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09/11/97 WOODSTOCK HUNT CLUB v. STEVEN HINDI

September 11, 1997

WOODSTOCK HUNT CLUB, AND ITS MEMBERS, FRANK RITT AND NIC ARMSTRONG, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,
v.
STEVEN HINDI, STEVEN JAY GROSS, AND CAROL GROSS, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS (CHICAGO ANIMAL RIGHTS COALITION, AND UNKNOWN MEMBERS OF THE CHICAGO ANIMAL RIGHTS COALITION, DEFENDANTS).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of McHenry County. No. 96--CH--375. Honorable James C. Franz, Judge, Presiding.

Rehearing Denied October 9, 1997. Released for Publication October 9, 1997.

The Honorable Justice McLAREN delivered the opinion of the court. Geiger, P.j., and Inglis, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mclaren

The Honorable Justice McLAREN delivered the opinion of the court:

In this consolidated case, defendants, Steven and Carol Gross, appeal the trial court's grant of a permanent injunction enjoining them from violating the Hunter Interference Prohibition Act (Act) (720 ILCS 125/0.01 et seq. (West 1996)). Defendant, Steven Hindi, appeals his conviction of indirect criminal contempt of court and his sentence of 180 days in jail. We affirm.

On October 11, 1996, plaintiffs filed a petition for injunctive relief and a complaint for damages, alleging that defendants had violated the Act by, among other things, using sirens, bull-horns, and an engine-powered glider to scare geese away from the Woodstock Hunt Club, a club in which members pay an annual membership fee and daily hunting fees to hunt on club property. Plaintiffs also filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO), seeking to restrain and enjoin defendants from violating the Act. A hearing was held on this motion on October 11, 1996, and the court issued a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the defendants. Defendant Hindi was not present at the hearing, and he subsequently moved to dissolve the temporary restraining order against him on October 15, 1996. That motion was denied.

On October 25, 1996, plaintiffs filed a verified petition for a rule to show cause against Hindi. Plaintiffs alleged that on October 12 and 13, 1996, Hindi and other persons used megaphones and other devices to disturb wild animals and hunters on the property of the club. Hindi was arrested and criminally charged with violating the Act on October 12, 1996.

Following a hearing on November 7, 1996, the court issued a permanent injunction against Steve and Carol Gross, enjoining any conduct violative of the Act. The court also found Hindi in indirect criminal contempt of court for having violated the October 11 temporary restraining order and sentenced him to 180 days in the McHenry County jail. Hindi's motion to modify sentence was denied. These appeals followed.

The Act provides:

"125/2. interference with lawful taking of wild animal

ยง 2. Any person who performs any of the following is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor:

(a) Interferes with the lawful taking of a wild animal by another with intent to prevent the taking.

(b) Disturbs or engages in an activity that will tend to disturb wild animals, with intent to prevent their lawful taking.

(c) Disturbs another person who is engaged in the lawful taking of a wild animal or who is engaged in the process of taking, with intent to ...


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