Wilmington, IL. (ECWd) -
Former appointed Road Commissioner, John Norton, filed a "lawsuit" in Will County seeking at least $1,000,000.00 from each of the eight named Defendants.
The entire lawsuit appears to be filed under the guise of the "Citizens Participation Act" ("CPA") since he did include the entire text of Section 5 of the CPA. The problem is that he left out the fact that a CPA Motion is only to be used as a defense of an action to fight off what is commonly known as a SLAPP, or "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation" in its early stages to not only dispose of it early in the litigation process but to save Defendant's funds and force Plaintiff to pay for defense of a SLAPP.
Ironically, this particular lawsuit appears on its face to be a SLAPP suit, filed to discourage people from participating in government, and as such, the CPA this suit purports to be filed under will be used as the basis to defend against it.
Additionally, we wonder if the existence of a Stalking / No Contact Order prohibits Norton from having the named party served without petitioning the Court to permit the third party (service provider) contacting of the person for the purposes of a lawsuit.
Motion for Waiver of Court Fees
Before we get into the particulars, we must note that Norton has filed a "pauperis", or "paupers request for waiver of Court fees" which will be heard on November 20th (read it here).
In his request for a waiver, Norton states in questions 4(b) and (c) that he has received no income in the past 30 days, and has not received any income in the past 12 months. He also states he has no expenses and no bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, or anything else.
On October 31, 2019, the Court reviewed the application and instructed Norton to provide his income tax returns from 2018, proof of any assets held in the Plaintiff's name, documentation regarding income for the past 2 years, including any pay stubs. The application for Waiver Hearing is scheduled for November 20, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom A117.
The problem with this request for waiver of fees? Norton's employer stated, under oath, in court, just a few short weeks ago that he employs Norton (read about it here). That being the case, either his employer lied to the court or Norton lied in his Waiver Application.
As noted earlier, this lawsuit is based on the CPA, which is only to be used as a defense against SLAPP motions, which there clearly are none.
(735 ILCS 110/15)
Sec. 15. Applicability. This Act applies to any motion to dispose of a claim in a judicial proceeding on the grounds that the claim is based on, relates to, or is in response to any act or acts of the moving party in furtherance of the moving party's rights of petition, speech, association, or to otherwise participate in government.
Acts in furtherance of the constitutional rights to petition, speech, association, and participation in government are immune from liability, regardless of intent or purpose, except when not genuinely aimed at procuring favorable government action, result, or outcome.
(Source: P.A. 95-506, eff. 8-28-07.)
Norton thinks the CPA grants individual rights to participate in government, but he is mistaken. The CPA grants the rights of individuals to defend against lawsuits and Motions (SLAPPs) filed for the purposes of infringing on or deterring citizens their right to participate in government. No lawsuits have been filed that would qualify as a SLAPP suit against Norton.
This is what Norton is Complaining (suing) about:
- Defendant McCubbin committed an act of Battery against him (The police didn't think so and there were no charges brought)
- Defendant Esposito committed perjury against him (The judge heard the testimony and made no such determination)
- Everybody impeded his right to observe and/or participate in a meeting by standing in front of him and blocking his view when there was adequate seating available (I guess he wants everyone except for him to use the seats at a meeting)
- Defended Allen has a 501(c)(4) status and used it for personal financial gain to harass and intimidate Norton and direct others to do the same thru Facebook and websites. (A 501(c)(4) does not belong to an individual, no personal financial gains are ever had from the c4, nothing but truthful news articles were ever published, and at no time was anyone directed to do anything related to Norton)
- Defendant Jones forcefully placed a folding chair directly in front of him and sitting down, causing minor injury to Plaintiff's right foot (this one is too frivolous to even respond to)
- Defendants placed signs on their property to harass, intimidate, and dissuade Plaintiff's witnesses and potential witnesses from testifying in open court (of course he fails to dispute the truthfulness of those signs, and nobody had any idea of anyone being a witness or potential witness at the time, or even now. No witness or potential witness list was ever produced) (he wants to violate a citizen's right to speech)
This is what Norton wants (and will never get) from the Court:
- He wants the Court to restrict Defendants' First Amendment rights and to enjoin them from further attempts to dissuade, impede, or hinder him from his made-up "granted rights" under the CPA
- Monetary damages of at least $1 million from each defendant
- Punitive damages from each Defendant
- Attorney fees if he hires an attorney (we doubt any legitimate attorney would take this case and suspect that is why he filed it pro se)
- Court filing fees
Our Opinion on what Norton will gain from this court filing:
- The judge will find Norton lied on his application for waiver of fees
- The case will be dismissed under the CPA or another action
- Norton will be faced with paying filing/court fees
- Norton will be faced with paying the attorney fees and costs for each Defendant, based on the CPA
(735 ILCS 110/25)
Sec. 25. Attorney's fees and costs. The court shall award a moving party who prevails in a motion under this Act reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in connection with the motion.
(Source: P.A. 95-506, eff. 8-28-07.)
We doubt he has the available funds to even effectuate proper service of this lawsuit.
Read the lawsuit below:
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