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01/19/95 ROBERT HERMAN CHURCH v. STATE ILLINOIS

January 19, 1995

ROBERT HERMAN CHURCH, APPELLANT,
v.
THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, ACTING THROUGH THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PROFESSIONAL REGULATION, ET AL., APPELLEES.



Chief Justice Bilandic delivered the opinion of the court:

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bilandic

CHIEF JUSTICE BILANDIC delivered the opinion of the court:

The plaintiff, Robert Church, filed an application with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation (Department) seeking a private alarm contractor's license. After the Department denied the plaintiff's application, the plaintiff filed a complaint for administrative review in the circuit court of Menard County, seeking reversal of the Department's decision. The circuit court reversed the Department's decision and ordered the Department to issue the plaintiff a license. The appellate court reversed the circuit court's order and reinstated the administrative decision. This court allowed the plaintiff's petition for leave to appeal (145 Ill. 2d R. 315).

I. FACTS

On April 4, 1988, the plaintiff purchased a private alarm contracting business and began operating the business on a part-time basis. The plaintiff worked approximately 1,000 hours a year leasing, selling and servicing alarm systems. On May 8, 1991, the plaintiff learned that the Private Detective, Private Alarm and Private Security Act of 1983 (Act) (225 ILCS 445/4 (West 1992)) required him to obtain a license from the Department before engaging in the private alarm contracting business.

On May 31, 1991, the plaintiff submitted an application for a private alarm contractor's license to the Department. The plaintiff characterized his application as one to obtain a license without examination. As part of his application, the plaintiff informed the Board that he was currently employed as a patrolman for the Petersburg police department, and had been employed in that capacity since 1984, working approximately 1,200 hours a year. The plaintiff also informed the Board that he had 18 years of experience as a police officer. During such period of time, the plaintiff had investigated or assisted in investigating 50 different thefts or burglaries. The plaintiff also informed the Board that his police training included classes and seminars in field sobriety testing, mandatory firearms training, shooting decisions training, police traffic radar certification, use of force/civil liability, legal aspects of deadly force and night firearms, operation scams, domestic violence, criminal law, law for police, interview and interrogation, and an in-service refresher.

On September 12, 1991, the Private Detective, Private Alarm, and Private Security Board (Board) held a meeting where the plaintiff's application was considered. The Board recommended that the application be denied. The Director of the Department approved the Board's recommendation and notified the plaintiff that his application was denied "due to the fact that [his] experience does not meet statutory requirements" under the Act.

On October 25, 1991, the plaintiff filed a complaint for administrative review in the circuit court of Menard County, seeking reversal of the Department's decision and issuance of a private alarm contractor's license. On April 22, 1992, the circuit court remanded the matter to the Department. The court ordered the Department to inform the plaintiff of any informal standards that the Department might be using to determine the plaintiff's qualifications under section 14(c)(11)(C) of the Act. In the event that the Department denied the plaintiff's application, the court ordered the Department to provide reasons for the denial.

On May 13, 1992, the Board reconsidered the plaintiff's application and again recommended that the application be denied. The Board's recommendation was approved by the Director of the Department on June 22, 1992, who referred to the plaintiff's application as an application to sit for the examination to obtain a private alarm contractor's license.

After receiving notification that the Department had again denied his application for a license, the plaintiff filed a two-count complaint in the circuit court of Menard County. The complaint sought reversal of the Department's determination that the plaintiff did not qualify for a license and an order compelling the Department to issue the plaintiff a private alarm contractor's license. Following a hearing, the circuit court entered an order finding that the Department's decision to deny the plaintiff's application was "clearly arbitrary and capricious and is hereby set aside." The court also ordered the Department "to issue to plaintiff a license to conduct business as a private alarm contractor."

The Department appealed, arguing that the administrative decision was not against the manifest weight of the evidence or arbitrary and capricious. The Department also argued that the circuit court exceeded its authority in ordering the Department to issue the plaintiff a license before the plaintiff took and passed an examination.

The appellate court reversed the circuit court's order and reinstated the Department's administrative decision. (251 Ill. App. 3d 942.) The court determined that the Department's denial of the plaintiff's application was a proper exercise of its discretionary authority under section 14(c)(11)(C) of the Act. One justice dissented, arguing that the statute was "constitutionally suspect" and that the Department failed to exercise the discretion granted it under section 14(c)(11)(C) of the Act (251 Ill. App. 3d at 949 (Cook, J., dissenting).) This court allowed the plaintiff's petition for leave to appeal (145 Ill. 2d R. 315).

In this appeal, the plaintiff has abandoned his argument that the Department's denial of his application for a private alarm contractor's license was arbitrary and against the manifest weight of the evidence. Thus, the only issue presented for our review is whether section 14(c)(11)(C) of the Act, as interpreted by the Department, unconstitutionally grants members of the private alarm contracting trade an unregulated monopoly over entrance into the private alarm contracting trade. Although the plaintiff also argues that section 14(C)(11)(C) represents an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to the Department, he did not raise that claim before the circuit court or on appeal, and has therefore waived it for purposes of this appeal.

II. ANALYSIS

The Private Detective, Private Alarm and Private Security Act of 1983 (225 ILCS 445/1 et seq. (West 1992)) makes it unlawful for any person to act as a private alarm contractor without first obtaining a license from the Department (225 ILCS 445/4 (West 1992)). Section 14(c) of the Act sets forth a number of requirements that a person must satisfy to qualify for a private alarm contractor's license. Under that section, a person qualifies for such a license if he or she:

(1) is at least 21 years of age;

(2) is a citizen or legal resident alien;

(3) has not been convicted of a felony;

(4) is of good moral character;

(5) has not been declared mentally or ...


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