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July 21, 2024

FOIA Lawsuit vs CERWD – Motion to Dismiss Denied

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 14, 2012


The hearing in the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit of Kraft (Plaintiff) vs Conover (acting as FOIA officer) and Clark-Edgar Rural Water District (Defendants) was held on December 11, 2012. This lawsuit, 12-MR-44, was filed on October 3, 2012 in response to the CERWD’s denial of a FOIA request for public documents in violation of 5 ILCS 140, the Illinois Freedom Of Information Act.

The complaint sought a declaration from the court that the defendants were in violation of the Act, production of the document(s) requested, payment of fees and costs, and other just and equitable relief as outlined in the Act.

The issue in this case was that the CERWD attempted to pass off an invoice to plaintiff, incurred by a separate party in a separate FOIA request, therefore effectively denying the plaintiff FOIA request.

The order by the court that Denied the Motion to Dismiss did not come as a surprise to the Plaintiff, as the law speaks for itself and is quite clear on the issue.

What happens next? I believe the CERWD attorney will recommend the district pay the costs/fees and produce the document(s). The next water district meeting in Monday, Dec 17, 2012; the agenda for the meeting has an executive session scheduled to discuss and act on litigation. I’ll let you know what happens…

Below are the documents pertaining to this suit.

Original Complaint file October 3, 2012

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Defendant Motion To Dismis

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Plaintiff Response to Motion To Dismiss

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Defendant Memorandum of Law and Authorities in Support of Motion to Dismiss

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Memorandum of Law and Authorities in Support of Plaintiff Response to Defendant Motion to Dismiss

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  • Edgar County Watchdogs
    Posted at 12:33h, 14 December Reply

    Edgar County Watchdogs liked this on Facebook.

  • jmkraft
    Posted at 18:21h, 15 December Reply

    Message to ECWd: Mr Kraft I hope what your doing getting papers from cewd doesnt
    effect my cost of getting water. I am glad to have city water and glad I got
    there service but court costs and so forth will probably cost me money. I hope
    you celebrated your victory.
    You stated you have city water – it will not affect you.

    As far as the costs and fees:
    – All of the costs, fees, their attorney fees, etc. are of their own
    choosing – they made a decision to spend public money in this fashion.
    – If the CERWD and their attorney would have actually read the FOIA statute
    and comprehended what they read, they would have known they were not in compliance.
    – I could have hired an attorney – and they would have had to pay that bill also,
    but chose to do it pro se in an attempt at saving the CERWD on attorney fees – since
    I know they will not prevail.
    – If you are truely worried about the affect this will have on your water bill, you
    should go to the next meeting – Dec 17 @ 7:00p.m. – and ask them why they would spend
    your money in this fashion.
    – I will celebrate when the case is closed. It isn’t over yet. The trustees must
    decide whether to continue or settle – this was simply a denial of their motion
    to dismiss.
    You can post anon comment on the website – just use a fake name and fake email – they
    will get answered faster…

  • jmkraft
    Posted at 18:30h, 15 December Reply

    Message from same loyal reader:
    Message: hope your happy about getting your papers
    I haven’t got the papers yet, it’s up to the trustees on whether they wish to
    spend your money to fight something they don’t have a chance to win.

    When I get them I will be happy 🙂

  • sandy
    Posted at 13:14h, 16 December Reply

    When CERWD first began they told everyone that the water bills would automatically
    go up after you got water by 5-10 %. ECWd has nothing to do with a rise in cost. At
    that time we did not want their water because we had a good well, we still do not
    have their water and have saved hundreds of dollars. I hope the ones that are on
    CERWD have not regretted their choice.

  • sandy
    Posted at 13:21h, 16 December Reply

    When CERWD first began they told everyone that the water bills would go up
    automatically 5-10% every year. If bills do go up it is not ECWD’s fault, as
    this was a stated fact before.

  • jmkraft
    Posted at 10:07h, 18 December Reply

    Dear loyal reader (from a couple comments ago),

    I see you don’t care enough to show up to a meeting and ask the CERWD trustees
    why they voted to give each employee a $250 Christmas present – just before
    voting to request a 6 month extension on their line of credit from the bank
    because they can’t (or won’t) pay it.

    Please call them and ask them if those 2 decisions will cause your water rates
    to increase. Their phone number is (217) 463-5888.

    Thank you.

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