Chicago Parking Meter Lease Litigation: Judge denies City's motion to dismiss
Chicago Parking Meter Lease Litigation: Judge denies the City’s motion to dismiss and permits case to proceed on prohibition on delegating police powers to concessionaire.
On November 4, 2010, Illinois Chancery Court Judge Richard Billik, Jr. denied the City of Chicago’s motion to dismiss, permitting the taxpayer case to proceed, challenging the agreement’s delegation of police/legislative powers to CPM LLC, the concessionaire, under the controversial 75-year parking meter lease agreement.
Although granting the City’s motion to dismiss the challenge to expenditures to pay police to enforce meter violations, despite the fact that the meters are now owned by a private company, Judge Billik held that the police are merely enforcing public laws that were in effect before the meters were sold.
On the second count, however, Judge Billik upheld the complaint, focusing on the terms of the agreement that require the City to obtain permission or compensate CPM for any legislative changes to the City’s parking laws over the next 75 years. Among these changes are changes in the parking fines, changes in the number of tickets permitted before subjecting cars to booting, addition or subtracting of parking spaces, street closures, holidays, etc., all items that the City Council is charged to make in the public interest alone.
As the Court said, at pg. 21 of its opinion:
The City must, therefore, pay for the right to use its police powers instead of ordinarily, properly, and freely exercising them for the public’s health, safety, and convenience.
Lead Counsel Clint Krislov was quoted: “We are pleased with the court’s conclusion, and will proceed ahead for the benefit of Chicago’s taxpayers.”
Read the transcript of the hearing