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Landmark Victory Denying Absolute Judicial Immunity for Cook County Board of Review

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					Landmark Victory Denying Absolute Judicial Immunity for Cook County Board
of Review

Landmark ruling was issued in the Northern District of Illinois (case #10cv 6682) denying the Cook
County Board of Review and by extension possibly other county agencies, quasi-judicial immunity
for alleged Constitutional violations.

Chicago, IL, August 08, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Landmark ruling was issued in the Northern District of
Illinois (case #10cv 6682) denying the Cook County Board of Review and by extension possibly other
county agencies, quasi-judicial immunity for alleged Constitutional violations. [decision:
http://www.abisoft.org/opinions/2012/1_10-cv-06682_20120802.pdf] This decision is an historic victory
for all residents of Cook County and Chicago who could prove that the County agency, despite grants of
immunity to the individual Commissioners and staff committed Constitutional violations. The Court's
order and memorandum cited Hernandez v. Sheahan, 455 F. 3d 772 (7th Cir. 2006) at 776 in which the
Seventh Circuit had ruled that entities whose policies are unconstitutional are not entitled to immunity
derivative of the possible immunity granted to their employees.

The Supreme Court in Butz v. Economou (438 U.S. 478) sought to equate judicial adjudication with
administrative adjudication and granted absolute immunity to the executives of the Agriculture Dept.
Grants of immunity against suit were by extension later given to other Federal agencies, and then state
agencies. In deciding to grant immunity, the courts have scrutinized the functions of government bodies
and whether they are not only functionally comparable in function to that of a judge but also whether state
bodies have multiple safeguards in place to protect against unconstitutional conduct.

Plaintiff's lead counsel R. Tamara de Silva commented, “The term 'quasi-judicial' is not a conclusory
term-it requires a scrutiny of function. The Cook County Board of Review is not functionally similar to
any court of law nor as this suit states, does it employ any procedural safeguards against its violations of
the United States Constitution. In this case, the BOR ruled upon the Plaintiff's tax appeal citing no
precedent, no written opinion, no reason and exactly no rationale. It acted for improper motives simply
because it thought it could.”

The Supreme Court in Butz identified the removal of a board from political influence as one of the factors
determining that a body has sufficient procedural safeguards against Constitutional violations. The
complaint in this case charges that the BOR is the quintessential political body in Cook County. Ms. de
Silva had this to say, “As this case charges, all three Commissioners on the BOR have used or attempted
to use that office as a stepping stone for higher political office by building campaign war-chests by
accepting and soliciting campaign contributions from the attorneys and law firms that practice before
them in exchange for preferential treatment. Joseph Berrios was able to successfully run for Cook County
Assessor after accumulating over $3 million from the lawyers and law firms that practiced before him
while he was a commissioner. Tort lawyer, Larry R. Rogers Jr. accumulated well over $1 million and
considered running for Mayor. Brenda Houlihan did not raise quite $1 million and was not re-elected
Commissioner. In fact discovery would show-even members of the Commissioner's staff are running for
office and accepting if not soliciting campaign funds from the lawyers and firms that practice before

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them.”

More information and Court filing can be found at http://www.desilvalawoffices.com/Press-Releases.aspx




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Contact Information:
Law Offices of R. Tamara de Silva
R. Tamara de Silva
312-913-9999
Contact via Email
www.desilvalawoffices.com


Online Version of Press Release:
You can read the online version of this press release at: http://www.pr.com/press-release/432584


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Description: Landmark ruling was issued in the Northern District of Illinois (case #10cv 6682) denying the Cook County Board of Review and by extension possibly other county agencies, quasi-judicial immunity for alleged Constitutional violations.
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