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Youker v. Gulley

decided: June 7, 1976.

JAMES YOUKER, CONSTANCE YOUKER, AND HENRY YOUKER, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
ROY O. GULLEY, DIRECTOR OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE ILLINOIS COURTS, AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE ILLINOIS COURTS, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division No. 74C 3798. ABRAHAM L. MAROVITZ, Judge.

Hastings, Senior Circuit Judge, Tone, Circuit Judge, and Noland, District Judge.*fn*

Author: Hastings

HASTINGS, Senior Circuit Judge.

We consider the basic question of whether or not the Illinois Supreme Court may condition the employment of official state court reporters upon their forebearance from commercial reporting activities.

The underlying action was brought by three court-appointed official court reporters in DuPage County, Illinois. The three plaintiffs also own a partnership interest in a private court reporting company. Named defendants are Roy O. Gulley, in his capacity as Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, and the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC), in its capacity as an administrative agency of the Illinois Supreme Court.

It is conceded that, pursuant to Article VI, Section 16, of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, the general administrative and supervisory authority over all state courts is vested in the Supreme Court of Illinois which exercises the authority through its appointed administrative director and his staff. The Illinois Supreme Court allocates full-time official court reporter positions to each of the several judicial circuits. The court reporters are appointed by the chief judge of each circuit with the consent of the circuit judges, pursuant to ILL. REV. STAT. ch. 37, ยง 654 (1973).

Effective January 1, 1975, the AOIC promulgated its "Administrative Regulations Governing Reporters in the Illinois Courts." At issue here are the provisions of Section III of the regulations, which read:

III. Limitations on Reporters

A. Political Activity.

No official reporter shall hold elective public office or become a candidate therefor. No official reporter may be an officer of any political party. No official reporter shall solicit funds for political campaigns.

B. Outside Work.

Official reporters may not engage in private reporting employment.

The Supreme Court ban on outside reporting also applies to reporting work for any governmental department, agency or commission other than the judicial branch of government. With special permission, an official reporter may serve the Prosecutor, Grand Jury or other official or agency connected with the judiciary during regular court hours, but he shall not charge an attendance fee for such work. Official reporters are prohibited from being partners, associates, or employees of any reporting firm or corporation, and they may not receive any payments or fees for transcripts or appearances paid for reporting work done by another reporter, even though the official reporter may have arranged for the work to be done.

Plaintiffs in particular attack the provisions of Section III, Paragraph B, of the regulations, ...


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