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09/01/89 the City of Chicago, v. Go Et Al.

September 1, 1989

THE CITY OF CHICAGO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

IRENE RAGO ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SIXTH DIVISION

544 N.E.2d 993, 188 Ill. App. 3d 482, 136 Ill. Dec. 218 1989.IL.1364

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Calvin H. Hall, Judge, Presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE EGAN delivered the opinion of the court. McNAMARA and LaPORTA, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE EGAN

This is an appeal from an order holding the defendants in contempt and fining them for failure to comply with a previous court order.

The plaintiff, City of Chicago, filed a complaint against the defendants on October 22, 1984, seeking to enjoin them from operating a crematory inside a garage without a permit and to require them to restore the garage at 2419 West Erie Street in Chicago to its original condition. The defendants were holders of the beneficial interest in the land trust that held title to the property. The defendant, Louis Rago, operated a funeral parlor at 624 North Western Avenue across the street from the garage and used the garage "as part of [its] business."

On October 31, 1984, the Judge enjoined the defendants from performing cremations. The order provided that the "status quo of the subject premises shall remain in full force and effect and that there shall be no use of or work on the crematorium until such further order of the court."

The matter was continued pending the outcome of a related zoning case in which either the defendants or others were seeking to obtain a legal right to maintain a crematory in the garage.

On September 21, 1984, the Zoning Board of Appeals gave authorization for the installation and usage of a crematory in the garage. The circuit court of Cook County upheld the Zoning Board's decision on November 8, 1985. The appellate court later reversed the trial court in a Rule 23 order and remanded the matter to the Zoning Board of Appeals. On October 17, 1986, the Zoning Board ruled that the crematory could not be operated on the defendants' property because it violated the city zoning ordinance.

The parties returned to court on January 7, 1987, and the Judge continued his previous order enjoining the defendants from operating the crematory and further ordered an interior inspection of the garage before the next hearing date.

At the next hearing on January 21, 1987, the city inspector testified that he conducted his inspection on January 13, 1987, and found that the crematory equipment remained a part of the garage. A stack was still attached to the roof of the garage, and the gas lines were still connected to the furnace. The Judge held that everything in the garage that was part of the crematory had to be removed and the building had to be restored to its previous condition. He found the defendants guilty on count I of the city's complaint, fined them $1,000 and entered a permanent mandatory injunction which in part required them:

"To disconnect all furnace equipment, to remove all crematory furnaces and equipment including the stack and necessary appurtenances from the subject premises and to restore the building to its original condition, IMMEDIATELY as soon as possible." (Emphasis in order.)

The order also provided that the court would reserve jurisdiction for the purposes of enforcement, modification or termination of the injunction. The ...


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