The opinion of the court was delivered by: Castillo, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiffs Richard and Laura Ostergren sued the Village of Oak Lawn
("the Village"), its President Ernest F. Kolb, its Health and Sanitation
Inspector Jeanne Foody Galzin, and John Does 1-20, for damages, alleging
that Defendants deprived them of their right in property without due
process of law in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and that Defendants
violated the United States and Illinois Constitutions' takings clauses.
Plaintiffs also assert state law claims for trespass and conversion.
Presently before this Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment, which seeks judgment with respect to Plaintiffs' due process
and takings clauses claims. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants'
motion is granted with respect to Plaintiffs' federal claims.
Plaintiffs Richard and Laura Ostergren own two properties in Oak Lawn,
Illinois, located at 9541 South McVicker Avenue and 9540 Southwest
Highway (the "Subject Properties"). In early spring of 1999, Defendant
Jeanne Foody Galzin, the Health and Sanitation Inspector for the
Village, received several complaints about the Subject Properties.
Accordingly, Galzin, who was responsible for pre-demolition activities
and inspection decisions for the Village, inspected the Subject
Properties. Galzin determined that the buildings on the Subject
Properties were in violation of several building codes and warranted
demolition pursuant to 65 ILCS 5/11-31-1(e).*fn1
On May 24, 1999, Galzin sent Richard Ostergren ("Ostergren") separate
notices informing him that each of the Subject Properties contains an
open and vacant building that constitutes an immediate and continuing
hazard, and that
unless the building at or on the property is
demolished, repaired, or enclosed and unless any and
all hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or
materials are removed from the property within thirty
(30) days following [Plaintiff's] receipt of this
letter, so that the immediate and continuing hazard to
the community no longer exists, the Village of Oak
Lawn intends to undertake such demolition, repair
and/or clean up.
(R. 36-2, Pls.' Statement of Material Facts ¶ 7, Ex. 1, May 24, 1999
letters from Galzin to Ostergren.) Both letters referred to § 11-31-1
(e) of the Illinois Municipal Code. In addition, Galzin enclosed a list
of building code violations with each letter, and indicated that
Ostergren should contact her with any questions.
On May 26, Galzin sent Ostergren two additional letters informing him
that buildings located on the Subject Properties "were an immediate and
continuing hazard to the surrounding community and that if they were not
repaired within thirty days, the Village would demolish them." (R. 30,
Defs.' Statement of Material Facts ¶ 5.) The May 26 letters also
referred to § 11-31-1(e), and were sent with lists of building code
violations identical to the lists sent with the May 24 letters.
Shortly thereafter, Plaintiffs received a "Notice to Demolish or
Repair" from Galzin for each of the Subject Properties. Both notices
explained that, pursuant to § 11-31-1(e), the Village found that
these properties contain open and vacant buildings and constitute
immediate and continuing hazards. The notices also provided that
Unless the open and vacant building . . . is
demolished, repaired, or enclosed, and unless any and
all garbage, debris, and other hazardous, noxious or
unhealthy substances or materials are removed from the
Property . . . within thirty (30) days following the
date of this Notice, so that an immediate and
continuing hazard to the surrounding community and the
public at large no longer exists, the building shall
be demolished, repaired, or enclosed, and any
garbage, debris, or
other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or
materials shall be removed by the Village of Oak
Lawn. Any and all costs and expenses incurred by the
Village in relation to said demolition, repair, and/or
clean-up shall constitute a lien against the
(R. 36-2, Pls.' Statement of Material Facts ¶¶ 11, 12, Exs. 5, 6, May
28, 1999 notices to demolish or repair.)
Defendants also posted enlarged copies of the Notice to Demolish or
Repair on the Subject Properties on May 28. Ostergren saw at least one of
these notices before the demolition.*fn2 Defendants also published
copies of the "notices of demolition" i.e., the Notice to Demolish or
Repair, for each property in the Daily Southtown newspaper on May 28,
29, and 30. (R. 36-2, Pls.' Statement of Material Facts ¶ 13.)
After receiving the letters from Galzin, Ostergren "took steps to
correct the violations that had been cited on his property, and made
efforts to contact defendant Galzin in this regard." (R. 36-2, Pls.'
Statement of Material Facts ¶ 19.)*fn3 One of the first
conversations between Galzin and Ostergren occurred on June 29 at one of
the Subject Properties, where Ostergren was working with a crew of
employees to clean up the property. At that time, Galzin informed
Ostergren that the siding on the McVicker property had been tested for,
and contained, asbestos, and therefore he could not remove the siding. In
addition, a police officer who was with Galzin instructed Ostergren and
his crew that they were not to enter the buildings on either of the
Subject Properties. At this time, Ostergren informed Galzin that he had
an agreement to rent out the Subject Properties and that the lessee had
agreed to make any necessary repairs. Ostergren also made an appointment
to meet with Galzin the following day at 2:00 p.m. Subsequently, that
meeting was cancelled and rescheduled for July 1.
After Galzin departed from Plaintiffs' property on June 29, Village
employees arrived at the site to mark the utility lines for
disconnection. The Village employees informed Ostergren that this is
generally done when a property is scheduled for demolition. The following
day, June 30, Ostergren contacted his attorney, Scott Ladewig, to discuss
the disconnection of the utility lines. Ladewig contacted Galzin and
asked why the lines were being disconnected. Galzin informed him that it
was being done for safety reasons.*fn4
On the afternoon of July 1, Ostergren met Galzin at her office and
discussed the violations that had not yet been corrected at the Subject
Properties.*fn5 Around the same time, the buildings on the Subject
Properties were demolished. The Village asserts that it never promised or
informed Plaintiffs that the demolition would not occur. (R. 30, Defs.'
Statement of Material Facts ¶ 14.)*fn6
On December 12, 1999, Plaintiffs filed a complaint, alleging that
Defendants violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by depriving them of their right
in property without due process of law. Plaintiffs also asserted state
law claims for trespass and conversion. On March 14, 2000, Plaintiffs
filed an Amended Complaint, which added counts for violations of the
United States and Illinois Constitutions' takings clauses. On October 6,
2000, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment asking this Court to
grant judgment in their favor on Plaintiffs' due process and takings
clauses claims, and to refuse to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over
Plaintiffs' state law claims for trespass and conversion.
On October 17, this Court ordered Plaintiffs to respond to Defendants'
motion by November 14, and ordered Defendants to reply by November 21.
Despite this Court's clear instructions, on November 14, Plaintiffs
submitted a pleading styled "Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment"
requesting that the Court grant summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs
on liability. In support of their motion, Plaintiffs filed a Statement of
Material Facts, and a Memorandum (1) in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for
Summary Judgment, and (2) in Response to Defendants' Motion for Summary
Judgment. Plaintiffs ...