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Huguley v. Marcin

OPINION FILED JUNE 1, 1976.

WALTER L. HUGULEY ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,

v.

JOHN C. MARCIN, CITY CLERK OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. HARRY G. COMERFORD, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE O'CONNOR DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Plaintiffs, five residents of the 3rd Precinct of the 7th Ward in Chicago, Illinois, filed a petition to enjoin the Board of Election Commissioners of the City of Chicago from filing with the Secretary of State of Illinois the report of the "local option" election held November 5, 1974, in which the sale of alcoholic liquor except in the original package and not for consumption on the premises was prohibited 135 to 28. The petition attacked the constitutionality of article IX of the Illinois Liquor Control Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 43, pars. 166-182). Plaintiffs alleged that failure to provide notice to resident voters and resident liquor licensees of the precinct violated article I, section 2, of the Constitution of Illinois and section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Upon motion, the trial court dismissed the petition and denied plaintiffs' post-trial motion. Plaintiffs appeal.

The local referendum provisions of the Illinois Liquor Control Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 43, pars. 166-182) provide in pertinent part:

"`Precinct' means any part of a city, village or incorporated town of over 200,000 population which was a `voting precinct' or an `election precinct' for voting at the last general election." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 43, par. 166.)

Section 2 of article IX provides for the filing of a petition to submit to the voters in a precinct a proposition seeking to prohibit the sale of alcoholic liquor in that precinct. Section 4 of article IX provides that the petition shall contain the "[d]description of precinct, township, road district or part thereof, as of the last general election." Section 5 of article IX provides for the publication of notice of submission of the proposition to the voters of the precinct.

Between the general election in 1972 and that in 1974, the 3rd Precinct of the 8th Ward was designated as the 3rd Precinct of the 7th Ward. There were no changes in the boundaries of the precinct.

The petition for local referendum in this case consisted of 17 pages and was signed by "residents and legal voters of the Third Precinct (as the said Precinct existed as of the last General Election) of the Eighth Ward" for the submission "to the voters thereof" the proposition:

"`Shall the Sale at Retail of Alcoholic Liquor containing more than 4% of Alcohol by weight except in the original package and not for consumption on the premises be prohibited in this Third Precinct of the Eighth Ward of the City of Chicago?' (As the said Precinct existed as of the last General Election)"

At the bottom of Sheet Number One appeared:

"Explanation: The Third Precinct of the Eighth Ward as it existed as of the last General Election now lies within the boundaries of the Seventh Ward and is still designated as the third Precinct."

The Notice of General Election published in the Chicago Daily News on October 4, 1974, gave notice that the above quoted proposition would be submitted to the voters of "All of Precinct 3 of Ward 7 * * * (As the said Precinct existed as of the last General Election)."

The ballot on its face stated:

"FOR USE IN Precinct 3, Ward 7 of the City of Chicago"

and set forth the proposition quoted above, ...


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