Motion for leave to file an original petition for mandamus.
Pursuant to our Rule 381 (58 Ill.2d R. 381), Genaro Lara filed with this court on February 15 a motion and supporting suggestions seeking leave to file his proposed petition for a writ of mandamus to compel respondent Judge Joseph Schneider, a judge of the circuit court of Cook County, to reverse the decision of the municipal officers electoral board in cause No. 79-EBA-16 and to order petitioner's name to appear on the ballot for the February 27, 1979, election for the office of alderman in the 22d ward of the city of Chicago.
After considering the motion, proposed petition and supporting suggestions, the court requested responses thereto by the respondent municipal officers electoral board, and Denise A. Arens, the objector before the board to petitioner's nominating papers.
The court has concluded that, in the circumstances of this case, mandamus is not an appropriate remedy. Unlike the petitioner who was precluded by the shortage of time from seeking trial court relief in Dooley v. McGillicudy (1976), 63 Ill.2d 54, relied on by Lara, petitioner here had time to and did seek review of the electoral board action in the circuit court of Cook County, and a final and appealable judgment was entered by that court on February 13, 1979. Mandamus is, of course, not a permissible substitute for direct appeal. (People ex rel. Bradley v. McAuliffe (1962), 24 Ill.2d 75, 78; People ex rel. Adamowski v. Dougherty (1960), 19 Ill.2d 393, 400; People ex rel. Furlong v. Board of Election Commissioners (1949), 404 Ill. 326, 330; People ex rel. Barrett v. Shurtleff (1933), 353 Ill. 248, 259.) Equally summary action from this court was available to petitioner by filing a notice of appeal to the appellate court and simultaneously requesting us to transfer that appeal to this court pursuant to our Rule 302(b) (58 Ill.2d R. 302(b)) and expedite its hearing and disposition.
The motion for leave to file an original mandamus action is accordingly denied.
MR. JUSTICE KLUCZYNSKI, dissenting:
The order of this court denies Lara's application for relief on the ground that mandamus is not a substitute for direct review and that, instead, Lara should have sought a direct appeal to this court under Rule 302(b) (58 Ill.2d R. 302(b)). The court's order violates the long-established rule that a denial of mandamus cannot alone be grounded on the availability of other relief (People ex rel. Starkweather v. Righeimer (1922), 306 Ill. 308, 312), and it fails to give proper weight to the numerous precedents which evidence the practice of this court to relax the technical restrictions of mandamus in matters such as this which are of great importance and which require expeditious resolution. In the process, the court purports to distinguish Dooley v. McGillicudy (1976), 63 Ill.2d 54. I respectfully dissent.
A more complete recitation of the facts than that contained in the court's order is essential to fully comprehend the issues raised. On December 26, 1978, Lara filed nominating petitions with the Chicago board of election commissioners. Lara was seeking to have his name placed on the ballot for the February 27, 1979, election for the office of alderman in Chicago's 22d ward.
Also on December 26, 1978, Lara filed a statement of economic interests with the clerk of Cook County as required by the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 127, par. 604A-101 et seq.). Two of the eight items of information requested were not provided.
On January 2, 1979, respondent Denise A. Arens filed objections to Lara's nominating petitions. Three days later, on January 5, Lara filed a document entitled "Amended Statement of Economic Interests" in which he provided the two items of information which he failed to furnish in his original filing, and he also filed a statement of intention to defer filing of a statement of economic interests for 30 days. See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 127, par. 604A-105(c).
In a decision dated January 19, 1979, the respondent municipal officers electoral board sustained the objections. Lara's nominating petitions were ruled improper because they had differently styled headings, varying in form though not in substance. The respondent board further ruled that Lara's statement of economic interests was insufficient because, as originally filed, two answers were omitted and the attempted amendment covered 1978 rather than 1977, the year covered by the original filing. The board assumed the authority to review and determine the sufficiency of the statement of economic interests under section 10-10 of the Election Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 46, par. 10-10), which allows the board to determine the validity of a candidate's "certificate of nomination and nominating papers." In a certificate of nomination, a candidate must include a statement of candidacy and attest therein that he has filed a statement of economic interests.
On January 29, Lara filed an action for review in the circuit court of Cook County. The court heard arguments and on February 13 affirmed the board's decision on the ground that the statement of economic interests was insufficient. It did not address the issue of whether the nominating petitions were defective. At this point, the election was two weeks away.
Two days later, on February 15, Lara filed the instant motion for leave to file a petition for writ of mandamus which this court now denies. In his motion and supporting documents, Lara asked us to rule that the respondent board lacked authority to review and determine the sufficiency of the statement of economic interests, and that the board erred in ruling that the nominating petitions were defective. Lara did not, as the court's order states, merely seek "to compel respondent Judge Joseph Schneider * * * to reverse the decision of the municipal officers electoral board." He sought alternatively to compel the respondent board members to expunge the order which sustained the objections to his nominating petitions, to enter an order denying the objections, and to cause Lara's name to be included on the ballot. It is essential to note this for two reasons. First, it is very similar to the prayer for relief made and granted in Dooley v. McGillicudy (1976), 63 Ill.2d 54, 55. Second, the basis of this prayer is that the Board was without authority to review and determine the sufficiency of Lara's statement of economic interests, and when it is alleged that a respondent has acted without authority, mandamus may issue to compel expungement of the respondent's orders (People ex rel. Elmore ...