIA_Guide.pdf on this Executive Order has offered some direction on that issue. They have encouraged public bodies to provide some kind of digital access for the public to meetings such as video, audio or telephonic attendance, and to  continue to provide for public comment by some sort by remote access, as well as by email or other written submissions that could be read at public meetings. Many public bodies are now exploring and experimenting with group conference capabilities that allow the public to listen to the public meetings or observe them.

Here are some of the suggestions and practices to hold successful remote meetings in a manner compliant with the Open Meetings Act and the Governor’s Executive Order.

  • Do not forget about public notice requirements. Those are unchanged.
    • You still need to let the public and any news media have requested it know about your meetings.
    • For regular meetings, the Open Meetings Act requirement to post the agenda 48 hours in advance at the principal office of the public body does not appear to have been waived (but in our opinion, ideally this should only be done if it can be done safely, although neither the law nor the guidance state as much).
    • Since remote meetings will be taking place in cyber-space, the requirement to post at the place where the meeting will be held for regular meetings would appear to require website and social media posting instead of physical posting regardless of whether you maintain a full-time staff to maintain the website.
    • For bona fide emergency meetings, the 48-hour notice requirements of the Open Meetings Act may be shortened. A strict reading of the Act suggests that the physical posting requirement also do not apply (although you are required to let all news media that has asked for notice to know about any emergency meeting). It will, however, be a best practice to post notice of such emergency meetings on your website or social media.
  • Do not forget about public comment.
    • The requirement to provide for public comment at public meetings has not been waived. However, public bodies need to use creativity to find ways to accommodate this requirement for purely remote meetings.
    • How a public body accommodates public comment will, of course, depend on the method the body uses to hold its remote meetings. In some instances, the public may be easily able to listen on the phone or observe the meeting online, but it may be more difficult to find means for them to participate. In other case, some technology will allow members of the public to be heard during conference calls or web-enabled conferences, although the body will need to find ways to enable comments to be heard one at a time.
    • In the absence of technology that would allow individual public comments, the public can be invited to submit email or other digitally or phone relayed comments in advance of the meeting that can either be read out loud at the meeting or provided to all the body’s members.
    • In all events, it will be good practice to let the public know how they can submit comments for public meetings and to include that information along with any agenda postings and other notices of public meetings. Then, it is important that the public body members see or hear all such public comments.
  • Consider in advance how to run a good remote meeting.  We will all learn from experience, but here are some thoughts to consider.
    • In advance of the meeting consider potential issues that could affect the quality of the meeting such as ensuring that parties mute their phones or computers when they are not speaking to limit background interference.
    • Ensure that all participants can hear and understand each other.
    • The Chair should consider in advance how they will recognize speakers and ensure that all body members have the opportunity to be heard.
    • Ensure that the Clerk or other party taking minutes is able to do so effectively.
    • Ensure that all votes can be clearly and accurately counted.
    • If you have members that have a conflict and need to recuse themselves from any discussion or vote, ensure you have a means for them to effectively ensure that they are not counted as present for such a vote. Consider having them dropping off a call temporarily or otherwise doing something that effectively “removes them from the room” during any discussion or vote in which they may have a conflict.
    • Be sure to communicate to the public and the body any special procedures that may need to apply to successfully run a remote meeting.
    • Consider providing public body members with a phone number of a responsible staff member or body member who they can call or text if for some reason they are dropped from the remote meeting or cannot otherwise participate for technology reasons.
    • Remember that while the public meeting is in session, communications between public body members will still be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. During the meeting, members should avoid texting and emailing each other outside of the public discussion taking place in the meeting just as they would at an ordinary meeting.
    • Check out the helpful “Remote Participation Checklist” and “Remote Participation Script” prepared for the Town of Arlington, MA. While not all of the provisions will apply to Illinois municipalities, these might provide a useful starting point for your own checklists and scripts that will be revised based on the technology that you are using and the requirements of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.
Ruth Alderman Schlossberg

Author: Ruth A. Schlossberg

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

Federally Mandated Paid Leave for Employees Related to COVID-19

All public employers must provide paid sick leave and FMLA leave for employees not able to work due to many reasons related to COVID-19. HR 6201 became law yesterday which provides, among other items, that all public employees (and all private employees who work for a company with less than 500 employees), with qualifying COVID-19 related absences, are eligible for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Also, employees who have worked for at least 30 days must be afforded partially paid FMLA leave, beyond regularly available paid time off, to provide child care should school or regular child care programming be unavailable, due to COVID-19 closures.

Of particular significance, both the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act require employees to be paid to care for their children who are unable to go to school or their regular child care provider, due to COVID-19 precautions.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL):

Beginning April 2, 2020, all local governments must pay any full-time employee (even a new employee) 100% of the employee’s regular compensation for up to 80 hours of EPSL for the following reasons:

  • The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19.
  • The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19.
  • The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.

Payment for the above-stated reasons is capped at $511 per day, or $5,110 aggregate.

Employees must be paid two-thirds of the employee’s regular compensation for up to 80 hours of EPSL for the following reasons:

  • The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order or self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
  • The employee is caring for a minor son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions.
  • The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

Payment for the above-stated three reasons is capped at $200 per day, or $2,000 aggregate.

Notably absent from the EPSL list is when an employee is directed by the employer to not report to work due to suspected exposure to COVID-19. This is particularly tricky because other laws, such as Workers Compensation laws, would generally make an employer responsible for lost wages due to an exposure which is proven to arise out of and in the course of his employment. Also, an employee being ordered to not report to work due to suspected exposure would likely be seeking a medical diagnosis which, if coupled with any COVID-19 symptom such as a cough or sore throat, would make the employee eligible for EPSL anyway. Additionally, requiring an employee, who is asymptomatic, to utilize regular paid benefit time may conflict with collective bargaining agreement requirements and also raises due process concerns. Safest and simplest practice would be to pay employees EPSL who are being ordered to self-quarantine.

A few additional notes:

  • Part-time employees are eligible for the same EPSL commensurate to their regular hours of work, on average, in a two week period of time. For example, a part-time employee who works 20 hours per week would be eligible for up to 40 hours of EPSL.
    • Please note that this must be provided even if the part-time employee does not regularly receive paid sick or other benefit time.
  • The EPSL is in addition to all other available benefit time, and an employer cannot require an employee to utilize other benefit time in lieu of or concurrently with EPSL.
  • Police officers and firefighters may be exempted from EPSL. The Act states: “an employer of an employee who is a health care provider or an emergency responder may elect to exclude such employee from the application of this subsection.” While not clearly stated, this provision appears to be focused on not requiring an employer to provide additional leave to emergency responders for child care reasons, to ensure that adequate public safety employees are available at all times. But as written, an employer could specifically exempt public safety employees from any EPSL benefit.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (FMLA Expansion)

Also beginning April 2, 2020, all public employers must provide an enhanced version of FMLA leave to employees to provide child care based on certain COVID-19 related issues. The expanded eligibility changes are that:

  1. Generally and until further rules may be published by the Department of Labor, all public employers, regardless of size (instead of 50 or more employees for regular FMLA), are subject to the FMLA Expansion;
  2. To be eligible for the FMLA Expansion, an employee need only work for 30 days (instead of 12 months under regular FMLA) and must not be able to work remotely;
  3. The additionally stated qualifying reason is that the “employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for the son or daughter under 18 years of age of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency,” which means any declared COVID-19 related emergency by the federal, state, or local government.

Similar to regular FMLA, employees who have a qualified Expanded Leave are generally provided protection of not losing their positions for up to the 12 week leave period.

However, unlike regular FMLA, which does not create any guarantee of payment, employees must be paid for up to 10 weeks (all but the first 2 weeks) of the leave period at two-thirds of their regular compensation rate, capped at $200 per day or $10,000 aggregate. Hourly employees’ compensation is based on the average of their past 6 months of employment, including any leave time taken in that 6 months. For employees without a 6 month work history, the compensation shall be based on “the reasonable expectation of the employee at the time of hiring of the average number of hours per day that the employee would normally be scheduled to work.”

Connecting the EPSL and FMLA Expansion theoretically provides a continuous payment for up to 12 weeks at two-thirds of the employee’s compensation to care for a child due to COVID-19 related school or child care closing, because the EPSL provides the first 2 weeks, and the FMLA Expansion provides the last 10 weeks.

A few additional notes:

  • The FMLA Expansion does not clearly address whether an employee would be fully eligible for the expansion leave should that employee have utilized regular FMLA in the prior 12 months. The language is not conclusive, and the legislative history is inconsistent in this regard.
  • As with the EPSL, emergency responders may be excluded from the benefits provided under the FMLA Expansion.
  • Caution: Earlier versions of the FMLA Expansion contained much broader eligibility, such as for an employee’s own COVID-19 related illness, as well as the care of a family member suffering from such an illness. However, regular FMLA would still be available for those situations, but the enhanced eligibility and compensation requirements would not apply. Be aware that several articles on this subject may not be accurate in light of the final version of HR 6201.

A final, unfortunate note is that local governments are specifically excluded from the tax credits that HR 6201 otherwise offers to employers to offset some or all of the costs of EPSL and the FMLA Expansion.

There will likely be several clarifications related to the new legislation, and HR 6201 specifically contemplates that additional rules and regulations may be added by the Department of Labor.

For more information on addressing COVID-19 at the local government level, please also see our previous article: “COVID-19: Essentials for Your Unit of Government.”

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

Developments Around “Penny Per Push” Video Gaming Tax

The Village of Oak Lawn made recent headlines with a new concept to generate tax revenue from video gaming. Oak Lawn implemented a “penny per push” amusement tax which, as the name suggests, taxes a video game user one cent for every spin on a video gaming terminal. Oak Lawn, reported to have the 10th highest income from video gaming activity in the State, anticipates $500,000 in additional revenue from the penny per push tax in the first year.

Oak Lawn’s penny per push tax is written to be assessed to the player. However, the establishment bears the burden of collecting and remitting the tax on a monthly basis. The practical effect is that establishments do not need to charge the patrons directly for the penny per push tax, nor does the patron necessarily understand that the tax is in effect; rather, the establishment can just pay the monthly amount out of its video gaming income.

To date, no legal challenge has been made to Oak Lawn’s ordinance, although it must be noted that Oak Lawn did invoke its home rule power in passing the penny per push tax. There is a potential challenge to non home rule authority to implement a separate amusement tax on video gaming, because taxes for video gaming revenue are arguably already statutorily prescribed.

A new bill has been proposed that would:

  • preempt home rule authority on the subject of video gaming
  • prohibit any additional tax, such as the penny per push tax
  • limit annual terminal licensing fees to $100 for home rule communities, keeping non home rule terminal licensing fees at $25 per year, maximum.

The prevalent opinion is that the penny per push amusement tax is currently a valid exercise of home rule authority. Municipalities should consider the full consequences of implementing a similar penny per push tax in terms of financial impact, as well as potential unintended consequences on local businesses. Municipalities who wish to view the potential financial impact of the penny per push tax can reference the Illinois Gaming Board’s website and search engine to see historic wagering activity.

Brad Stewart

Author: Brad Stewart

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Cooney Lauded by Prairie State for Pro Bono Service

From left: Steve Greeley, Peter Carroll, Carlos Arévalo, Michelle Gehris and ZRFM's Melissa Cooney

From left: Steve Greeley, Peter Carroll, Carlos Arévalo, Michelle Gehris and ZRFM’s Melissa Cooney

 

 

 

Melissa A. Cooney of Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle, and three other McHenry County attorneys have been honored for their commendable and professional work.

The four were praised for their efforts at the McHenry County Legal Aid Awards on May 26, 2015. All of the honorees rendered outstanding pro bono service to clients of Prairie State Legal Services.

At the luncheon event, the Illinois Commission of Professionalism Executive Director Jayne Reardon gave the keynote address titled “Service: The Cornerstone of the Profession.” McHenry County Bar Association President Carlos Arévalo offered welcoming remarks and Associate Judge Robert A. Wilbrandt, Jr. of the 22nd Judicial Circuit presented the awards with Reardon and offered remarks.

Melissa Cooney was recognized for her admirable work in taking a pro bono divorce case that already was in progress.

The program for the event included comments by Cooney about why she devotes time to pro bono service, despite her busy practice.

“Making time for volunteering is not that difficult. I handle a pro bono case just like any other. When something needs to be filed or responded to, you do it in a timely fashion. You can’t put the pro bono case off to the side and get to it when you have extra time.

Melissa J. Cooney“I think it is everyone’s responsibility to take a legal aid client or other pro bono client and to have one such client at least once a year,” she says. “It takes time, but it reflects well on us all. We are helping someone out, and there is always enough time to take one on.”

Also acknowledged were Steve Greeley for outstanding support of Prairie State Legal Services, Peter Carroll for longtime volunteer service as a solo practitioner and Michelle Gehris for handing multiple cases in a year as a solo practitioner.

To learn more about Melissa A. Cooney, please view her professional credentials or read a recent profile of her in Leading Lawyers Magazine.

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

A Victory for Enforcement of Administrative Adjudication

Many municipalities struggle with what to do about Adjudication Court scofflaws: property owners or vehicle owners who rack up violation after violation or parking ticket after parking ticket and refuse to pay or do not even show up for the proceedings.  Until two weeks ago, the McHenry County Circuit Court had refused to allow home rule municipalities to enforce their Administrative Adjudication judgments through the court.  The court’s refusal to allow the enforcement of administrative adjudication court judgments left municipalities powerless to collect their adjudication judgments when respondents refused to voluntarily pay their administrative adjudication fines.  We recently challenged the circuit court’s refusal to allow enforcement of administrative adjudication judgments in an appeal in the case of Lake in the Hills v. Dennis Niklaus, No. 2-13-0654.  The end result was a win for home rule municipalities and their administrative adjudication courts.

In the Niklaus case, a property owner had racked up over $45,000 in fines for continually violating the Village of Lake in the Hills’ ordinance prohibiting the placement of items in the roadway.  After the property owner continued to ignore the tickets issued to him and refused to pay his fines, we filed a copy of the adjudication court judgment in circuit court and then served a wage garnishment on the property owner’s employer.  The McHenry County Circuit Court then dismissed our proceedings and ruled that a home rule municipality could not enforce its administrative adjudication judgments in circuit court.  The ruling was particularly curious considering that the court recognized enforcement for non-home rule governments through the circuit court.  We appealed the ruling and on May 15, 2014, the Second District Appellate Court issued an opinion holding that “the method attempted by the Village to seek enforcement in this case was appropriate under division 2.1 of the Municipal Code and that once the orders were properly enrolled the Village could commence collection proceedings.”

The required procedure to enforce an administrative adjudication order in the circuit court is relatively simple.  Just as we argued in the appeal, the municipality need only wait until the time for administrative review has expired (typically 35 days) and then file a copy of the administrative adjudication order with the circuit clerk.  Once the administrative adjudication order is filed in the circuit court, the municipality can then issue wage garnishments to a respondent’s employer, file citations to discover assets to the respondent’s bank account (which allows the municipality to intercept funds in a respondent’s bank account), and can use any other collection tool allowed in the circuit courts.   As noted by the Appellate Court, use of this procedure by which the judgment is obtained in the administrative adjudication court but collected in the circuit court can greatly reduce litigation cost and allow for speedier resolution of ordinance violation matters.


 

Jennifer J. Gibson

Author: Jennifer J. Gibson

 

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Illinois State Police Release Concealed Carry Restricted Signage Requirements

The ISP recently released the appropriate sign to display in order to restrict Concealed Carry licensees from carrying handguns onto or into restricted premises.

The ISP provides a pdf version of the sign, which can also be provided to a printing company to supply more permanent versions of the sign.

Please note that the sign’s dimensions are restricted by the legislation to be exactly 4” x 6” to satisfy the signage requirement.  Our earlier article addresses restricted areas and the need for posting signage on various local government properties.  Seemingly a larger version sign could be placed at vehicle entrances of municipal parks and other areas where handguns may not even be brought into the parking area and secured in a vehicle, to ensure visibility.  Best practice, however, would be to also post the smaller 4” x 6” sign, because it is the only sign that satisfies the technical signage requirement.

Local governments can now begin requisitioning the signage.


Brad Stewart

Author: Brad Stewart

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

ZRFM’s Illinois State Bar Association Articles Now Available

More than 20 articles published in Illinois State Bar Association newsletters and authored by Zukowski, Rogers, Flood & McArdle lawyers can be viewed now on zrfmlaw.com. ZRFM is the largest law firm in McHenry County, Illinois.

The articles address topics involving labor and employment, local government, administrative law, and antitrust and unfair competition. Individual newsletter articles can be located by linking from the titles listed in the publications section of each attorney’s Web site biography. They also appear below chronologically: