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02/07/89 Heritage House of Glamour, v. the Attorney General of

February 7, 1989

HERITAGE HOUSE OF GLAMOUR, INC., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION

534 N.E.2d 648, 179 Ill. App. 3d 336, 128 Ill. Dec. 466 1989.IL.143

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Anthony Scotillo, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE SCARIANO delivered the opinion of the court. HARTMAN and BILANDIC, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SCARIANO

Plaintiff brought this action seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from an administrative subpoena duces tecum issued by the defendant. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant and dismissed plaintiff's complaint with prejudice. Plaintiff appeals, raising the following issues: (1) whether the subpoena duces tecum is overly broad; and (2) whether the trial court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of defendant.

On September 30, 1987, defendant issued an administrative subpoena, pursuant to section 3 of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 121 1/2, par. 263) to Lakeview Trust and Savings Bank (Lakeview) for its records concerning home improvement loans wherein Premier Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., was the contractor, and any agreements between the bank and Premier regarding home improvement loans. In response, the bank informed defendant that it had no association with Premier but that it was in possession of loans purchased from plaintiff. (There is no explanation in the record as to why Lakeview responded to a subpoena for records on Premier with information on plaintiff.) Meanwhile, plaintiff filed a complaint for declaratory judgment as well as a motion to quash the subpoena. After hearing the motion to quash, the trial court gave leave to defendant to file an administrative subpoena seeking the "records" of plaintiff and plaintiff was given leave to file a motion to quash when that subpoena was issued.

On December 15, 1987, defendant issued an administrative subpoena duces tecum to Lakeview commanding production of the following:

"All documents and papers concerning Home Improvement Loans purchased by [Lakeview] Trust and Savings Bank from Heritage House of Glamour, Inc. from January 1, 1983 to present."

On December 30, 1987, the trial court denied plaintiff's amended motion to quash the subpoena and granted it leave to file an amended complaint. Pursuant to this order, plaintiff filed its amended complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, requesting that the subpoena be declared null and void and that defendant be enjoined from enforcing the subpoena and from issuing any further subpoenas without leave of court. On February 2, 1988, this court denied plaintiff's application for leave to appeal the December 30 order pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 308 (107 Ill. 2d R. 308).

On March 1, 1988, the trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment and dismissed plaintiff's complaint with prejudice. Plaintiff appeals from that order.

Opinion

Plaintiff argues that the subpoena is overly broad, as it fails to give a "reasonably informative description" of the items sought. (People ex rel. Legislative Commission on Low Income Housing v. Keefe (1967), 36 Ill. 2d 460, 465, 223 N.E.2d 144.) It maintains that defendant should specify by name what records it wants.

In Keefe, the Illinois Attorney General issued a subpoena requesting "various documents relating to described and undescribed properties which 'have public aid recipients' therein." (36 Ill. 2d at 465.) The court held that the subpoena was "so lacking in specificity and ...


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