After several inquiries from across the state, we have put this page together to try and provide assistance to those that are fed up with the status quo.
We will add things here as we have time, if something you are looking for is not here, please ask any questions you have and we will try to answer them.
Now for the disclaimer: We are not attorneys, and cannot offer legal advice. We will offer our opinions, based on reading, comprehension, and experience dealing with local governments.
Right to record Police Officers (IL) – click here
Cannot Sanction Public Official for Disclosing Closed Meeting Discussions
Right to Record Open Public Meetings (the Eavesdropping Exception)
Illinois Criminal Code, Article 14: Eavesdropping, Section 14-3(E) – this is in addition to Section 2.05 of the Open Meetings Act:
The following activities shall be exempt from the provisions of this Article:
(e) Recording the proceedings of any meeting required to be open by the Open Meetings Act, as amended;
Recent AG Opinions on Public Comment:
Click here for interesting reading on recent AG Opinions regarding public comment during public meetings..
Public Records on private or personal electronic devices:
This is an interesting binding opinion from the Illinois Attorney General dealing with what constitutes public information on private devices (personal cell phone, personal smart phones, personal email accounts, personal computers, etc.) – and that those public records, on a private device or not, cannot be deleted without approval from the Illinois Local Records Commission pursuant to the Local Records Act.
The Illinois Association of School Boards wrote an excellent article on this subject, and you can read it here.
Interesting Open Meetings Act Stuff
1. In regards to the “pending litigation” item to close a meeting:
In reference to “pending litigation” and attorney-client privilege for closed meetings…includes general legal advice. See Op. Att’y Gen. (Ill.) Nos. 83-004, 83-026. Finally, one point must be emphasized — the root of the privilege is confidentiality, and thus any private meeting must be solely between the attorney and the school district authorities. The presence of other parties destroys the privilege. See In re Busse’s Estate, 332 Ill.App. 258, 75 N.E.2d 36 (2d Dist. 1947).
2. Rules for public comment during meetings cannot be changed “on-the-fly”.
FOIA Contacts for Illinois State Agencies: https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/FOIA-Contacts.aspx
SLAPP – Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation – This is what it is called when public officials attempt to file lawsuits claiming defemation/libel or anything else to keep you from exercising your rights to participate in government.
Supreme Court and Appellate Court Opinions (Searchable)
Links to other Laws and Statutes in Illinois
1970 Illinois Constitution and Article VII, VIII, and XIII have been the most useful so far
Comprehensive listing if Illinois Attorney General Binding Opinions 1971-2018
Illinois Attorney General 2012 Binding Opinions
Illinois Emergency Telephone System (ETSB) (911 Office)
Hatch Act – http://www.osc.gov/hatchact.htm
Illinois Property Tax Code – PTAX 1004
Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission – Complaint Form
Good Info from the ISBA
Champaign County Court Records: https://secure.jtsmith.com/clerk/yytt331s.asp
Macon County Court Records: http://search.co.macon.il.us/Templates/SearchCaseInfo.htm