Brian P. Crowley

Brian P. Crowley

Franczek Radelet P.C.

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Circuit Court of Springfield Overturns PAC Opinion on OMA Violation

An Illinois Circuit Court recently overturned a Public Access Counselor opinion. The Court held, contrary to the PAC, that the Board of Education of Springfield School District No. 186 did not violate Section 2(e) of the Open...more

11/26/2014 - Board of Education Open Meetings Act School Districts Separation Agreement Transparency

PAC Strikes Down Five Day Registration Requirement for Public Comment as Violation of OMA

The Public Access Counselor (PAC) in the Illinois Attorney General’s office recently issued a binding opinion regarding public participation in meetings held by public bodies. Section 2.06(g) of the Open Meetings Act...more

10/10/2014 - Open Meetings Act Public Comment

Appellate Court Enforces 60 Day Time-Bar on OMA Challenges

Recently, an appellate court in the Fifth District upheld a countywide sales tax implemented through the School Facility Occupation Tax Law. In doing so, the Court denied relief to an Open Meetings Act (OMA) challenge due to...more

10/2/2014 - Local Taxes Open Meetings Act Public Schools

2014 Legislative Update: Summary Of Changes In School Law

In This Update: - Administration ..School as Polling Place ..Student Discipline Study ..Destruction of Public Records ..Sale of Personal Information ..DCFS Guardianship ..Children of...more

9/22/2014 - Charter Schools Education Reform Educational Institutions Property Tax Teachers

PAC Limits Public Bodies’ Authority in Regulating Public Comment Period

On September 4, 2014, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office released a binding opinion through its Public Access Counselor (PAC) that public bodies cannot require speakers to provide personal information such as a home...more

9/18/2014 - Attorney Generals Public Comment

U.S. Department of Education Issues New Guidelines On Collecting Student Data

This past July, the U.S. Department of Education released the Transparency Best Practices for Schools and Districts, a new set of guidelines created to improve relations between school districts and parents surrounding school...more

9/12/2014 - Data Collection Data Protection Department of Education PTAC Public Schools School Districts Students

Illinois Appellate Court Rules that School Districts are subject to Municipal Zoning

In a strongly worded 42 page decision, the Second District Appellate Court ruled in Gurba v. Community HS Dist. 155, that school districts are subject to the zoning regulations of home rule municipalities. The decision...more

9/11/2014 - Home Rule States Municipalities School Districts

Back to School OMA/FOIA Update: Public Access Counselor (PAC) Decisions this Summer

The summer is nearly behind us, and it has been a busy summer for the Public Access Counselor (PAC) office of the Illinois Attorney General, which issued five binding decisions since May on Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Freedom...more

8/26/2014 - Colleges Contractors FOIA Open Meetings Act Sexual Harassment Subcontractors Universities

High School’s Decision To Bypass Municipal Zoning Process For Stadium Bleachers Ruled Unlawful

In Gurba v. Community H.S. Dist. 155, a McHenry County Circuit court judge ruled that a local high school district violated the law when it refused to subject itself to the local zoning process of its host municipality....more

1/2/2014 - Local Ordinance Municipalities Public Schools Variances

FOIA 2013 Wrap-Up – Summary Of Year End PAC Opinions

The Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (PAC) closed out the year by issuing two binding opinions. The following is a summary of key points from the opinions of which public bodies should be aware....more

12/31/2013 - Contractors FOIA

Model Policy For Purchase: Acceptable Use Of Technology

The use of technology in school districts continues to increase and evolve. Districts are using technology to enhance curriculum, replace traditional text books, and communicate with students, parents, and the community. ...more

12/12/2013 - Acceptable Use Policy Bring Your Own Device Mobile Device Management Public Schools Students Technology

Court Rules That Delayed Compliance With A FOIA Request Remains A Violation

In a recent Illinois Appellate Court decision, the Court held that a public body was in violation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) where the public body initially willfully ignored its obligation to respond to a FOIA...more

12/3/2013 - Compliance FOIA Request For Information

Court Upholds Waiver And Release Clause

An Illinois Appellate Court recently upheld a waiver and release clause in a fitness club’s membership agreement that barred an injured member from seeking damages in court. In Hussein v. L.A. Fitness International, the...more

10/7/2013 - Bodily Injury Liability Release Agreements Waivers

2013 Legislative Update: Summary Of Changes In School Law

In This Issue: - ADMINISTRATION ..Hazing ..Firearm Concealed Carry Act ..School Safety Drills ..Medical Insurance for Interscholastic Athletes ..Insurance ..Duties of a Principal ...more

9/17/2013 - Concealed Weapons Education Reform Firearms Gun Laws Hazing Public Schools School Districts School Safety

Meeting Held 26 Miles From District Office Violates OMA

The Public Access Counselor of the Illinois Attorney General’s office recently issued a binding opinion holding that a board of trustees for a fire protection district violated section 2.01 of the OMA by “holding a meeting at...more

9/13/2013 - PACs Policy Violations Public Meetings

Illinois Court Opinion Clarifies Key FOIA Provisions

Recently, the Illinois Appellate Court clarified three key provisions of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act: the “predecisional” or “deliberative process” exemption; the exemption for unwarranted invasion of personal...more

8/20/2013 - FERPA FOIA Fourth Amendment Invasion of Privacy Student Records

Illinois Appellate Court Decision Clarifies Waiver Of The FOIA Predecisional Materials Exemption

The Appellate Court of Illinois (First District) recently issued an opinion clarifying how a public body can waive the Freedom of Information Act protection for predecisional records....more

7/25/2013 - Exemptions FOIA Police Public Records Request For Information Waivers

Illinois Appellate Court Clarifies When Electronic Communications By Council And Board Members On Personal Electronic Devices And...

The Illinois Appellate Court recently ruled that electronic communications about public business sent or received by members of a city council during a public meeting or study session are “public records” subject to the...more

7/25/2013 - Electronic Communications FOIA Mobile Devices PACs

Key Takeaways From Recent FOIA And OMA Decisions

The Illinois courts and the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (“PAC”) issued a flurry of decisions in May and June relating to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) and the Illinois Open Meetings Act...more

6/20/2013 - Department of Transportation FOIA Notice Requirements Open Meetings Act Public Meetings Public Records Public Schools

Public Access Counselor Holds That Straw Poll Violates The Open Meetings Act

Recently, the Illinois Public Access Counselor rendered a binding opinion, holding that a committee violated the Open Meetings Act when it chose to recommend an individual to fill a vacancy on the committee and made that...more

5/23/2013 - Open Meetings Act Public Access Laws

Board Candidate Files Suit After State’s Attorney Serves Quo Warranto Action

In Parker v. Lyons, 2013 WL 1624336 (C.D. Ill. 2013), a candidate filed a nominating petition with the requisite number of signatures and was later served with a quo warranto action by the State’s Attorney. The quo warranto...more

5/1/2013 - Ballots Convictions Discrimination Public School Boards Quo Warranto Writs Racial Discrimination

Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals Upholds City’s Invocation Policy For Council Meetings

In Rubin v. City of Lancaster, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s determination that the city council’s invocation policy and practice did not amount to an unconstitutional establishment of religion....more

4/3/2013 - ACLU Establishment Clause First Amendment Religion

District Court Finds Boys’ Basketball Haircut Policy Does Not Constitute Discrimination Or Infringe Student Rights

In Hayden v. Greensburg Community School Corporation, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana found that a school’s haircut policy for the boys’ basketball team did not constitute gender discrimination,...more

3/27/2013 - Athletes Discrimination Dress Codes Due Process Equal Protection Gender Discrimination Public Schools Sports

Ohio Court Rules Board Meeting Sign-In Process Is Legal

In Paridon v. Trumbull County Children’s Services Board, the Ohio Court of Appeals upheld the Trumbull County Children’s Services Board (Board) practice of requiring individuals to sign-in before attending the Board’s...more

3/27/2013

School District Participation In Local Debt Recovery Program Put On Hold

We have learned from several clients that debt collection efforts for school districts by the Illinois Office of the Comptroller under the Local Debt Recovery Program (LDRP) have been put on hold indefinitely. In a notice...more

2/6/2013 - Comptroller Debt Recovery Programs School Districts

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