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Simmons v. Dubose

OPINION FILED APRIL 22, 1986.

THOMAS E. SIMMONS, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,

v.

RONALD R. DUBOSE, OBJECTOR, ET AL., RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Joseph Schneider, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE STAMOS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Petitioner-appellant is appealing from an order of the circuit court, affirming a decision by the Chicago electoral board. The electoral board declared invalid the petitioner's nominating papers and determined that the petitioner's name would not be placed on the ballot as a candidate for the Democratic ward committeeman from the 37th ward. The respondent-appellee-cross-appellant objected to the petitioner's nominating papers. He is now appealing from the circuit court's order dismissing his petition for review of his objections.

The petitioner, Thomas Simmons, was a candidate for Democratic ward committeeman from the 37th ward, Chicago. The committeeman was to be elected on March 18, 1986, in a special election called by Judge Norgle of the Federal district court on December 30, 1985, to coincide with the remap of several wards in the city of Chicago. The deadline for filing nominating petitions for the special election was January 17, 1986. Petitioner Simmons filed his candidacy by the statutory deadline, but the respondent, Ronald DuBose, objected to the validity of Simmons' nominating petition.

On February, 13, 1986, the electoral board sustained some of DuBose's objections to the nominating papers filed by Simmons. The following was determined by the electoral board:

"The Board having heard oral arguments and consider all evidence hereby finds:

a. The statutory minimum number of signatures required for placement on the ballot is 991

b. The number of signatures filed by the candidate total 2275

c. The number of signatures because of objections sustained deemed invalid total 1316

d. The remaining number of signatures deemed valid total 959

The written report of the Board's findings sustaining objections are contained in the Board's file in this cause, and is available upon request of any party. The Board further finds that the number of valid signatures on the nominating petitions falls below the minimum number of signatures required by law to be placed upon the ballot as candidate for election to the Office of Ward Committeeman, Democratic Party, 37th Ward.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the objections of RONALD R. DUBOSE to the nominating petition of THOMAS E. SIMMONS as candidate for election to the Office of Ward Committeeman, Democratic Party, 37th Ward, are hereby sustained in conformity with the findings in Paragraph 12 hereof and the said petition is hereby declared valid, and the name of THOMAS E. SIMMONS, as candidate for election to the Office of Ward Committeeman, Democratic Party, 37th Ward, shall not be printed on the ballot for the Special Election to be held on March 18, 1986.

After learning that his name would not appear on the ballot, Simmons petitioned the circuit court for judicial review of the electoral board's decision. DuBose opposed Simmons' petition for judicial review and filed his own petition for review of the electoral board's action. DuBose claimed that the electoral board would not give him a copy of its written findings and that the board had failed to sustain a number of valid objections raised by DuBose.

On February 24, 1986, the court reviewed and affirmed the decision of the electoral board. The court also dismissed DuBose's petition for review with prejudice.

On March 4, 1986, Simmons filed an emergency motion for an expedited hearing and disposition of his appeal. On appeal, he requests this court to reverse the judgment of the trial court and order his name placed on the ballot for the March 18 election. DuBose filed objections to Simmons' motion for an expedited appeal, and he filed his ...


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