Lawsuit Update: Taxpayers United of America Files Appeal With Illinois Supreme Court
(Wilmette, IL...) District 39 has received notice that Taxpayers United of America (TUA) has filed a petition for leave to appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court challenging the order dismissing TUA’s appeal to the First District Appellate Court for wont of prosecution. A copy of the petition for leave to appeal can be found here. The Illinois Supreme Court allowed the petition as noted here.
District 39 has 14 days to respond to this filing. The Supreme Court will then decide whether to accept the appeal.
Commenting on this latest development, Karen Donnan, President of the District 39 Board of Education said, “We are certainly disappointed that TUA was again unwilling to abide by the decision of the Appellate Court. This petition to the Illinois Supreme Court will cause the District to spend additional dollars in legal fees that should be used for the education of children in our community. This case has been a drain on District resources for more than a year. To date, District 39 has spent almost $48,000 in defense of this lawsuit. The Circuit and Appellate Courts have decided in favor of District 39 at every step. I sincerely hope this concludes quickly so District 39 can focus its resources and attention where it belongs, on our students.”
The original lawsuit, filed by TUA and Wilmette resident Herbert Sorock in May of 2011, challenged the ballot language used by District 39 in its successful April 5, 2011 referendum. It was dismissed with prejudice on June 23, 2011 with Circuit Court Judge Rita Novak rejecting all of the plaintiff’s allegations. Judge Novak had earlier dismissed the individual members of District 39’s Board of Education from the case on May 23, 2011. On July 6, 2011, TUA and Herbert Sorock filed an appeal of Judge Novak’s decisions and later filed two motions. One motion sought to place the appeal on an accelerated docket and was denied by the Appellate Court. The other motion, which the Court granted, was unopposed by District 39. It sought to consolidate the appeal of the case against District 39 with a similar appeal in the case against Oak Park School District 97. The appeal also challenged the dismissal of the individual board members.
Herbert Sorock is not participating in the current petition before the Illinois Supreme Court. A complete history of the legal filings and court decisions can be found here.