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05/15/87 Gregory T. Morgan, v. the Illinois Racing Board

May 15, 1987

GREGORY T. MORGAN, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

THE ILLINOIS RACING BOARD ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

508 N.E.2d 762, 155 Ill. App. 3d 611, 108 Ill. Dec. 451 1987.IL.633

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Rock Island County; the Hon. Robert W. Castendyck, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE STOUDER delivered the opinion of the court. HEIPLE and WOMBACHER, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE STOUDER

Defendants, the Illinois Racing Board (Board) and the steward's office of Quad City Downs, Inc. (stewards), appeal from the judgment of the circuit court of Rock Island County which enjoined defendants from enforcing an order of exclusion against plaintiff, Gregory T. Morgan. Defendants filed this interlocutory appeal, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 307(c) (87 Ill. 2d R. 307(c)), and contend that Morgan's pleadings and proof were insufficient to justify the injunction.

Morgan is a trainer and driver of racehorses. On July 20, 1986, the stewards convened a hearing based on allegations that Morgan had raced a horse following illegal and unreported cryosurgery. The stewards issued a ruling the same day suspending Morgan's license for one year and imposing a $500 civil penalty. During the suspension period, the ruling excluded Morgan from all racetracks under the jurisdiction of the Board. Morgan filed a complaint for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction on July 31, 1986, pending administrative review of the suspension by the Board. The court granted the TRO the same day and set a date for a hearing to determine whether the injunction should issue.

The defendants filed a motion to dissolve the TRO and dismiss the complaint for injunctive relief on the basis that the TRO was inappropriate in that it purported to last in excess of 10 days, that Morgan had not exhausted his administrative remedies, and that the petition failed to allege sufficient facts to support a TRO or a preliminary injunction. The motion and the hearing on the injunction were held on August 12, 1986.

On December 1, 1986, the circuit court granted the preliminary injunction, which was to remain in effect "until the plaintiff has exhausted all remedies under the Administrative Review Act and until the final rulings are made therein."

Although not raised by Morgan on appeal, we must first address the propriety of the summary suspension of an occupational licensee's license in the sport of horse racing. Morgan did not contest the authority of the defendants to issue such summary suspensions, but rather only propounds that he is entitled to an injunction against enforcement of the suspension until such time as the matter is fully resolved. In this case, by virtue of the circuit court's order, that includes all judicial review and resolution of the issues presented by this case. We agree with the courts which have addressed this issue and similarly hold that the State's interest in preserving the integrity of the sport and in protecting the public from harm authorizes such suspensions. See Phillips v. Graham (1981), 86 Ill. 2d 274, 427 N.E.2d 550; Kurtzworth v. Illinois Racing Board (1981), 92 Ill. App. 3d 564, 415 N.E.2d 1290.

The problem in this case arises because the cases cited by both Morgan and the Board do not directly guide us to a decision in this case and appear somewhat inconsistent in and of themselves. Both parties cite to the case of Kurtzworth v. Illinois Racing Board (1981), 92 Ill. App. 3d 564, 415 N.E.2d 1290. While Kurtzworth concludes that summary interim suspension procedures are authorized by the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 8, par. 37-1 et seq.) and do not violate due process concerns, the court's initial determination in that case is inconsistent with that reasoning. The Kurtzworth court affirmed the circuit court's issuance of preliminary injunctions which prevented enforcement of the suspensions until such time as a final decision was reached by the Illinois Racing Board. We fail to follow the logic which on one hand would sanction the summary suspension while on the other hand provides an avenue to effectively circumvent that process.

The Kurtzworth court addressed the issue of whether the circuit courts are permitted to intervene to supply the provisional or ancillary relief of issuing an injunction when they are not asked to rule on the merits of any cause of action. Acknowledging that the power to do so, while not absolute, does exist, the court failed to point to any of the specifics in any of the five cases consolidated in that appeal which justified the issuance of the injunctions. Therefore, Kurtzworth does not provide any support for the proposition that the circuit court properly issued the injunction in this case.

This does not mean that the courts are without power to issue an injunction in specific cases. However, if an injunction is the appropriate provisional remedy, the proper factors must be weighed in determining whether the injunction should issue and care must be taken so as not to interfere with the administrative law process. This would necessarily mean a departure from the standard test which the courts use in determining when an injunction should issue and which Morgan and the Board refer to in their briefs. Rather, the correct factors are those cited by the courts and discussed in length in Kurtzworth and the Illinois Supreme Court's decision in Phillips v. Graham (1981), 86 Ill. 2d 274, 427 N.E.2d 550.

In Phillips, the court reversed the judgment of the circuit court which enjoined the Board's enforcement of an exclusion order against the plaintiff until the issues in the case were reached "either by an appeal from this Order or administrative review of the Racing Board's determination, or the issuance of an opinion in some other case determinative of the issues raised herein." (86 Ill. 2d 274, 280, 427 N.E.2d 550, 552.) ...


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