Brian P. Crowley

Brian P. Crowley

Franczek Radelet P.C.

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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

Deadline for Open Meetings Act Training Approaches

The deadline for members of public bodies to take the Open Meetings Act training course is approaching fast. Pursuant to recent amendments to the OMA, members elected or appointed prior to January 1, 2012 must take the...more

11/30/2012 - Open Meetings Act

Closed Session Discussions Violated the OMA Even Though Litigation Possible

The Public Access Counselor of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office (PAC) issued a binding opinion last week finding that the Washington County Board Finance Committee violated the Open Meetings Act (OMA). The violation...more

11/17/2012

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