CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Illinois property owners today sued the state of Illinois, Illinois’ Gov. Bruce Rauner and other state agencies for “undisputedly” appropriating private property for its own use knowing that property owners would not be paid compensation, according to plaintiffs’ law firm, Hagens Berman.
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. 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.
“Despite basic, longstanding federal and state principles barring this kind of behavior, the state of Illinois has recklessly violated the basic constitutional rights of its own citizens,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “We believe that those who have been needlessly victimized and lost their personal property with no compensation deserve what’s legally theirs under the federal and state Constitutions."
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.”
“These property owners are caught in the middle of a broken system, owed tens of thousands of dollars for their seized property,” Berman added. “And it seems as though the state and its governor view their rights as a casualty, as they continue to sequester property with no intention of contemporaneous just payment.”
“Absent a Court Order, the State’s unconstitutional takings will continue,” the suit states. “Notwithstanding these clear and long-standing federal and state constitutional rights, the State of Illinois and other state agencies, including the Illinois Department of Transportation, has taken property from Plaintiff and the Class and failed to pay for the property since at least July 1, 2015.”
Find out more about the firm’s class-action lawsuit on behalf of Illinois property owners.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.