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BUCK v. VILLAGE OF MINOOKA

November 15, 1982

RICHARD T. BUCK, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
VILLAGE OF MINOOKA, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Three individual Illinois land trust beneficiaries*fn1 and the bank trustee of that trust bring a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section 1983") action against the Village of Minooka ("Minooka") and its Village Trustees ("Trustees") in their official and individual capacities. Plaintiffs claim defendants diminished the value of the land trust property (the "Property") without due process of law, by refusing to reserve two liquor licenses for the Property as required by an agreement between Minooka and plaintiffs' predecessors in ownership. Defendants have moved for summary judgment*fn2 and for dismissal of Trustee Keith Steffes. For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, this Court sua sponte dismisses this action for failure to state a Section 1983 cause of action.

Facts*fn3

On July 15, 1974 Minooka and Donald Jennings ("Jennings") entered into a Pre-Annexation Agreement (the "Agreement"), pursuant to which the Property was annexed to Minooka. Paragraph 4 of the Agreement*fn4 provides:

  The Owner and the Village of Minooka agree that
  the Village will reserve or pass all necessary
  ordinances or resolutions to allow the issuance
  of 2 liquor licenses for use on said annexed land
  when and if the Owner requests the issuance of
  said licenses for a use listed in Exhibit "A",
  provided that one such license shall be for use
  in a cocktail lounge connected with a restaurant.
  The other license shall be for a package liquor
  store.

Paragraph 8 states:

  This agreement shall be binding upon the Owner,
  his heirs, executors and assigns and the Village
  of Minooka for 10 years as provided by Illinois
  Revised Statutes.

Plaintiffs later purchased the Property from Jennings, relying on the provisions of the Agreement.

On November 17, 1975 Minooka enacted an ordinance that effectively prohibited the issuance (to anyone) of either type of liquor license referred to in Paragraph 4.*fn5 Plaintiffs have repeatedly asked Minooka to pass a resolution implementing Paragraph 4. At the August 10, 1981 Village Board meeting:

  The motion was made to have our attorney draw up
  a resolution to coincide with the Donald Jennings
  Pre-Annexation Agreement regarding Paragraph 4
  granting the owners the issuance of a liquor
  license. This resolution would be good until 1984
  when the pre-annexation agreement would run its
  10 year term.*fn6

That motion was defeated.

Minooka's refusal to reserve any liquor licenses for the Property has, plaintiffs claim, appreciably reduced its value. Convinced that Minooka had repudiated the Agreement, plaintiffs brought this action.

Plaintiffs' Flawed Section 1983 Claim

Minooka advances several theories for ...


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