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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ind. Decisions - "7th Circuit Cuts Off Challenge to Chicago Cell Phone Ban"

The 7th Circuit opinion this week in the case of Gayle Schor et al v. City of Chicago, flagged in this ILB entry from August 13th (3rd case), is the subject of a story today by Lynne Marek of The National Law Journal:

Chicago cell phone users fighting to fend off a city ordinance that bars them from driving and chatting on their phone without a hands-free device have lost another round.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a decision Thursday agreed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois that the class action mounting a constitutional challenge to the 2005 city law "has no legs." And by the way, that law also precludes texting and surfing the Internet while driving, the court noted.

"The district court was right: this case has no legs whatever," a unanimous decision written by Judge Diane Wood said.

The District Court last year ruled that the plaintiffs had no real constitutional argument, despite claims under the Fourth and 14th amendments, to justify their 2007 lawsuit and that a proposed attempt to modify the suit would be frivolous. The plaintiffs, all of whom had been ticketed for violating the law, appealed the decision late last year. * * *

The plaintiffs attorney, Blake Horwitz of Chicago-based Horwitz, Richardson & Baker, said his clients will not appeal the decision. Still, he called it an important battle to fight, partly because Chicago's ordinance is different from those of surrounding municipalities and because there was little notice to drivers of the law.

"We feel very strongly that people have a right to know in advance that they're committing some sort of infraction," Horwitz said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 15, 2009 11:45 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions