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December 2, 2022

Norton Ordered To Pay $4,760.00 in Attorney Fees/Costs for Frivolous Lawsuit Dismissed Under Citizen Participation Act –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 14, 2020

Wesley Township, IL. (ECWd) –

Will County Circuit Judge Anderson issued an Order on Fee Petitions ordering that John Norton pay the attorney fees for the Defendants in his frivolous lawsuit which was ultimately dismissed under the CPA, Citizens Participation Act.

John Norton was Ordered to pay:

To Attorney Meghan Preston for Leonard McCubbin: $678.50 for attorney fees and $239.00 costs

To Attorney Robert Hanlon for Cynthia Brzana, Becky Becker, Connie Hale Forsythe, and Kirk Allen, $3603.50 for attorney fees plus $239.00 costs.

“Matter comes on having heretofore been taken under advisement on two motions for attorneys fees now comes on for decision. Court finds that Leonard McCubbin’s fee petition is granted insofar as the Court finds he is entitled to fees in the amount of $678.50 plus costs of $239.00. Mr. McCubbin’s request for fees beyond that
is denied. The Court denies Mr. McCubbin’s request for Rule 137 sanctions. Judgment enters in favor of Leonard McCubbin and against John Norton, in the amount of $917.50. The fee petition filed by Cynthia Brzana, Becky Becker, Connie Hale Forsythe, and Kirk Allen is granted insofar as the Court finds they are entitled to fees in
the amount of $3,603.50, plus costs of $239.00. Accordingly, the Court enters judgment in favor of Becky Becker, and against John Norton, in the amount of $960.63; the Court enters judgment in favor of Connie Hale Forsythe, against John Norton, in the amount of $960.63; and the Court enters judgment in favor of Kirk Allen, and against John Norton, in the amount of $960.63. To the extent is was not made clear in the Court’s July 31, 2020 order, the claims against Michael Esposito, Mary Jones, and Arlin Fritz are dismissed on the Court’s motion with prejudice. Clerk notified parties via mail this date.”

Lawsuit Dismissal (HERE)

Motion for Fees (HERE)

The CPA protects citizens from lawsuits designed for the purposes of retaliation against individuals who are simply exercising their rights to communicate with, demand public records from, and attend meetings of public bodies and public officials and employees.

From the CPA:

Pursuant to the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of government, it is declared to be the public policy of the State of Illinois that the constitutional rights of citizens and organizations to be involved and participate freely in the process of government must be encouraged and safeguarded with great diligence. The information, reports, opinions, claims, arguments, and other expressions provided by citizens are vital to effective law enforcement, the operation of government, the making of public policy and decisions, and the continuation of representative democracy. The laws, courts, and other agencies of this State must provide the utmost protection for the free exercise of these rights of petition, speech, association, and government participation.”

In his incoherent ramblings during the Court Hearing, besides rambling on about things having nothing to do with this case, Norton claimed he “owns nothing” and has never had a cell phone or land line phone in his name for more than 20 years. He also told the Judge he was feeling a little under the weather and had to leave the courtroom to go throw up because he had received a flu shot.

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