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Friday, March 21, 2014

Courts - Three interesting Illinois decisions yesterday

The Illinois Supreme Court yesterday ruled unconstitutional a statute banning audio recordings without the consent of all parties. Steve Schmadeke has the story in the Chicago Tribune. It is definately worth reading. The 9-page opinion is Illinois v. Melongo. This follows a 2012 7th Circuit decision, ACLU v. Alvarez, where Judge Sykes, joined by Judge Hamilton, with Judge Posner dissenting, wrote in a 66-page opinion:

The Illinois eavesdropping statute restricts a medium of expression commonly used for the preservation and communication of information and ideas, thus triggering First Amendment scrutiny. Illinois has criminalized the nonconsensual recording of most any oral communication, including recordings of public officials doing the public’s business in public and regardless of whether the recording is open or surreptitious. Defending the broad sweep of this statute, the State’s Attorney relies on the government’s interest in protecting conversational privacy, but that interest is not implicated when police officers are performing their duties in public places and engaging in public communications audible to persons who witness the events. Even under the more lenient intermediate standard of scrutiny applicable to contentneutral burdens on speech, this application of the statute very likely flunks. The Illinois eavesdropping statute restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests; as applied to the facts alleged here, it likely violates the First Amendment’s freespeech and free-press guarantees.
Per this post in the Sentencing Law and Policy blog, in a ruling yesterday the Illinois Supreme Court deemed the 2012 SCOTUS ruling in Miller v. Alabama ruling substantive and thus retroactive.

Finally, this Tribune story by Matthew Walberg begins:

An Illinois Supreme Court ruling has barred condo owners from using their condo association's failure to repair common property elements as a defense for not paying monthly assessments.

The 4-3 decision Thursday found that state condominium laws require condo owners to pay their assessments as a matter of law, not as a matter of a contract like that of a tenant and landlord.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 21, 2014 08:53 AM
Posted to Courts in general