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Smith v. Gentral Illinois Regional Airport

January 8, 2003

RANDELL L.D. SMITH, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
CENTRAL ILLINOIS REGIONAL AIRPORT, A GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE, AND THE PRAIRIE AVIATION MUSEUM, A NOT- FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION; AND THE PANTAGRAPH, A CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS.



Appeal from Circuit Court of McLean County No. 00L194 Honorable Elizabeth A. Robb, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Steigmann

In November 2000, plaintiff, Randell L.D. Smith, filed a complaint against defendants, the Central Illinois Regional Airport (Airport), the Prairie Aviation Museum, and the Pantagraph, alleging that an annual air show sponsored and operated by defendants (1) created a nuisance (count I), (2) constituted a trespass upon Smith's property (count II), and (3) amounted to an inverse condemnation of his property (count III). Count I of the complaint sought to enjoin defendants from operating the annual air show, and counts II and III sought to recover damages arising from the air show.

In February 2001, the trial court dismissed count III with leave to amend and counts I and II with prejudice. In April 2001, Smith brought an interlocutory appeal under Supreme Court Rule 307(a) (188 Ill. 2d R. 307(a)), challenging the court's dismissal of count I.

Later in April 2001, Smith filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss count III. Following a May 2001 hearing, the trial court denied Smith's motion. Smith appealed the court's denial of his motion, and this court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction (Smith v. Central Illinois Regional Airport, No. 4-01-0388 (January 30, 2002) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23)).

After this court's mandate issued, Smith filed an amended motion to voluntarily dismiss count III. Following an April 2002 hearing, the trial court denied the motion.

Smith appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to voluntarily dismiss count III, and we affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

In November 2000, Smith filed a complaint against defendants, alleging in count III that the Airport's operation of an annual air show amounted to an inverse condemnation of his property.

In December 2000, defendants filed separate motions to dismiss the complaint under section 2-615 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-615 (West 1998)). The Airport's motion alleged, in pertinent part, that count III failed to allege sufficient facts to establish a claim for inverse condemnation. On February 27, 2001, the trial court (1) dismissed count III with leave to amend within 60 days, and (2) dismissed counts I and II with prejudice, upon finding that those claims were preempted by federal statutory laws and regulations.

In April 2001, Smith brought an interlocutory appeal under Supreme Court Rule 307(a) (188 Ill. 2d R. 307(a)), arguing that the trial court erred by dismissing count I of his complaint. In October 2001, this court affirmed the trial court's judgment in an unpublished order (Smith v. Central Illinois Regional Airport, No. 4-01-0168 (October 1, 2001) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23)).

On April 12, 2001, while his appeal was still pending, Smith filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss count III. Following a May 2001 hearing, the trial court denied Smith's motion.

Smith later filed a notice of appeal from the trial court's (1) February 2001 order dismissing count III with leave to amend, and (2) May 2001 order denying his motion to voluntarily dismiss count III. In January 2002, this court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction (Smith v. Central Illinois Regional Airport, No. 4-01-0388 (January 30, 2002) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23)).

After this court's mandate issued, Smith filed an amended motion to voluntarily dismiss count III of his complaint. Following an April 2002 hearing, the trial court denied Smith's motion as moot, upon finding that (1) the court had previously dismissed Smith's complaint with leave to amend within 60 days in its February 27, 2002, order; and (2) Smith had failed to ...


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