Illinois Property Rights
Elizabeth A. Fegan
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Hagens Berman has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Illinois property owners against the state of Illinois, Illinois’ Gov. Bruce Rauner and other state agencies seizing private property through the condemnation process for its own use, knowing that the compensation owed to property owners would be delayed due to the budget impasse.
According to the complaint, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, the state of Illinois and multiple other agencies have illegally failed to pay any compensation for its takings since at least July 1, 2015, when the budget expired. The complaint names Illinois governor, Bruce Rauner, the comptroller of the state, Leslie Geissler Munger and the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The suit states that in the midst of a budget impasse, “…the Republican Governor and the Democrats who hold a supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature have put their ‘long-simmering ideological and political dispute’ ahead of the Constitutional rights of private property owners.” The complaint states that the state’s seizure of property without compensation violates basic state and federal laws stipulating that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.
The suit’s class of property owners seeks compensatory damages, interest on the amounts the state agreed to or was ordered to pay (but failed to pay) and attorneys’ fees and costs.
According to the lawsuit, during the current budget impasse, many social services are not being funded, and the state and its agencies have “continued to take private property knowing they cannot and will not pay contemporaneous just compensation because no appropriations have been made.”
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