Illinois Supreme Court Civil Issues Pending: Government Law

[UPDATED THROUGH May 13, 2014]

Lutkauskas v. Ricker

Supreme Court Case Number: 117090

Appellate Court: First District, Fourth Division

Appellate Court Case Number:1-12-1112

Issues Presented: (1) Do taxpayers have standing to seek the remedies set forth in Section 20-6 of the School Code, 105 ILCS 5/20-6, against members of a school board who allegedly drew money from the district’s working cash fund without a resolution? (2) Does a purported violation of Section 20-6 require plaintiff to plead and prove that funds drawn from the district’s working cash fund without a board resolution were spent for improper purposes?

Appellate Court Opinion summary: Article 20 of the Illinois School Code authorizes certain school districts to create working cash funds. The purpose of the working cash fund is to provide a reserve upon which districts may draw in anticipation of tax collections. To fund the working cash fund, the district is permitted to incur an indebtedness and issue bonds. When the district receives taxes as anticipated, the fund must be immediately reimbursed. Section 20-5 of the School Code provides that a board resolution is required whenever boards want to transfer monies from the working cash fund. Various taxpayer plaintiffs filed suit, alleging that the defendant school board members had repeatedly transferred (or allowed the transfer of) money from the district’s working cash fund without board resolutions. Plaintiffs alleged that rather than reimbursing the working cash fund for these monies, the defendants had voted to abate and later abolish the working cash fund. Plaintiffs sought various relief under Section 20-6 of the School Code: an order forfeiting their offices and employment with the district, assessing a $10,000 statutory fine against each defendant, and entering judgment against the defendants personally for an amount sufficient to make the district whole. Plaintiffs also purported to state a claim for “accountant negligence” against the district’s former accountant, and another purported claim against the entity which bonded the school treasurer. The defendants successfully moved to dismiss the complaint. The First District, Fourth Division affirmed. The Court held that the plaintiffs lacked standing to seek the remedies set forth in Section 20-6, and that since there was no allegation that funds had actually been misappropriated (the funds used from the working cash fund had been expended on legitimate district operations), the plaintiffs failed to allege that the district had been damaged. Justice Aurelia Pucinski dissented.

Opinion

 

People ex rel. Lisa Madigan v. Illinois Commerce Commission

Supreme Court Case Number: 116005

Appellate Court: Second District

Appellate Court Case Number: 2-12-0243, et seq.

Issue Presented: May the Illinois Commerce Commission approve volume-balancing-adjustment ("VBA") riders to approved rate schedules for natural gas?

Detailed summary of facts and lower court opinions

Opinion

 

State of Illinois ex rel. Pusateri v. The Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company

Supreme Court Case Number: 116844

Appellate Court: First District, Fourth Division

Appellate Court Case Number: 1-12-0972

Issue Presented: (1) Does a plaintiff state a claim under the Whistleblower Act by alleging that the defendant included falsified information in a utility rate case; and (2) Did a 2009 safety audit before the Illinois Commerce Commission publicly disclose the alleged fraud, requiring plaintiff to prove he was the original source of the information in order to establish jurisdiction.

Detailed summary of facts and lower court opinions

 

 

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